As students approach the Junior and Leaving Cert exams on Wednesday, one expert has shared some advice to parents on how best to support your child through this stressful time.
We all know how demanding this time in our child’s life is and ahead of the state exams beginning on June 7th, the former Guidance Counselor Institute President, Betty McLoughlin, has shared advice.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, McLoughlin said accepting that your child is stressed and behaving differently is the most important thing.
“Be prepared to be patient – They’re going to be a bit edgy, stressed, a bit narky,” she said. “Just let them know you’re there for them.”
Adding that parents need to ensure that their children have enough “perspective” on the importance of the Leaving Cert, she noted that there are an abundance of ways to advance your career once the exams are done.
“It’s only a moment in time and there’s never been more opportunity there other than the CAO – for post-Leaving Cert courses, new apprenticeships launched, even for nurses,” she said.
“You have so many opportunities there – so give it your best but know it’s not the be-all and end-all.”
Creating a supportive home environment is the most important aspect as a way of ensuring your teenager is as calm as can be during such a stressful time.
One simple way to do this is by filling the fridge with comfort food and allow your children to indulge in this until the exams are finished.
However, she said healthier options should always be included, as it helps keep focus much more than junk food.
“It’s more important to eat well because if they take too much Coke or sugar, they may not be able to concentrate and engage when they get in there,” she said.
“Fill the fridge with great food.”
She then added that keeping a copy of your child’s exam timetable in a visible place is key as they should familiarise themselves with exactly where they need to be and at what time.