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Matric exams: Parents urged to be supportive

Sadag has provided tips for both parents and pupils on how to cope with exams.

Picture: www.freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - While most matric pupils are only in their first week of exams, support groups have urged parents and family members to be vigilant.

The 2015 NSC examinations started on Monday morning with English Paper 1.

The South African Depression and Anxiety (Sadag) says it's received a significant number of calls from parents who are uncertain about how to provide the necessary support for their teens.

Spokesperson Cassey Chambers says it's important to keep an open communication line throughout this time.

"Often when we have teenagers who call the helpline it's because they feel like they can't talk to anyone. So we are trying to encourage parents not to undermine what their children are going through and to really understand where they are coming from."

The group has provided advice on what to look out for if your teen is overly anxious:

• Drastic change in eating and sleeping habits;

• Expressed feelings that they are not coping;

• Any reference to death or suicide; and

• Complete withdrawal from friends and family.

How to help them cope:

• Communicate and find out what they are battling with and if they need different ideas on how to study;

• Make sure the environment is conducive to studying;

• Let them have regular breaks; and

• Give them tips on how to relax and join them in doing so.

For matrics:

• Put a timetable together to ensure you have a routine;

• Avoid 'all-nighters', it's not good for your brain;

• Eat healthily;

• If you are feeling stressed on the day, an easy tool is to breathe in and out; and

• Exams are just a season in your life, they are not the be all and end all. You will survive them just like all the hundreds and thousands of matrics have done in the past. It is not the end of the world if you don't do well because there are so many other options available to you.

For any more assistance, pupils and parents are encouraged to contact the Sadag helpline on 0800121314 or SMS 31393.

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