Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Parents should not cause additional panic - psychologists

Published:Thursday | April 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

Fear and anxiety are emotions two noted counselling psychologists have indicated that children will experience as they prepare to sit both internal and external exams in the coming weeks. The counsellors are, however, pleading with parents and teachers to assist with minimising the negative impact of fear.

In sharing some tips with The Gleaner yesterday, Joan Pinkney, counselling psychologist and radio host, stressed that it was critical that students prepare and manage their time properly.

"It's amazing how we draw from our parents. What happens in the context of the home, sometimes, can have an impact on students. Parents have to create a positive environment, reassure the children of their love for them, and express confidence. Positive affirmation will be important," she said.


Conducive home environment critical


"There are some who possess a resilient personality, so even with the negativity, they will still do well, but overall, a conducive home environment is critical," Pinkney continued. "What is interesting is that parents are experiencing their own emotions, and sometimes they are even more anxious because a lot of it has to do with social play - how my child will look against my neighbour's child."

Similarly, Pauline Bain, associate counselling psychologist at Family Life Ministries, noted that it was important that when students feel afraid that they not allow it to consume them.

"Fear is fine if it doesn't take us over completely and is converted into panic. Sometimes fear becomes so overwhelming that students can't even cope to do the work that needs to be done," she said.

"Another thing that students do is compare themselves with other students. If they come together to do a topic and somebody else knows more, instead of learning, the person may panic, and sometimes that affects their productivity," Bain told The Gleaner.

Both experts emphasised the need for parents to make sure that children eat properly and get adequate rest. They also indicated that it was important that parents manage their emotions in a bid to not bring additional pressure and panic.