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How to help your child succeed in the Leaving Cert

It’s funny how times can change when we were teenagers, we thought our parents knew nothing and we were super intelligent and wise. Now fast forward a few years we have teenagers of our own and we got a chance to prove that we know so much. Of course, now we realize with hindsight that life is more complicated and the role of being a parent is truly challenging.

 If you as a parent decide to contact me I can certainly help you with one to one individual mentoring an extensive range of online video products that will allow your child to do the best they can. 

Role of Parents

The role of parents is very complicated and multifaceted, certainly many of us feel a primary role is that of the banker. It often strikes me that the children asking for money photocopying for the French teacher think that parents have the money tree that grows in the back garden that we go out at night to pluck the money from the tree when they’re asleep. As a parent of teenagers certainly, you’re expected to possess a magical car, one that is always taxed and insured, one that can hover over traffic and arrive on time for every football hurling swimming event that the child wishes to attend. 

The list is extensive of what you are needed for. If you have never sat before in a car outside a nightclub waiting for your teenage daughter, I can tell you it’s not the most enjoyable experience. Now add on top of that you’re expected to be an education consultant as well with full knowledge of points, grinds revision and timetables.

 Changing Times

The context with which we’re expected to carry out all of these tasks in the modern 21st century further complicates our roles. Long gone is the simple black form with two buttons to press to connect you to an operator, our young people are using multimedia devices that only existed in science fiction movies when we were younger. Rather than listening to radio shows with their finger on the record button on a rewindable cassette they now have media players that have access to thousands of films and thousands of albums on demand. The concept of even watching television has evaporated with platforms like Netflix Amazon. So in this brand-new high-tech Silicon world constantly evolving and rapidly changing we as parents are expected to carry out all of the above roles seamlessly and without stress.

I often tell parents however that there is no magic solution to bringing up a teenager and maximizing their results in school, knowing your child is really important and communicating with them so that you can see when difficulties may be arising. The number one piece of advice I give any parent is in your dealings with your young person: try to be calm, try to be positive at all times no matter how much you feel like killing your teenager at that very moment.

Parents should remember that the Leaving cert is just the start line for life, not the finish line and while certainly the number of points that you achieve after all those grinds revision timetables Easter revision courses are important in the direction you will go in life. The mental health and the confidence of the young person are of equal importance. In my journey through education for the past 30 years, I will say I have never met a student that is a student who can reach their potential who did not have a parent or parents who genuinely wanted their child to do well. In the online revision series that I have produced for this website there’s an interesting video that I’ve made but the 10 characteristics that the best students have I really hope you take an opportunity to watch the video.

In summary, they control their phone, it doesn’t control them, they have good sleep patterns. They plan carefully. They have a positive mindset. They use exam papers regularly. They understand how to set long- and short-term goals to maximize their potential in state exams secondary school. They are active students in school learning during the six hours. They realized that their time is finite in school and must be used carefully.

Don’t be a passive learner

I think one of the worst things I see in students is passive learners sitting staring at a book hoping that the material will go in. It is my experience that students are often told that a chapter in the book is very important and they must study hard. Frequently missing from this conversation is that there are six ways that you could learn this chapter. We constantly put expectations on our young people to do well in school. We constantly raise the pressure, yet we don’t give them the skills and opportunities to improve as students.

If your son or daughter is lucky enough to attend one of my study skills seminars or to follow our online study skills course, they will learn many positive techniques and tactics to allow them to maximize their results. If you take 1 positive habit, let’s say for instance the ability to revise, doing this for 10 minutes a day, six days a week, for a month and for nine months in a school year will allow your son or daughter to invest 36 hours of improvement using this new technique .the magic will happen with persistent consistent effort.


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