Help for Mandatory Testing

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How to help your child

How to help your child

So what can you do to help your child prepare for -- and do her best on -- school tests? Dr. Siegler offers this advice:

Don't become too invested in the testing

Many parents become more competitive and invested in the test results than their child. This response is likely to create unnecessary stress for the parents and add to the stress their child is already feeling. Remember parents: your child's test results are not a reflection of your parenting abilities.

Know your child

Take your child's personality and temperament into account, and learn how to work with them. Discuss your child's fears and other feelings about test-taking and try to reassure her. Help her understand that the test should be taken seriously, but that you will be proud of her regardless of the results.

Watch what you say

Send your child off with the idea that all you expect is for him to do his best. It's important to realize that phrases such as "You're going to ace that test," or "I know you'll get an A" actually add pressure and increase a child's anxiety.

Be sure your child has no undetected learning disabilities

An undetected learning disability could be a possible cause for poor test results. Learning disabilities are usually detected by 8 to 10 years of age, so again, know your child. If you have concerns, discuss them with your child's teacher.

Make sure your child is prepared

You can help your child get ready by going over homework together, or supplying him with practice questions. The more prepared your child feels, the more confident he will be.

Have your child get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast

See to it that your child is well rested on test day and doesn't leave the house on an empty stomach. A protein-based breakfast is best because it will provide your child with sustained energy. Give her protein-enriched cereal, scrambled eggs or even a peanut butter sandwich before an important test.--Annemarie Finello


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