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By GreatSchools Staff
"My son sometimes has problems with stressing on the day of a big test," says one dad. "I've found the best remedy is to have him clear his head of all the distractions or negative thoughts and take deep, relaxing breaths. And to focus on doing his best and not worrying about what grade he will achieve."
A mom of three boys, ages 3, 6, and 10, offers this refreshing recommendation: "Have the teacher give students peppermints to suck on and/or to scent the room with peppermint. Peppermint helps to relieve stress, and it helps the brain to concentrate."
"I tell my child to do the best he can," another parent says. "I tell him how well he is prepared for the test. I always try to keep his spirits up.... I also give him tips like not to rush with the answers and to stay calm."
"My oldest daughter has AD/HD," says one parent from Texas. "Although she is academically very gifted, her teachers have referred to her as being high-strung around test times. To pull her stress levels down, we have a couple of tricks that we use. The first is aromatherapy. When [my daughter] is feeling especially stressed, she has been taught to close her eyes, quiet her mind, and rub a couple of drops [of essential oil of lavender and rosemary] behind her ear. We've done this since she was 6 years old, and now, at 17, she tells me that the minute she smells lavender or rosemary anywhere, she immediately feels calmer.
"As a younger child, she was extremely impulsive and could become quite agitated. We purchased a glitter wand that is about eight inches long. Her ritual was to hold the wand upright until all of the glitter settled into the bottom, then turn it over and allow the glitter to settle again. Three turns of the wand usually bought her enough time to get past the immediate impulse to become angry."
"I have two boys with ADD," says an Alabama mom. "One is in third grade and one in second. Their teachers do an excellent job of sending home newsletters each week to let us know what is coming up in the test department.
"We go over information each night that might be on the test. The night before the test, we go to the YMCA and do a little swimming. This gives their bodies a little stress break as well as their minds. They get a good night's rest and always a good breakfast. Does this work? You bet! They are both honor roll students and have been since first grade."
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