How can I help my child when they are under pressure?

Modern day students are surrounded by pressures: socially to fit in and by on trend; behaviourally at school and at home; passing exams and achieving good grades; having a cool social media presence; keeping up with the latest technology and Youtubers.

Many parents and carers turn to tutors to balance any needs that a student may have. If the student achieves highly, surely that will help their future and their mental health!

Having worked as a tutor for many years, I believe there is great value in having extra help for a given subject. However, to help bridge that gap between child and adult, to give young people skills to open up the world to independent, considered choices, I would even more loudly sing the virtues of a coach for students.

In the last few years, numbering amongst the range of issues I have seen as a coach with this age group have been:

· Communication with parents and family members

· Not wishing to go to school

· ‘Playing around’ in class and being led by the ‘cool’ gang

· Stressing about exams and tests

· Entrance exam anxiety

· Traumas at university

· Social media addiction and risky behaviours.

Most of the students I have ever tutored have been very capable. They have come to me because they (or their parents) have wanted them to attain certain grades. Great, I can teach you how to form the pluperfect tense in French or Spanish, but usually the student knows full well how to do that. They have learnt lots of ‘learning strategies’ in their lives and are either already incredibly capable or are very skilled at not showing their ability yet. What is often lacking is that they don’t know is why they are studying, there is often a lack of meaningful reason behind the learning.

Do you remember when you were just told to do something: eat in a certain way at the dining table, brush your teeth daily, take Vitamin C. Don’t you need to know why? And, even better, have you ever decided to research how to do something, found the answer yourself and then done it. Which is the most effective way forward?

Adults tend to perpetuate the parent child relationship…..probably for life. That is why it is not a parent’s job to be their child’s coach (believe me, I’ve tried). The child is growing into an adult and having the recognition of that fact is so important. Give the child reason, choice and ask them for their reason and choice and the result is amazing.

Of course, at times we don’t know why we act in a certain way, why we slam doors when we’re told to brush our teeth, shout when the Xbox has to be turned off, feel competitive with our friends or siblings. That is also the skill of a coach. I help my young adults to see the patterns they are creating and the meaning behind them; this is when people can create their own choice.

The best bit, for me, young people are so quick and receptive to change. The students I have worked with have, without exception, been very happy to see what pattern they are creating and then are super creative at finding alternatives.

So tutoring has its place and is a perfect way of intensive training in one field: coaching is a perfect solution for enhancing choice, independence and therefore creating all round results, wellbeing and maturity.

For more information about my student coaching programme, visit: