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5 top tips for motivating your teen’s holiday revision (and when to ease off!)

With GCSE and A-level revision season officially upon us, it’s time to get your teen motivated.

That’s why this Easter break, we’re delving into how to motivate your teen to revise during school holidays.

We know you always want what’s best for your teen – so when it comes to revision success, how do you balance wanting to push them to do their best vs giving them enough of a break to relax? 

That’s where our top tips are here to help!

During holidays it can be especially tricky to get reluctant teens inspired by revision, so here are our 5 top tips to motivate your teen to revise this Easter Break (plus tips for when it’s time to ease off!):

  1. Help them find inner motivation
  2. Be their cheerleader
  3. Manage your stress too
  4. Understand their ‘why’
  5. Don’t forget the rest!

5 top tips for motivating your teen’s revision during holidays

First up, you might want to take a look at our guide: what type of revision parent are you? This fun article will help you identify what traits you tend to follow as a parent and help guide your tactics this Easter break.

1. Help them find their own motivation

While it’s tempting to lay down the law with your teen this holiday and set a strict revision timetable, it’s important to support them in this time to cultivate their own inner motivation.

Teens tend to prefer autonomy and are at an age where forcing them to revise can do more harm than good.

Instead, help them find their own reasons to want to study during break. Ask them questions about their future, their goals and how they want to feel once exams are over. Then use this to guide you.

Praise them for what they’ve done well, remind them of their successes and reiterate to them their own reasons for wanting to study – this can all build positive, teen-led motivation to study.

2. Be their cheerleader

The start of exams is a stressful time. And getting ahead with revision has lots of benefits but your teen will need some support along the way.

During holidays, it’s important to show your teen that you’re on their side and cheering them on. This means celebrating successes and helping build healthy study habits.

Think about how you’d want to be treated when you’re about to tackle a stressful time. Wouldn’t you want to know someone’s in your corner cheering you on and willing to sit with you when things get tough?

3. Manage your stress too!

As a parent, we know how easy it is to worry about your child. If they’re not revising during holidays or struggling to get motivated, it’s understandable that you might feel stressed on their behalf.

But if you want to motivate your teen, you’ll need to keep your own feelings in check. Too much stress can lead to burnout, so it’s important that you have somewhere to channel your worries so that you don’t pass on extra stress to your teen.

Your role is to guide them, not micromanage.

If they need more help there’s plenty of revision help available, including finding a tutor to support them. Check out our articles:

The ultimate guide to Easter Holiday revision 

14 of the best revision tips

How to create the ultimate revision timetable

And if they’re really not motivated, it might be time for them (and you) to take a break – more on that below!

4. Understand the ‘why’

If your teen isn’t engaging with revision during holidays, take some time to find out why.

This means spending some quality time with them, over a walk, a meal or in the car on the way out. Teenagers aren’t always the easiest to talk to but it’s important to give them space to talk about how they feel. You may find out what’s holding them back.

Many of us react to stress and anxiety by procrastinating or some teens may simply not know where to start. Once you understand where their lack of motivation is coming from, it’s much easier to formulate a response and help them get into holiday revision.

5. Don’t forget the rest!

This may be a key time in their academic lives, but they still have other needs too. So don’t forget about the rest of their lives! Socialising, hobbies and rest are all really important to keeping your teen motivated the break. 

In fact, rest and fun are fantastic stress busters that will help energise your teen for revision! So make sure they take a break and enjoy their holiday too.

It’s important your teen sets achievable goals around how much revising they can do during holidays. Then remind them to reward themselves. Teaching them to choose their own rewards will help improve their intrinsic motivation.

For example, if there’s a show they love, a friend they have fun with, or enjoy a walk in the park with the dog, encourage them to do that to break up and reward their hard work.

Signs it’s time to take a break!

As much as it’s important to motivate your teen during holidays, there are also signs they might just need a break.

Watch out for:

  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Overly emotional or withdrawn
  • Too much revision – yes it does exist!
  • Avoiding doing things they normally enjoy
  • Negative self-talk

These are all key signs of stress and if your teen is struggling, a break, a rest and some time to de-stress can be highly beneficial!

Motivating your teen to revise, even through holidays, isn’t impossible. With these top tips you can get your teen ready to go for exam season and beyond. And remember, finding a tutor can be a great way to make sure they’re getting dedicated time to revise with a friendly, near-peer tutor. If you don’t already have one, find your teen’s perfect tutor here.

More like this:

5 ways to help your teen revise

What style of revision parent are you? 

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