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What with exams and decisions to make about the future, teens can sometimes feel increased pressure at school. Here you’ll find information and advice to help you support and reassure them.

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Tips for supporting their learning

You can also find useful information on supporting your teen's learning on the Parentzone Scotland website, including advice on preparing for assessments.

Tip #1: Show an interest

Your teen may find it encouraging if you show an interest in what they’re learning at school. Without being pushy, try asking them about their studies. You don’t need to pretend to understand everything – they may enjoy telling you things you don’t know!

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Tip #2: Help them establish a routine

If your teen is learning from home, without the structure of the school day, it’s easy for usual routines to fall by the wayside. Try to help them establish a ‘school friendly’ routine at home, to balance study, exercise and down time.  Don’t just impose this though – agree on a sensible routine together. Being part of the decision-making process will make them feel more in control. 

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Tip #3: Reassure them that they will catch up

Many teens may have concerns about falling behind, or missing parts of the curriculum. Reassure them that teachers are very aware of this and will be doing everything they can to help pupils keep on track. 

In this short video, Dr Janet Goodall explains how all experiences help children learn, so there’s no such thing as ‘lost learning’.

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Tip #4: Help them find their study style

Different people learn in different ways, and the way your teen learns best may not be the way you learn best. This quiz from the Open University helps you work out your study style – you could both try it together and compare results!

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Tip #5: Give them space

You know your child best, and you’ll know when they need some encouragement, and when they need to be left alone to get on with things. Make sure they have time and space to do homework. This may involve keeping younger siblings busy so your teen can concentrate – our activities and games pages have lots of suggestions for this. 

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Tip #6: Let them relax

Nobody can work round the clock, so make sure your teen also has time to relax and recharge their batteries. Try to help them get a good balance between work and play.

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Keep in contact with the school

Schools aren't just there for students – they're there for you too. So if your teen feels overwhelmed by the amount of work they're being set, is struggling with their work, or you have worries about their mental health, contact your child’s school for advice – they will be happy to help and could even put together a support plan for your child.

If lockdown has been hard on your teen, it may help to let their school know. This could be the case if your family is dealing with bereavement or changes, such as job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. If you feel that your teen needs additional support or if you have concerns about their health and wellbeing, it’s important to let the school know as early as possible so that they can work with you to put any support in place which may help.

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Nowadays bullying isn't just confined to school. If you’re concerned about bullying, this page from the NSPCC has lots of information on preventing bullying, spotting the signs that your child may be being bullied, and how you can help them and get further support. The respectme website also has practical advice on your options, while Childline offers advice to young people on dealing with bullying.

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It's important to consider how you can help keep your teen safe online. Most people, especially teenagers, will be online more than ever – which isn’t a bad thing. It lets them keep in touch with their friends, have fun and supports their learning outside of school. But at the same time it's important that you know that they're safe while online. Our online safety section has lots of advice to help you.

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Exams and the future

Our section on coping with exams has lots of advice and information on how to help them deal with exam stress, revision tips and what to do once the results are in. 

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