Having a 15-year-old daughter at the best of times can be challenging, add in homeschooling and Covid and we have a whole set of extra dramas and challenges!

My daughter is in her most important school years whilst this Global Pandemic is happening. For her first year of GCSE’s, year 10, she missed 6 months of schooling and for her year 11, so far we have had a firebreak, lockdowns and school groups sent home to self-isolate. All parents and children have had to learn to deal with a mix of normal schooling and online lessons.  

As a parent of a child who is now facing anxiety over GCSE’s what can I say and do to reassure her?  

How are children viewing the world and what is our role in helping them through this time?

We have all looked at the negatives, the loss of so much education, missed opportunities, worries over colleges and university places but with the right support from parents, relatives, education, and the government these can be addressed.

I have looked at my own daughter, friends’ children, nieces, and nephews and the one thing I have learnt is that children are so resilient. Children view the world with eagerness, and enthusiasm.  

Children adapted to the changes due to COVID far easier than adults. They had to cope with home schooling and not seeing friends, but they learnt to adapt and accept. Bedrooms became classrooms, facetime chats, taking part in family quiz nights, making things and going on walks with their family.

“The future generation will be the leaders of tomorrow” – Nelson Mandela.

 As parent, grandparents, relatives, or friends, we need to support and ensure the next generation have the emotional and educational tools to build successful futures and a thriving economy for this country.

Whilst we cannot ignore what is happening in the world, let’s also celebrate the wonderful acts of kindness, charity and solidarity such as Sir Tom Moore, clapping and celebrating the NHS and our frontline workers, people delivering food packages, Joe Wicks fitness classes and the fun ways celebrities and people around the world have found to entertain us.

We may need to be more patient, show more empathy, provide more of our time, grandparents may need to help parents trying to work from home and home school.

We need to show that there is always hope, hope that the next couple of months and years will be easier. We have learnt to slow down and appreciate what we have more, lets do the same for children, focus on positives rather than negatives.

  • Teach them that the glass can be half full, not half empty.  
  • Teach children that its ok to be scared and emotional and wonder why life cannot just go back to being normal, we as adults have felt the same.
  • Tell them it is ok to be angry and frustrated but that its always better to talk and open up when they feel like that.
  • We need to teach them that sometimes its ok to feel things are unfair, but we need to also remind them that these feelings will pass and to remember this saying “When it rains, look for rainbows, when its dark, look for the stars”

Life will always throw us curve balls; we just need to be prepared as best as we can. We cannot predict the future unfortunately, but we can put the tools in place to make the ride a bit smoother.

So, when my daughter tells me she is worried about her GCSE’s I am going to do all I can to reassure her. Doing her GCSE’s through this global pandemic has been hard but we will get through it together.

We’ve all got different challenges we face – but sharing ideas and experiences can help. If you know a child going through their exams in the next few months, just reach out and check how they are doing and try and inject a little positivity into their day!