How to support teenagers through exams

How to support teenagers through exams

I’m the lucky parent to a teenager (don’t scoff, some of you baby mummy and daddies will be here too one day) and as I’ve said many times before, bringing up a teenager is tough. Where my safety worries were once confined to determining the correct size of a grape & teaching road safety, I now find myself caught up in the giddy world of spots, safe sex & exam stress. It’s scary stuff I’m telling you. Scary, scary stuff.

As a teenager,  I always pictured myself being a cool, carefree mum that let their kids make their own choices & never interfered with school work or friendship choices. That philosophy changed virtually the day after I found myself on the other side of the fence and became a real life parent.

In reality, teenagers need as much support, guidance and coercion than toddlers. What no one warns you about is that while their brains go through a massive pruning process that leaves them unable to do things that we, as adults, find relatively easy.

Unfortunately teenagers don’t always see the bigger picture, not all are like this, I’m not generalizing every teenager, just my own experience in parenting one and being one. They can, at times, make the wrong life choices, like playing the Xbox for 6 hours straight instead of completing their homework or being influenced into doing things that could prove dangerous, like drink, drugs or showing off immature driving skills. (Not had the pleasure of those 3 yet, luckily)

Scary stuff, like I said.

And while I’m not being a helicopter parent, I am keeping a watchful eye. I issue constant homework reminders and bed time ‘suggestions’ (usually via Facebook messenger as you can see if they’re online when they should be asleep!)  I will say that safeguarding your teenager should never be undervalued. It’s how you do it though that makes the difference to how successful you are.

So when it comes to exam times, teenagers are under considerable stress, whether they put pressure on themselves or if parents and teachers are doing it and this is not great for their mental or physical health. As a parent there are a few things you can do such as;

theres so much you can be doing to help teenagers during exam time. heres some examples

  1. making sure they are eating properly, no one learns anything on an empty stomach. healthy breakfasts in the morning and sending them to school with snacks will get them of to a good start. Vitamin supplements are always a good idea too and and good quality ones, like these Teen Boy vitamins from Wild Nutrition which my don takes are specially tailored for the extra nutrients they need while their bodies are still developing. 
  2. making time for them to talk and offload,
  3. encouraging them to get lots of fresh air and take breaks if they are cramming in revision,
  4. Helping them see the bigger picture (what you put in you’ll get out.) and how there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  5. Letting them off some of their chores
  6. and keeping the house as distraction and noise free as you possibly can.
  7. I even helped tidy my son’s room and rearranged his revision notes into subject piles so he can access the right information without ploughing through a mass of stray bits of paper and books.
  8. Printing the timetable out and putting it on the fridge, with seat number and room helps you know which subject is coming up.
  9. And remembering to leave any negativity and nagging to weekends. The worst thing you can do as they leave the house in the morning is to tell them off for leaving the milk out. They really don’t want to be worrying or cross.
  10. Try creating a learning rich environment, allow them to put mind maps, revision notes around the house – on the bathroom mirror, the fridge and the bedroom door. There are even aromatherapy oils you can burn or sprinkle on a tissue to leave in their pocket which help calm nerves and aid concentration, Frankincense and rosewood are 2 I’m using. (this blog post will tell you more)

I remember all too well cramming in revision for my Degree,  living and breathing mind maps, scribbled notes and spider charts. It’s such an important time of their life right now so making everything else at home a little easier for them is the least you can do.


How to support teenagers with exam revision using an online revision course by Mum in a nutshell




  1. 25th March 2015 / 1:34 pm

    That sounds like a great idea to help teenagers with revising for exams, particularly as so much that they do these days is online. Hope all goes well with your teenager’s exams. #sharewithme

    • 25th March 2015 / 1:50 pm

      Thanks Louise, I think its all about finding things that work for them as ultimately everyone’s unique so may or may not suit everyone.

  2. 25th March 2015 / 1:49 pm

    Cannot agree more with you on the whole bringing up teenagers is as hard as bringing up toddlers, thing! I’m in the thick of it right now with two, and we are also in the midst of exams. It’s hard to get it right isn’t it? I do remind but not nag. We will see once the mock results come out! x

    • 25th March 2015 / 1:57 pm

      It’s such a mine field, just as you think you’ve got it right, it’s all change again. Best of you (to you all!)

  3. 27th March 2015 / 10:05 am

    I dread my children becoming teenagers because I know I caused wuite a bit of trouble when I was a teenager. As an adult, i. So annoyed at myself for not putting more effort in with my GCSEs and a levels! Great tips for helping your children revise x

    • 27th March 2015 / 3:14 pm

      Thanks Lauren, I was a wild teen too so due done serious pay back!

  4. 27th March 2015 / 3:15 pm

    That’s brilliant tips, I can add them to the post with a link to your blog if you like?

  5. Jenny
    28th March 2015 / 9:50 am

    Brilliant post and great advice. I will keep that in mind when my two start school. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  6. 28th March 2015 / 2:56 pm

    This is a really interesting post. I’m in the throws of the toddler tantrums at the moment, so in some ways I’m looking forward to when it gets “easier”.

    Your post has made me realise how much work there still will be to do, when I am the mother of teenagers.

    • 28th March 2015 / 4:20 pm

      I think everything you experience with a toddler is great practice for having a teenager!

  7. 29th March 2015 / 10:53 pm

    What a great post – such a good idea to put together tips. I will need to use this in a few years time. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo

    • 30th March 2015 / 6:54 am

      Thanks Victoria, hoping it helps some parents out there and must remember it for my own son.

  8. al
    30th March 2015 / 9:32 am

    Sure this will be a great help for parents of teenagers. I cannot imagine how scary it must be and ill be looking for lots of tips when the time comes. Thanks for sharing this and linking up #bigfatlinky

    • 30th March 2015 / 9:35 am

      It’s bitter sweet as you’re seeing your ‘Baby’ grow up but lovely as this is what you’ve been preparing them for.

  9. 30th March 2015 / 9:38 am

    I’ll have to remember this for when my eldest is in the same position. It’s scary enough that he starts secondary school in September!

    Mind you at almost 11, he already thinks he is a teenager, and I am getting hints of the challenge ahead with him…arghhh..

    Stevie x

    • 30th March 2015 / 12:53 pm

      My tween starts secondary school in September too. I’m so nervous for him as he isn’t going with a big group like his brother.

  10. 31st March 2015 / 9:03 am

    Im the lucky parent of a toddler and a teen haha. Great advice #KidTested

  11. 31st March 2015 / 10:17 am

    my eldest turned 10 a few weeks ago, I am dreading his teenage years. #KidTested

    • 31st March 2015 / 11:02 am

      Fore warned is fore armed but to be honest it’s not as bad I was expecting

  12. 2nd April 2015 / 7:20 pm

    Really great tips there. I’m amazed at what a bargain this tuition is, hope it helps you kids in the revising battle #kidtested

    • 2nd April 2015 / 7:56 pm

      The price is fantastic and so nice that it’s an opportunity that lots of families can afford.

  13. 3rd April 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Brilliant idea. I worry about knowing enough about the subjects when J is old enough for exams. This would ensure he gets the right answers! Thanks for hosting and linking to #KidTested 😉

  14. 17th April 2016 / 3:07 pm

    We are going through this at the moment and we are finding it tough to balance the needs of the teen and that of the little ones. School are putting on an extreme amount of pressure too

  15. 30th May 2016 / 6:21 pm

    Great post and such good tips. I’ve shared on my FB also – I think people don’t always realise that teens need just as much careful parenting as the small ones. My 14 year old is in the midst of exams and you’ve reminded me to make her life a bit easier 🙂

    • 3rd June 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Absolutely! More so than ever right now too. Thank you for sharing x

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