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June 4, 2014

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Hotline for exam kids besieged by parents

WITH the college entrance exam now just days away, anxious parents are being advised that the best way for them to help their children is to keep calm.

“Many parents feel that they should do something to help their sons and daughters ahead of the exam, but in many cases all they actually do is add to the pressure,” Gu Xiankai, a psychologist who works at the “12355” helpline center for teenagers.

“The best thing they can do is just be on hand when their children need them, and try not to get too worked up about things,” he said.

Gu’s comments came after the helpline reported yesterday that since its launch in April it has received four times as many calls from concerned parents as it has from students.

In one case, a woman asked for advice on what dishes to make for her daughter to ensure she was fit and healthy for the exam.

In another, a woman wanted to know how to deal with her son’s budding relationship with a girl at his school, which she feared was interfering with his studies.

“Many parents feel under great pressure at this time of year, so we got a lot of calls for help,” Gu said.

The majority came from parents worried that their sons and daughters were struggling to focus on their studies, were too lazy, or were having problems sleeping, he said.

The national entrance exam system is the primary route for Chinese students seeking to move on to higher education. About 52,000 Shanghai youngsters will sit this year’s test on Saturday and Sunday.


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