2020 has been tricky for all of us. It feels harder to concentrate, difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and easier than ever to slip out of routine.

For year 12 students, the uncertainty of the pandemic can prompt even more stress in their lives. On top of this, they are dealing with finishing school forever, beginning their careers (or figuring out their path) and becoming fully independent.

Understandably, your child might be feeling overwhelmed. However, it’s critical that they feel in control, ready and capable to tackle their final assignments and exams. After all – Year 12 is an exercise in independence and a chance to navigate what their future will look like. For this reason, it is key to be supportive rather than overbearing.  

If you feel like your child needs extra support over the next month, it’s critical you:

Discuss your child’s goals

It can be helpful to ask your child what their expectations are of the exam or assignment. How do they think they will perform? How do they want to perform? Is a specific grade important to their future career path? These are all questions that will help gauge how much work they need to do to achieve their goals. It will also give you an indication of their work load, and if it’s achievable within the set time frame.  

Avoid adding to their stress

Try to be positive and encouraging to your child. Pressure can come from too many household chores to complete, or constant questioning about their future plans. It’s important they feel at ease in order for their study to receive their full effort and attention.

Establish boundaries with social media and social events

After almost a year of limited communication, your child may be itching to get out and see their friends. While staying connected to their peer group is great for their wellbeing, it’s important that socialising does not take priority over their study. Encourage a healthy balance, or suggest seeing friends after their study is complete for the day.

Encourage a healthy routine

While their to-do lists might seem endless, it’s crucial your child keeps in some kind of routine that works for them. Encourage your child to wake up and go to sleep at a similar hour each night, fuel themselves with healthy food, and get outside each day.

Keep it in perspective

An exam result is not the end of the world! Make sure you encourage your child to keep an open mind about their future, and help them understand the many options they have to achieve their goals.

Be there when they need a break

Every student works differently. Some students will need reminding when to knuckle-down, while other students need prompting to take a break from their work. No matter what end of the spectrum your child sits at, make sure they are taking regular short breaks. This will help manage their end of year burnout.

With all these tips in mind, it’s important to find the best approach for your child’s specific needs. If you’re not sure what this approach is, just ask them!

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