Parenting at exam time can be stressful, what makes things easier?

Leaving and Junior Cert Parenting tips

I remember being told that the Leaving Cert was a stressful year – having been through it twice with my two teenagers, I now see there are things you can do to keep a calmer house and support your exam student. It is not an easy time for them, kindness and support go a long way in helping them to cope with the pressures the year beings.

Calm starts with  – you!

The parent sets the tone, what tone do you set? The calmer you are, the calmer they will be. If you are  in a ‘good place’ you automatically offer them the support they need at this time. Your calmness will have a very positive effect on the atmosphere at home so ensure you do what you need to remain calm and supportive over the coming weeks.

Think about a major challenge you have faced: What did you need?

  • Belief: ‘ You can do it’
  • To have your effort acknowledged
  • Encouragement
  • See your potential
  • You needed to feel understood

So does your child doing the Junior/Leaving Certificate.

See the effort & learning will continue

What you put out comes back to you (Positive or Negative)

And the more you put out, the more you get back

Tips for Parent

  • You cannot take care of them till you first take care of you
  • Do not push yourself too hard, for the sake of your children – if you are calm, so are they.
  • Allow adequate time if bringing them into exams to reduce stress – get up earlier!
  • Ask what you can do for them to help/support them
  • Rushing and racing results in feeling stressed; and you are not in a good place to parent

Tips for parenting the exam student

  • Have the food they like so you ensure they eat
  • Ensure they get adequate sleep
  • Encourage exercise to help relax
  • They are under pressure, so don’t add to it
  • Believe in their intelligence & capability
  • See their effort & believe in their capacity
  • Encourage & praise
  • Negotiate where there are difference between you, if you force a person they will resist you
  • You can’t do the work for them, and this exam is their responsibility
  • Do not personalise what they say or their behaviour, it’s 100% about them, how they are feeling and what they are going through
  • When your child deserves your love the least, they need it the most
  • The most important ‘A’ is an ‘A’ in Emotional Health (there’s a lot going on for our teens)
  • You cannot attend at a ‘head’ level if things are not right at a ‘heart’ level
  • Intelligence & Knowledge are not the same
  • Failure sets the next challenge

Love them for who they are and not for what they do. Their intelligence is only one way in which they express their individuality