Help your Student Finish the Semester Strong
Right now our students are super stressed with school. Whether they are in high school or college, doesn’t matter, they are maxed out. Now if your middle schooler is anything like mine, he’s just stressed out about having to get up and actually go to school (insert rolling eyes).
So, what can we do as parents to help our kids through this crazy time of year? Here are a few ideas…
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Encouragement is helpful, and can go a long way towards your child keeping on with their work. I find that If I nag, then we get into a fight, and that goes nowhere fast. So, the next time your grouchy teen snaps at you, take a deep breath, count to 10 (or 50 or 100), and respond in a non-snappy way. I know, easier said than done, because I am the queen of snapping! Hang in there, deal with the current situation, then go open a nice bottle of red!
Ask what you can do to help.
Maybe, for now, you could expect less from them around the house so that they aren’t having to deal with as much for the moment. Stock their favorite snacks in the pantry and fridge for easy access. My boys like me to even serve them in their rooms on a tray–I try to get seasonal party plates and cups for cookies, cheese and crackers or any other goodies. This is the only time that I do this, so it’s fun to order things that I wouldn’t normally have in the house.
Know their schedule.
Send quick texts if your kids are away at school at times you know they would be between classes. Send them a card or care package, healthy and not so healthy, to ease the pain of studying. They LOVE this! If they are still at home, planing a snack or meal when you know they have time for a break will go a long way towards a more energized student. I know my boys tend towards hangry when studying and stressed, so keeping them fed is almost a full time job:)
Make them take a break every now and then.
Everyone needs a break. I know one of my boys would never think to take a break, and would get mad if I even suggested it. But, make this happen occasionally, and they might just thank you later. Watch a favorite episode or movie. Bake a batch of cookies together. Run up to their favorite fast food joint together and let them order what they want. Even just giving a quick hug or high five can be all the affirmation that they might need. Any of these activities would be great for getting their mind off of school just for a while. Then they can go back to work refreshed.
Post a sticky note.
Put it on their bathroom mirror or on their desk with a motivational quote or verse. My boys have often left these for months because they knew I was thinking of them!
if your kiddo is away, even out of college and in a stressful period with maybe a first job, you can do something similar. Send them a card with some encouraging words. It is always so fun to actually get snail mail, and I bet they keep it!
I still have a silly card my dad sent me when I was in college during some stressful period-probably finals. I love the fact that my dad took the time to write it (even though he mentions that my mom told him to!) It meant the world to me!
Make them breakfast.
This seems like a no brainer, but a lot of kids skip this meal. I fix breakfast during the week for my boys for that reason alone. If you aren’t in this habit, make the time to until finals are over. Feed their bodies and their brains. Cooking is the way I show my love to my family. I love to cook, and it makes my heart happy to feed everyone. If you’re not into cooking, then maybe put out some easy snack food for your teens before bed so that it’s there in the morning to grab as they run out the door. They will know you’ve thought of them and maybe they’ll eat a little something–bonus! (BTW-my boys are all great cooks, I just like to start my day with them in the kitchen during the week.)
Give them grace.
They will be tired and most likely grouchy during this time. Encourage them to get enough sleep. Make sure they are eating enough of the right things. Let them know you love them. Be patient.
This too shall pass. Every finals season, I feel like I’m taking them too because the stress is almost contagious!! Deal with it a minute at a time, then go hide in your room with your latest Netflix binge!
Hang in there, mamas, you got this! Go give your kid a hug:)
Do you have any strategies that have worked for you during this time of year? Please share!