At every stage in your child’s life, it can feel like there’s something new to worry about. You might worry that they won’t fit in at school, or that they’ll have a hard time finding a career that’ll set them up for a happy future. Your concerns can feel daunting, but the thing to remember is that you’re not alone. We’ve been talking to parents across the MyTutor community about their top worries when it comes to their children and how they manage them. Let’s dive in.
1. Academic success
Out of 500 parents we surveyed in June 2021, 89% were worried about their child’s grades. It doesn’t help that there have been disruptions to their studies in the last two years. And with the return of GCSEs and A level exams in 2022 — it might all feel overwhelming. The parents we surveyed want to support their teens through these big transitions at school, but have a hard time finding the hours in the day to help with homework and revisions. One parent said, ‘It helps to know I could reach out to others for support.’ That could be a teacher at school or tutors with expert knowledge. Another parent said it also helped to have resources at hand which are subject-specific, or more generally about exam prep and study skills.
2. Mental Health
It’s no surprise that with recent disruptions, 85% of our parents have said they’re worried about their teen’s mental health. Parents want their child to feel happy and centred. Your teen might have a lot to juggle— between school work, exams, friends, and extra-curriculars. A few parents in our survey mentioned how helpful it was to have regular talks with their child. A weekly catch-up over cake or hot chocolate to check-in, can work a treat in helping them prioritize, or to say what’s on their mind. They might need that extra support in knowing that it’s alright to lay some activities aside until things feel more settled.
3. Physical Health
Very closely related to mental health, 79% of parents worry about their teen’s physical wellbeing. All parents want their children to feel safe and healthy—to get the right amount of sleep and to eat nutritious food. A parent in our survey mentioned how replacing some of their teen’s screen time with walks at the weekend helped them both enjoy fresh air and exercise while bringing them closer together. Movement throughout the day encourages better sleep— something we all could use more of.
4. Social Life
Teens have a difficult time if they don’t feel accepted. 82% of parents mentioned their teen’s social life as a top worry. There can be cliques in school, and it’s challenging if your teen doesn’t see themselves as fitting in. ‘I just want my child to be happy,’ one of our parents said. That includes feeling part of a community. A helpful parent tip from our survey was to encourage teens to join a club where they’ll meet others with common interests—whether that’s sketching, yoga, ultimate frisbee or a ukulele ensemble. Sometimes, teens just need a mentor to talk to, someone close in age who understands what it’s like to be a teen, which can help boost their confidence.
It might seem far away, but 86% of our surveyed parents still worry about their teens’ careers. Choices about which subjects to take and what degree to study (if they go to uni) can all seem daunting. A good way to help your child decide which path to follow is to encourage them to reflect on their passions. What makes them tick? Speaking to a school careers advisor, or a role model, like one of our tutors who are in uni themselves, can help them explore different options. There are also webinars and taster courses on a variety of careers—whether through uni or an apprenticeship scheme. In both cases, it’s important to remember, as one parent said, ‘Nothing is set in stone. It’s normal for your child to change their mind down the line.’
A teen’s life, with its constant ups and downs can make parents understandably feel anxious. You want to do your best, but you feel stretched, or it can be hard to even know where to start. It helps knowing that you’re not the only one who is having these worries. As one of our parents put it, ‘We all go through it. Knowing there’s real support out there can be a life saver.’
Find out how MyTutor can support your teen today – book a free video meeting with one of our skilled tutors.