As kids start to prepare for their HSC this year, it is important for you as a parent to find ways to support them. It can be a fine line between keeping them motivated and focused and ensuring they don’t get completely overwhelmed or crushed by self-doubt and panic or lack of sleep and worry.
Stress can be debilitating to us as adults and teenagers are not immune to it. Here are a few tips to help your kids navigate their way through their HSC year.
- Create healthy social habits. Encourage them to eat dinner with the family. Not only is this important to give them a break from their study, but also offers some emotional time out.
- Regular Bed Time. While meeting study deadlines is important, make sure your kids have a regular bed time schedule to get enough sleep. It may mean ensuring they go to bed at a reasonable hour 3 times a week. If sleep evades them, add an oil burner in their bedroom with 3-4 drops each of Lavender, Bergamot & Marjoram essential oils and light an hour or so before bedtime. These essential oils have relaxing, calming yet uplifting therapeutic value to help your child calm down before bed and get a good nights’s sleep.
- If your kids are too “wired” to sleep, encourage them to turn off their devices 1 hour before bed. If space allows, create a separation between their study and sleep areas, even if this is with a small partition.
- Epsom Salt Bath or Footbath. Studying is stressful, and the combination of stress and sitting in front of a computer for hours on end can result to stiff muscles and joints. Encourage your teen to take regular baths before bed with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts (and 3-4 drops Lavender essential oil). As Epsom salts are Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate – a natural, chemical-free muscle relaxant – the bath will sooth any aches and pains and help them relax so their are not so wired before bed.
- Support your kids to stay as healthy as possible throughout the year with nutritious, nourishing and filling food. Keep healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, vegetable sticks, protein bars, rice crackers and healthy dips on hand. When kids overload on junk food and sugar they can experience brain fog. Ensure they are also hydrated with plenty of water.
- Encourage them to have an active social life. Staying glued to their study books can be isolating and limiting. Quality time with mates offers them emotional peer support as well as a break from the heavy duty study. Encourage them to study with their friends for periods of time as another form of peer support. Keeping active socially and with sport is important to both their social and physical health.
- Keep a dialogue open with them about the broader things in life. While the HSC is an important year for them, remind them that they have so many options by way of careers in today’s world that are fulfilling and rewarding.
- Regular professional massages help relax the mind and body. A regular massage either before or after major exams (or both) gives your teen the opportunity to relax deeply. A massage calms the mind, eases any muscle tension and headaches resulting from heavy study and gives them a welcome breather. We recommend up to 1 hour for teens and private health rebates are available