I'm pretty sure none of us enjoyed our exams at school….
Whether we were super-organised students with colour-coded revision plans or someone who crammed everything at the last minute, none of us escaped that grinding feeling of stress as dates and deadlines loomed closer.
As a parent of teens, I’m painfully aware that modern teenagers are under more pressure than ever. That puts us under pressure, as parents, to support them in the best possible way.
Which got me thinking about some top tips for parents during exams….
Around exam time, can we be supportive and genuinely helpful to our teens, rather than just a nagging annoyance? Of course, we can!
It might take a gentle touch and quite a bit of patience, but most parents of teenagers will be well practised at that! As adults we have plenty of skills that our teens can learn from.
How to support your teenager during exam time
Here are four ways I believe, as parents, we can support our teenagers through their exams. I hope these tips help you to help the teenager in your life:
Help them to master their time
Time management is a good one if your child is feeling overwhelmed. Help them make a list to prioritise what needs to be done.
Taking control of a spiralling mental to-do list by simply writing it down and picking a few goals for the day is so easy, and they’ll feel calmer for it.
Encourage them to take breaks
I’m a fan of scheduling treats, especially if they involve a chunk of down-time.
Cinema, shopping, a family trip out to look forward to – it's a few moments to escape and just be themselves for a bit. Don't forget that brains need time to process learning.
Constantly squashing in more information for extended periods with no breaks isn’t that effective, nor is it much fun! Just getting out for a walk or encouraging them to play their guitar for a bit will help.
Be there for them
Let them know the door is always open to talk, and that you’ll figure it out together if things are getting challenging. If you already have a good relationship with open communication this shouldn’t be too tricky to broach.
If your child really won’t talk to you or anyone else in the household, think about reaching out to a trusted friend or family member for a bit of advice or perspective, or a counsellor if things are really worrying and the school can offer no more additional support. As the song says, everybody needs somebody to lean on.
Ease the pressure
Exams are all-consuming when you’re in the middle of the revision period. Your child will no doubt be surrounded by friends in various states of panic or denial, teachers ranging from the encouraging to the dictatorial. Most kids’ resilience will be tested before they’ve even set foot in the exam room!
As a parent, remind them that exams are not the be all and end all. It’s one step on life’s journey. As long as they try their best, that’s all anyone can do.
Tips for parents during exams
Well, I hope that these tips have helped by giving you some ideas for how to support your teenager through their exams? Wishing you and your teens the absolute best of luck for exams and assessments this year!
Family photography at Kingshill Studios
A final tip for parents is this. If your nearly-grown-up ones are hoping to spread their wings and leave the nest, why not capture the family together before they do with a professional family photograph session at Kingshill? I’m sure you won’t regret it taking the time to capture your growing family in photographs.
Get in touch, we’d love to see you!