How to survive year 12 as a parent or carer
Looking after yourself
Year 12 isn’t only stressful for students; it can also be overwhelming for parents or carers. While you’re looking out for your teenagers, it’s important you don’t forget to take care of yourself. Stress and exhaustion can lead to strain on the whole family, just when your teenager needs you the most. Here are some tips on how to look after yourself:
- Tap into your support networks. If you have family or close friends who can step in from time to time to lend a hand, this will provide you with valuable time you can use to do what you need to do
- Find time to do the things you enjoy. Put aside a few hours every week for you to relax and do something fun. Call on your support networks if you need help getting away
- Exercise for 30 minutes a day. When there’s a lot going on, exercise might not seem like it’s at the top of your priority list. Physical activity, however, has a range of benefits on your physical and mental health, even if it’s just walking around the block a few times, or doing yoga in your bedroom
- Put time into your relationship. If you have a partner, find time for just the two of you. This could involve hanging out around the house, or going out for more exciting activities. If your relationship is in a good place, it will be easier to look after yourself and your child
- Get enough rest. 7-9 hours per night should do the trick.
Building a solid relationship
Developing a healthy and positive relationship with your teenager will make it easier to look after yourself, and to look out for them. Build your relationship by:
- Having honest chats. Let them know that you’re available to talk to them about whatever is on their mind
- Finding time for them. Put aside some time for the family every week, for example having meals together, or watching a movie on TV
- Sharing the load. Figure out together with your children how to divide household responsibilities fairly. This gives them an opportunity to negotiate, learn some important life skills, and you can enjoy the added bonus of having tasks shared around evenly.