This week is a huge moment for grade 11 and 12 Tasmanian students. It is a week of cramming, practice exams and reflection as they prepare to sit the end of year exams.
The week is a balance of relaxing, maintaining extracurricular activities alongside stress, perhaps the continuation of casual work and of course studying for exams. For parents, it can be a week of walking on eggshells.
A great article by Vanessa Aitken, who is a life coach and community welfare worker, looks at the five different categories parents sit in when it comes to exam time.
There is the “freedom giver” – the parents give the students the freedom to socialise or participate in extracurricular activities without applying guilt.
The “guardian” protects the study environment and prevents distractions, the “passive supporter” will cook healthy dinners or deliver a Milo to the study desk and the “active supporter” helps to schedule breaks or is the quiz master before the exam.
The “context creator” helps with identifying what success looks like and adds some realism to the whole process.
Many parents like to share stories about the subject or grade where they realised their child had surpassed them in intelligence or memory of mathematics formulas.
Parents and guardians don’t need all the answers. They need the tools to keep their children connected to the real world as they enter this intense study period.
It is so easy to believe that the next three weeks are make or break for a 17-year-old’s future.
This simply isn’t true. We know that many future jobs haven’t even been discovered yet and that people can return to study at any time in their life. To think otherwise is restrictive and unhelpful – personally and for the community.
Yes, the exams are important. But they don’t define future potential or opportunities.
Good luck to all the students preparing for exams, try not to stress and let your parents offer help in any way they can, to support you during this all-consuming, yet rewarding time of your life.