Make Finals Time As Fun As Possible with a Little TLC!
It’s that time of year again!
Final time can be a stressful time for not only our teens but parents!
You may find yourself frustrated and wanting to pull your hair out that your kids, who are distracted by YouTube or their phones, are not studying more or don’t seem to care.
Your child may be totally stressed out. Maybe they are a perfectionist and put pressure on themselves to get all A’s and if they don’t the world might cave in.
Or you’re hoping your kid gets that C up to a B or you’re praying that your kid passes!
Whatever the case may be, when going into finals time, how we choose to respond can make all the difference!
Here are 3 survival tips to reduce the tension level in your home (and maybe even make exam time not that bad).
Don’t lecture or nag about how their final grade will impact their future negatively.
I know it can be really hard to step back during finals time! It’s important to be mindful of your own stress over your teenager’s performance and what you’re saying to yourself and to them.
Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself about your teens future. As parents we tend to “fortune tell” without realizing it, for instance, “my kid won’t get into a good college.” “They won’t graduate if they don’t get it together.”
Or we label their behavior, “They’re lazy, unmotivated and will never succeed in life.”
These negative thoughts fuel our nagging and create greater anxiety for us and our kids.
Be proactive rather than reactive:
Have a Talk Before Finals Time
Whether you have an A student, C student or you’re praying they’ll pass a class, having a talk and asking your teen a week or two before finals about their game plan or how you can be supportive can help minimize the stress when finals time rolls around.
Ask them what they think would help them to do their best.
If they tend to get stressed and anxious ask, “What might you do to lessen your stress level?” or
“Have you thought about a prep plan?” or “Do you have all the study materials you need?”
Discuss their end of year activities, what their current grades are, how they can prioritize their time and and what their top priorities are.
Ask them how they’d like to do on their finals.
Make Finals Time As Fun As Possible with a LIttle TLC!
Here are some ideas to lessen stress, overwhelm and anxiety and to make finals time as fun as possible.
- Have them walk the dog or take a walk with them.
- If your teen is telling you to leave them alone, take their lead. Say less. Don’t worry if they don’t want to talk about finals. Many teens don’t, but just knowing you’re there to support them and providing a favorite meal can convey you care.
- Remind them to take deep breaths.
- Affirm what they’re doing and that this can be an overwhelming time.
- Attend a yoga class together.
- Encourage them to change-up study locations – go outside in the sunshine, study at Starbucks or if they normally study in the kitchen moving to the dining room to the den or even outside can decrease boredom and monotony.
- Invite friends over to study and have study snacks.
- Give them a neck rub.
- Bake them their favorite cookies.
- Light candles.
- Let them make the grocery store snack run so when they hit the fridge and cupboard for late night fuel, they will have the things they want to eat (Chances are their snack choices won’t exactly be your choices but if it keeps stress low during crazy finals, then so be it!).
- Encourage breaks. I’ve found with my daughter that setting a timer is helpful. Studying for 60 minutes and then taking a break can be a powerful motivator and they have a break to look forward to. It breaks up the monotony and helps them to clear their head (I’ve found this helpful for me as well).
- Make them their favorite meal.
- Set a no nagging rule in your home where you’re not allowed to talk about their grades.
- Allow them to go out with friends and have some fun. It may go against our instincts but getting time with friends can actually be just want they need to fill their emotional tank (just like us!).
- Have a water bottle and snacks waiting for them to take with them on exam days.
- Encourage a good night’s sleep!
This is a time when our kids need a little TLC and random acts of kindness can really mean a lot!
Have boundaries around screen time. Talk ahead of time. Negotiate gaming time and screen time. We recommend NetSanity – an awesome….to help our kids set manage their time.
Remember, fatigued brains do not retain information or recall information well. Rather than nagging about sleep, affirm all your teen is doing and how a good night’s sleep can help them to feel rested and be more effective.
To all of you Moms may these survival tips help you and your teen!
Good luck and remember you’re not alone! We’re on this journey together!
Love and peace,