Sunday, 9 April 2017

A Parent's Survival Guide to Revision and Exams #Parenting #Stress


On Monday 15th May the GCSEs begin here in the UK. I blogged about this very topic three years ago when my eldest son sat his exams, and now the time has arrived for my middle son to do the same.

My original blog wasn’t about the stress and strain on our youngsters as they study hard, worry about the process, and ponder on their fragile future, no, it was aimed at the thousands of parents who have to live in the same house as that teenager! Yes, I’m sharing it once again. A parent’s survival guide to exams and revision.

Everything has changed. The world is a very different place for our sixteen year old and, of course, your teen will never believe that you were also sixteen once. They truly believe you were born in your forties! I hope the following guide is of some help and that we all make it through alive – good luck to you all.
  • Ensure the fridge is fully stocked. You many have survived on three meals a day, but your teen requires five meals, twelve snack breaks, and a weekly takeaway.
  • Stock up on A6 sheets of paper, highlighters, and Blu-Tac – be prepared to find the walls of your living room, kitchen, bathroom and hall covered in mind maps.
  • Set aside an equipment drawer and fill it with new black pens, pencils, rulers and a spare calculator. The night before they sit their first exam you WILL be told that all these items have been mislaid.
  • Herd all other siblings and the elderly to another part of the house to avoid any TRI’s (tantrum-related-injuries).
  • Approach with extreme caution when you explain to your teen that ten minute revision, followed by forty-five minute rest is not what the teacher had in mind when they said ‘take regular breaks.'
  • FIFA 17 does not count towards PE revision, no matter what they tell you.
  • When your sulky, withdrawn teen arrives at a melt-down point, be ready to tell them to suck it up and get on with it, but at no point utter the words ‘back in my day…’
  • Pull the plug on the electricity at 11 pm telling your teen there must be a power cut. Shrug your shoulders (they understand this universal action) and manoeuvre your teen to bed suggesting they take advantage of an early night.
  • Use all the willpower you can muster to avoid nagging about revision – you can lead a horse to water...
  • Forget everything you remember about being sixteen. Save yourself the ridicule and eye rolls by letting your teen believe they are the first of their species to sit an exam.
  • Your role as a parent is about to be tested – remember to offer plenty of support, and when (if) the devil horns on your teens head shrink momentarily, go in for an occasional hug and remind them you love them no matter what.
Good luck to all the parents out there who are living through this pre-exam stage. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. ;-)

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

21 comments:

  1. This is really good, and amusing, Shelley - nice mix of funny and good sense!

    'Back in my day' (!!!!) we just did our revision, because we knew that if we didn't we wouldn't pass our exams, and our parents didn't interfere, because they assumed we were doing it. Didn't always do it, of course; I decided I couldn't be arsed with Biology and did none at all, so failed it. But that was on me. I'm guessing you can do without them having to do retakes, though!!!

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    1. Thanks, Terry. I was exactly the same haha, I used to hide a book in my revision notes and read instead! Funny how it was only English that I passed!

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  2. Ha! I'd pull the plug an hour earlier, so that have time to 'unplug' from screen light. Also, chat about phone use: my 3 girls have promised they will only check it once a day. You'd be amazed how much time is spent posting pics and getting upset by other teens. I seem to be constantly mopping up tearful teenagers atm! Oh ~ and I was told last year by a GCSE boy that he WAS working , only he enjoyed winding up his parents by saying that he wasn't. Watch out for that one! Sneaky lot!! Good luck to your teenager. It is an unbelievably stressful time. (Good luck to you too!)

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    1. Haha, what a little scamp, although I would probably have done the same! Like the phone advice and will definitely use that when it's my daughter's turn (ooooh, the drama!!)

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  3. Thanks for sharing these useful tips. My daughter is nearly 12 so not long until she will be going through this.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel. Twelve year olds come with their own set of guidelines lol, good luck to you too ;)

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    2. Great advice Shelley! My eldest is 10 years old and I know someday she will have to go through exam preparation as well. It's great to have your list when the days come.

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    3. Thanks for commenting and good luck for future exam prep! x

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  4. Great list! Thanks for sharing! I'm just stepping foot into the teen years and I need all the help I can get! :)

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    1. Haha, yes I can relate to that! Those pesky teen years sneak up on you don't they! Good luck x

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  5. Good advice, Shelley. The most frustrating part for me last year (apart from trying to prise eldest son away from skyping & online gaming) was the amount of taxiing back and forth I had to do while the exams were on, which really ate into my writing time. This year, he's sitting his Highers, but thankfully I'm a bit more prepared this time around. No less stressed though! Especially when he's supposed to be starting his revision today but has yet to surface. Agreed he could chill the first week of the Easter hols if he promised to study the second, as the Scottish exams start earlier at the beginning of May. Think I'll have to find some loud and interesting ways to get him out of bed earlier. And if that fails - will just have to add a cattle prod to the shopping list while I'm stocking up on new pens ;-)

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    1. I love the idea of a cattle prod, Wendy!! ;)

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  6. I love this, Shelley. Made me chuckle! With two teenage sons revising, our friendly Tesco delivery man is coming so regularly now that he no longer needs Sat-nav to find our house. And we're in the middle of deepest rural Aberdeenshire!

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    1. Haha, I love it! God bless the Tesco delivery man ;)

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  7. I'm so glad my 'boys' are now men and done with exams (at least, exams under my roof). I recently took part in a wellbeing day at a local senior school, where I taught the Years 11 and 12 students some yoga techniques for deflecting stress. Time will tell whether they took anything in!

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    1. That's fabulous, Julia. Our school offered meditation and yoga to the Year 11's but unfortunately it was only the girls who signed up. I remember my son doing a Relax Kids program at junior school and loving it. Such a shame they don't embrace these opportunities when they get to their teens! I'm sure the students loved your sessions.

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  8. Great piece Shelley, yes my son tried to tell me they'd been advised that sport was a good break to take, so he believed that meant FIFA 17 and 8 hours out at weekends for cricket matches. Grr! His first exam is May 3rd, so I'm thinking I might need to chain him to a chair any day now.

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    1. Haha, they think we've never been in their position!! I'll channel all my happy thoughts to you on May 3rd :)

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  9. Ha Ha Fifa and P.E, I have heard this so many times!

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    1. Ha ha, they are totally straight faced when they say it too!! ;)

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  10. I'm having flashbacks to finals in college! Great suggestions, Shelley!

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