Feed the mind and the body.
For a power breakfast, try an orange
and a scrambled egg with cheese
in a whole grain wrap, or an apple
and a whole grain bagel with peanut
butter. “Carbohydrates, protein, and
fats help the body and brain work
together for maximum potential,”
says Linda Yerardi, a registered
dietitian at Mercy Medical Center in
Pump up your kid. To boost
confidence right before the test,
quiz your child with a few questions,
being sure to slip in ones you know
he can ace, says Butsch. “After they
answer correctly, say, ‘Sounds like
you know the material really well.
You’re going to do great!’” Test day
or not, remind kids every day that
you have faith in them and you
believe in them.
After the test
Learn to listen. If your child
thinks she hasn’t done well,
hear her out. “They just want
to express how they feel. I find
that letting them vent, with me
responding with things like ‘That
really is disappointing, isn’t it?’
can help. Kids often just want
someone to acknowledge how
they feel,” says Butsch.
Help them see the big picture.
“Remind your children that
making mistakes is a natural part
of the learning process and an
opportunity to see what skills and
knowledge they have developed
so far,” says Kestner. “Explain
that you are more interested in
how they prepare for and handle
themselves before, during, and
after the test—things they can
directly control—than you are in
their scores—things they cannot
Reward the effort. Small
tokens and nice words give a lift.
“Mostly they just want to hear
how wonderful they are for doing
well and how proud of them we
are. You can never tell a child too
often that you are proud of them.
That is the best reward they can
ask for,” says Butsch.
Establish a post-test ritual.
Have a fun, nonstressful ritual to
look forward to, such as a family
game or movie night, and do it after
See the child, not the result.
“Be sure your child knows you
love them no matter what,” says
Lee Jampolsky, Ph.D. and author of
Walking Through Walls. “Don’t judge
a child on the basis of a single test
score. Test scores are not perfect
measures of what a child can do.”
Test day or not, remind kids
every day that you have faith in
them and you believe in them.
better homes and gardens | back to school 7
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