How parents can help Year 12s with stress
It’s no easy feat. Being Year 12 is hard as a student; but it’s not easy for the rest of the family either.
In fact, it can be quite challenging. Because when anyone is stressed at home, that stress can affect everyone else like a sickness. Every body can feel it. And let’s face it:
Year 12 is pretty much just a full year of stress
Which sucks. Big time. Because with a stressed out student comes a stressed out family. Which creates an even more stressed student.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Which means that, as a parent, you need to find a way to break the cycle. Because you’re the only one who has a hope of pulling it off!
Now it’s going to sound corny, but the best way to relieve that stress is to offer support. Kind of obvious right? What parent doesn’t know this?
But it’s the type of support that you offer that can really make the difference. We all know that simply saying “you’re doing great, just keep at it” doesn’t help anyone.
What kind of support do Year 12s need?
Really, being a Year 12 student comes down to three basic problems.
Lack of time, trouble with content, and stress
If we could address those three problems, we might actually have a happy Year 12. Or at least, not a completely stressed out, anxious one.
But to help with those, what we really need is to build up the right support systems that will help students all year, not just for a couple of days.
With three problems come three support systems
Let’s deal with the time issue first.
Students studying in Year 12 are constantly worried that they don’t have enough time to cover everything. And they’re right.
Year 12 manages to seem like no time at all while simultaneously dragging on forever.
The average Year 12 spends close to 600 hours in the classroom in their final year of school. Which sounds like a lot, until you break down what it actually means. It means 120 hours per subject, which is 3 full working weeks for a full time employee.
Now just think for a minute: could you learn the ENTIRE maths textbook given 3 weeks at work?
Now that means that students need to spend extra time outside of class working on their studies. The problem here is that most students don’t. Why? There are few plausible reasons:
Students don’t want to do the homework
They can’t find the motivation
They don’t know how to do it effectively.
Believe it or not, most students are the third one. They don’t know how to effectively manage themselves to actually get what they need to do, done.
That means that time issues would be solved if we can introduce some structural support to students; a way to help them manage their time better.
Next, the content.
The solution to content problems is actually pretty simple.
Student’s need help with understanding.
Now the issue is where that help comes from. Most would say that the teacher is responsible for that assistance. Failing that, perhaps a tutor?
The real issue is that, in most cases, learning is a linear process. Which means that if any one part of the learning process fails, the entire system comes crashing down.
But if we could change to a more fluid learning system, that issue disappears.
Content issues will be a thing of the past if we can find the right way to offer academic support.
I saved stress for last
I did that on purpose. Because stress is by far the most damaging issue in Year 12. It can be crippling. But it is usually a by-product of the issue with time and content.
When a student struggles with time constraints, or finds themselves having issues with content, they become stressed. The stress is caused by the other issues.
Once the stress manifests, though, it is damn near impossible to remove. It’s like a virus. And it requires the most important type of support. From friends, family, teachers, tutors, and peers.
Emotional support is what students need to get through the stress and anxiety of Year 12.
All of that support is need to help a Year 12 through the year.
And it’s all equally important. But it can be a bit overwhelming for parents sometimes. Which is why I’ve put together a free online workshop to help parents get ready for the year ahead, and to build these systems into place. I’d love to see you there!