Exams are stressful enough, with the pressure of revision added to the general stress caused by knowing you have the exams themselves to deal with. In situations like this it would be nice to have your family on your side, but a lot of teenagers are saying, help, my parents are causing me extra exam time stress.
Recent studies have found that stress will affect the behaviour, health, or appearance of eight in ten teens during exam time, but the research also showed that most teens just want to be left alone to get on with their revision.
The National Citizen Service conducted a survey of 1,000 teenagers – finding that 78% of them expected the stress of exam time to have a negative effect on them. This may include eating too much or too little, not having time to shower or change their clothes (really?), and not leaving the house for days on end. Stress can also trigger mood swings and anger in some teens.
It’s natural for parents to worry
Of course, it is only natural that such changes can cause parents to worry and want to get involved to help out. However, while it is important to monitor any drastic changes in appetite, sleep and wellbeing, most teens feel they would be better off left alone.
Rather than asking how revision is going, it seems most teens simply want their parents to leave them alone so they can study. Of course, this doesn’t mean that teens don’t want to be brought refreshments or offered treats when their revision is done, while keeping siblings out of the way is also useful!
It seems that teens want their parents to support them passively by holding off on the questions such as asking if you should be revising, or wondering how you can study with music on. Instead, teens want to be supported by taking away other concerns at this time – such as having their laundry done or being cooked for.
While there are concerns among parents about how social media may impact revision time, it seems that for some teens, the biggest distractions are actually parents and siblings.
Of course, no amount of support will help if you don’t actually get on with doing any revision. The study showed that a lot of teens found ways to put off study, even preferring to tidy their rooms instead!
At exam time, it is all about striking a balance between study and relaxation, and trusting teens to get on with their work while offering practical support is perhaps the best way for parents to go.
What do you think, are your parents just adding to the stress of exams, or have they managed to strike the balance between support and leaving you alone to study?