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Continued from... 10 tips to help you navigate the LC

  • I need to get the points because all my older siblings went to college.

  • I have to get more points than Susan or I'll never hear the end of it

  • My Dad is a doctor, his Dad was a doctor, I have to be a doctor.

  • I was always good at x so I have to make a career out of it.

  • I can’t do an apprentice; Mam always gives out about Joe down the road that he wasted his life not going to college.

  • All my friends are going to college.

Regardless of what they want to do after school, they may be stressed. The process is stressful!

Teachers are doing their best to usher them along. Parents are doing their best to keep an eye that some study is being done…

To be honest, at this stage, I believe it’s our job as parents to just be there for them to make sure what they need is in place. Give them the space to do their thing. They know the LC is in a few weeks, they know they should be studying. Us banging on about it won’t make them study, it will only distance the communication between us.

At this stage this is what I believe is important;

  • Keep the routine the same, no mad surprises or treats that you think will help. They need less stimulation, not more.

  •  Make sure they have all they need, whatever resources for school, extra batteries or calculators etc.

  • Make sure there is plenty of food, especially if you have boys. Not treat foods, trying to be nice to them, good healthy food that they already are happy eating. You don’t want to encourage sugars, but you also don’t want now to be the time for a healthy diet overhaul!

  • Encourage outside time by inviting them on walks or even asking for a little help in the garden. Don’t send them outside or tell them to go for a walk while you are watching TV.

  • Encourage sleep by, again not sending them to sleep but acting as a role model and making sure the house winds down as a whole.

  • Cut them a bit of slack re their chores, mood etc around the house – not give them a passport for rudeness, but allow for the fact that they have a lot going on and their brain is not as developed as the average adult so it’s probably more difficult for them to organise themselves, plan ahead and pre-empt consequences – no matter how obvious it may be to you.

  • Do your best to be encouraging and less asking have they their study done – asking have they their study done is like telling them to do it. Instead, ask them how they are feeling about it, do they need any help with anything.

  • Be aware not to have too much negative discussions, TV etc in the house. Things like the news running in the background adds a negative element to the whole house, you may just not realise this as you are used to it. Even if the thing that’s on or being discussed is not about your LC child, the energy in the house is brought down.

  • Every day, open the windows wide and let fresh air circulate.

  • Increase family walks, meals or games, or whatever it is you do to connect. Your child wants to feel safe and loved in the midst of the madness of LC.

And last but not least, give yourself a bit of slack during this time too. Do your best to look after you, as you support your child. Make sure you are tending to your self-care, in whatever shape that is.

I wish us all the calm and resilience we need to navigate the next couple of months, and we will come out the other side!

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