Your son’s final years of secondary education are a stressful time. Not just for him, but possibly for your entire family. As parents, you want your son to succeed and you naturally have concerns over his mental welfare during this hectic period in his life. Combine these with the daily pressures of your career, personal matters, and looking out for the rest of your family and there is a potential recipe for disaster.
While there is a wealth of information out there to help students get through the HSC, not much has been written that directly relates to parents surviving the HSC. To really help your son excel during this difficult time, you have to first look after yourself. It can be hard to lend support to others when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Luckily, we have listed seven tips to guide parents through the HSC below.
1. Turn to friends and family
Your support networks will be a crucial factor in maintaining good mental health. Supporting your son during stressful times is difficult – try sharing that load with his extended family or family friends.
2. Be sure to rest enough
Just as sleep is important for your son, so it is for you too. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
3. Make time for you
While it can be easy to focus so much of your attention on your son, it’s important that you make time for the things you enjoy too. Be sure to set time aside each week to do the things you want to do.
4. Make time for your partner
It is not uncommon for a stressful family situation to negatively influence your relationship with your partner, which in turn compounds the stress. Make sure you take time for just the two of you to enjoy each other’s company and shared interests.
5. Make time for your friends
Similar to your family situation, strong relationships with close friends will make it easier for you to care for your son.
6. Exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the best relievers of stress that we know of. Aim for 30 minutes every day.
7. Work on your relationship with your son
Remember that your son has pressures outside of the HSC that he needs to work through, and your time with him can’t all be about study. Keep open and honest communication at the forefront to build and maintain a strong relationship with your son. It is easier to support your son when your relationship is already strong and healthy.