As exam results come out, parents sometimes feel unsure how to help their teenage children who feel under pressure or are disappointed by what they have achieved.
“We adults sometimes take for granted problems that young people have at school,” says Relate Bedfordshire & Luton CEO Angela Foll. “We all went through it, and sometimes we just put issues down to ‘all part of growing up’. But situations young people face can be just as stressful and important as issues we face as adults. This time of the year in particular can be traumatic for young people as exam results come in.”
What we can do?
- Listen – Make sure your children know that you want to listen to their conversation about school. It can be hard when you’re busy, but try and take an interest.
- Normalisation – It may seem obvious, but sometimes just saying to your teenager that it’s tough doing schoolwork, and tough passing exams, can make a difference. Ask them what they think they are capable of and don’t argue with whatever they say.
- Encourage other interests – Introduce a balance of positive activities in your teenager’s life so that they have variety and a break from schoolwork – not just using the internet, but sport activities, outside interests, visiting places or even shopping.
“If you need support,” says Angela, “we’re here to help with one-to-one counselling for young people or counselling for family groups. Explore this website for more information about our services or call us on 01234 356350.”