It’s not easy being a teen studying for GCSEs. It’s also not easy being a parent of a teen studying for GCSEs.
It can be tempting to periodically bark at them to “get revising” and beyond frustrating when all they seem to be doing is watching TV, playing on the Xbox and seemingly doing anything but studying.
If your teen’s behaviour has been less than ideal since heading back to school this September, I hear you. I’ve been there too.
Remind your teen that they are not their anxiety. Feelings of anxiety are perfectly normal and everybody feels anxious sometimes. They are not wrong or broken and it does not mean that they need “fixing”. Learning a few simple techniques to calm their nervous system and changing the language they use when talking to themselves can make the world of difference.
Are you feeling exasperated that your teen doesn’t seem to want to do anything other than watch TV or play on their Xbox?
Do you feel like you are always nagging them?
Why don’t they understand that you only have their best interests at heart?
This is a common scenario in many families (mine included). But there may be a simple explanation and a simple fix.
It is less than easy for teens at the moment. All their lives they have been told that their exam results at GCSE and A-level will determine their future and now they are not sitting these exams at all but are relying on their teachers to award them the grades they think that they deserve. Your teen may be feeling uncertainty.
Years of conditioning have taught us that in order to be “a good parent” we need to be constantly present to ensure that our kids don’t fail. When they do, we think it’s our job to fix it. How will we ever know what they are capable of if we don’t let them go?
If your teen is currently feeling sad, stressed, lonely or anxious, these are normal human emotions and let’s face it, unsurprising in the circumstances we are currently living in. If they are telling you that they feel these things, that’s even better. This means that they are acknowledging their emotions and processing them. Emotions pass and will not inevitably lead to any long-term “crisis”.
Young people often feel like they go from 0 – 100 in seconds but when we break that down we can always identify a build up to the explosion. In my experience, some teens struggle to find the language to express how they are feeling, often resorting to only “happy” or “sad” or even not knowing how to put a word with a feeling at all.
We live in a world where “extroverts” are celebrated. They are seen as friendly, fun and full of ideas whereas “introverts” are often wrongly labelled as anti-social, boring or shy. This is far from the truth. Some of the most inspiring and creative people on earth consider themselves introverts.
With many teens not set to return to school until 18th January, it looks as though we will be returning to remote learning, at least for the next few weeks. This can be a daunting prospect for parents. Juggling homeschooling with a full-time job in a confined space can sometimes be less than easy.
There are ways in which we can make it easier on ourselves though…
2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, not least for our teens. At a time in their lives where they are naturally craving more independence and freedom, Covid-19 restrictions have meant that they have been told what they can and can’t do pretty much every minute of every day. The best way to help them through this is to help your teen is to help them set goals for 2021. What better time to do this than right before the new year?
It’s perfectly understandable that many of us will be feeling disappointed that our carefully made Christmas plans have been ruined.
How a combination of an ADHD diagnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques have empowered our daughter to overcome her challenges and live her best life.