Did you know what you wanted to do before you finished high school? It’s probably the question today’s HSC students are asked most often and dislike the most. Everyone from relatives to strangers wants to know.
There are many paths to a rewarding future career, be it work, an apprenticeship, travel, TAFE, university or voluntary work. There is also myriad opportunities for mature-aged students once they’ve gained ‘real-life’ experience.
Some students need a long-term goal, others are happy to do their best anyway. You know your children – use this knowledge to find the right motivation during the HSC as it can be a stressful for a family, too.
Try to give support to your child without adding extra pressure. Encourage them to ‘do their best’. School, relatives, friends, media all tell students about the ‘importance’ of the HSC … so they get the message. At home they need support, not added stress.
Remember that it’s their HSC, not yours. Offer them healthy meals and snacks, a quiet place to study, financial support if possible so that part-time work doesn’t interfere, encourage them to keep up their sport, exercise, socialising and be part of family activities when they can.
In our rapidly changing society, we need more than just technical skills and knowledge. Valued ‘soft-skills’ include flexibility, adaptability, creativity, teamwork, leadership, problem solving, negotiation and conflict resolution, communication and a positive attitude. As the parent, lead by example and reassure your young person that an exam mark does not define them.
The pressure of one year should never hurt their self-esteem or your family relationships. Check in with them regularly and ask them how they are doing. Reassure them that you love and support them long after the exams are over and that even if things do not go as planned, life is full of second chances.
The Council of Catholic School Parents, NSW Parents Council and Federation of P and C Associations of NSW