Watching a child struggle through GCSE preparation can be difficult for parents and knowing what to do support them or whether or not to offer any kind of guidance can be a worry. So can seeing them suffer from the stresses of exam pressure.

If you’re also feeling the stress of GCSE exam and mock exams, here are a few ways that will enable you to support your child through the exam period, as well as give you a little peace of mind of your own:

Know what they’re doing

The exams you took and the methods you used to study when you were younger may no longer be relevant to your child’s learning. Keeping up to date with the curriculum, the GCSE process itself and different study methods that you can do with your child will better equip you to navigate this period of their academic career. Any assistance you can offer your child will benefit them greatly, and every bit of extra information helps.

Help with revision

There are numerous different ways that you can help your child study for their GCSEs or mock exams. Making sure they are getting enough sleep and are eating healthily is one way. Another is to keep up to date with equipment, revision books and other available study aids. Helping your child make schedules and flash cards, and testing them on things they have been revising, is a great way to support them and relieves some of the sense of isolation that revising solo can bring.

Offer support

Teenagers don’t always want to talk to their parents about things that are bothering them, but it’s important to let them know that you will be there for them when they need it the most. If you feel like your child is struggling, offer help. Ask questions. Get involved. Provide them with a distraction if you feel like they need a break. These seem like small efforts, but every inch of emotional support will be invaluable.

Don’t criticise failure

We don’t always realise that we’re being critical until those awful words have already come out of our mouth. Your child will be particularly sensitive over the next few months, so rather than say things like “you’re not trying hard enough,” opt to recognise what they have done and motivate them to push themselves a bit harder instead. If they are struggling, offer your support rather than pressure them into working harder. Try and reassure your child that failure is the first step to success, and there will still be many options available to them if they do not achieve the grades they’ve been working for.