To perform at your best in any situation, whether at a sports event or in an exam like the eleven-plus it’s really important to do two things. The first is to prepare by practising. The second is to be in the right frame of mind.
Unfortunately exams make us stressed and the expectation around this exam in particular can be quite hard on such young children. Will they get to go to the best school? Will they get to go with their friends? Many parents buy in additional coaching for their children but to date there has been little to help children understand and cope with the stress of it all.
To address this issue, Dr Lucy Russell, the lead clinical psychologist at Everlief Child Psychology has written Thinkerbud, an online course for children preparing for their 11-plus. Thinkerbud will go live for the first time in mid-June.
There is some recent published evidence to support initiatives like Thinkerbud. Researchers at the University of New Orleans presented a group-administered, test-anxiety-reduction intervention including relaxation techniques to 325 eight to 17-year-olds, all of whom were found to be experiencing higher than usual levels of exam stress. By reducing exam anxiety the researches also observed reductions in symptoms of anxiety disorders, depression and lack of control.
So how does Thinkerbud work? When you have registered on the Thinkerbud website, your child is guided through a course by “Bud” which takes around an hour. Thinkerbud will teach your child about stress, how it affects people and what you can do about it. It will also work with your child to build their own action plan which they can print at the end.
The course is designed to be taken by your child but of course you could take part with them which might be a good way to help them learn.
Thinkerbud can be found at www.thinkerbud.com and costs £25
The University of New Orleans study can be found at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11121-014-0491-1
Dr Lucy Russell is the lead child psychologist at Everlief Child Psychology in West Wycombe. Everlief can be contacted on 01494 521332 or email@example.com