Year 12 is a significant year for students. As they go through their final year of high school, sit end-of-school exams and make key decisions about their future, their year may be full of nerves and high-pressure moments. This makes your involvement in your child’s life at this time even more important. To help you, we’ve put together six ways to support your child during Year 12.
By Deborah Williams, Academic Dean, Trinity Grammar School
It has become common place to talk about the importance of engaging young people in learning, but it is perhaps equally as common to find very different ideas about what student engagement actually means, and who is responsible for it.
Learning how to manage stress so that it doesn’t manage you, is an important life skill. It is normal to feel stressed or anxious during exams. The key to managing stress during exams is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep perspective in check and ensure you are prepared.
According to the Australian Government’s 2015 Mental Health of Children and Adolescents Report, almost three percent of Australian children aged four to 17 met diagnostic criteria for a major depressive order, with adolescents aged 12 to 17 at greatest risk. The report also found that approximately seven percent of young people aged four to 17 had an anxiety disorder.
Events such as R U OK? Day, remind us to be aware of each other’s mental health and wellbeing. While experiencing social and emotional difficulties is a natural part of growing up for children, sometimes symptoms display for an extended period of time or begin to interfere with everyday life, indicating more serious mental health concerns.
A healthy dose of confidence is vital to a child’s social and emotional development. A positive sense of self-worth is also critical to learning and academic success.
Confident people are usually authentic and express themselves and their opinions freely when the situation warrants it. Confidence generally leads to a happy and fulfilling life which is what we ultimately seek for our children. A lack of confidence can be symptomatic of anxiety and depression and so needs to be managed carefully.
For the most part, parents will instinctively know when their child is too sick for school. But there are always grey areas and scenarios which may cause you to question your judgement.
In the first instance, parents need to consider if their child could be contagious. You will also need to ensure he is well enough to participate in a full day of school activities and that a teacher will be able to provide the care he requires without impacting the rest of the class. Sometimes it can be hard to know how to tell if your child is too sick for school.
‘Mindfulness’ is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular particularly with educators and employers.
Mindfulness, the act of maintaining a present moment of awareness through means such as meditation, breathing or relaxation, is certainly not a new psychological phenomenon.
It has, however, been given a lot of weight by schools that are focused more than ever on health, wellbeing and educating ‘the whole student’. For Christians, mindfulness also allows us to better use our space and time to be quiet in the presence of God in prayer.
According to the Australian Government’s Mental Health of Children and Adolescents Report, in the 12 months prior to the survey around one in seven children and adolescents aged four to 17 years experienced a mental disorder. This is equivalent to an estimated 560,000 Australian children and adolescents. The report found the prevalence of mental disorders varied considerably between males and females, with 16 percent of males and 12 percent of females having had a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.
Talking about mental health and wellbeing with children isn’t always easy, but it is important so they understand what mental health is, how to maintain it and what to do if it goes wrong.
Suniya Luthar, a psychology professor at Columbia University, has done extensive studies on the role of extracurricular activities in children’s lives. She says, “It’s good for kids to be scheduled. It’s good for them to have musical activities, sports or other things organised and supervised by an adult.” Outside activities make a child well-rounded. Not to mention it provides them with skills such as playing music or speaking another language which have been shown to improve learning in general. Sporting activities can help to keep children healthy both physically and mentally.