How to help your Year 12 teenager stay on track

This year, more than ever, year 12 students need the support of their dads, families and extended school community.

We asked our ambassador Dr Tim Hawkes to assist with some guidance to help fathers and parents support their teenagers through this very challenging period made even more stressful due to COVID-19.

This is part one of a three part series.

How to help your Year 12 student through their final year of exams:

1. Be An Advisor

Being an advisor will take some diplomacy, because one of the key messages a dad needs to get across to their Year 12 child is that the final exams are not the ‘be all and end all’. Having said that, it’s also important for dads not to trivialise the importance of Year 12 exams, as they do play a role in the next step of their child’s life in some way.

The message dads need to give is that they want their teen to do their best, and if they do this, you will proud of them – whatever their score.

Going too soft is not the answer. Life serves up challenges and Year 12 exams are one of them. Learning to be held accountable and being ranked alongside others is going to happen more than once in their life. So it will not help them to shield the stress, but rather to put it into perspective. Remember the bigger picture, and help them manage a good study-life balance.

Going too hard is not the answer either. Year 12 exams are but one of the ways to get the job of their dreams. Indeed, more and more firms are hiring on the basis of an interview these days. Google, Apple, PwC, Tesla are just some of the large multinational firms who are no longer insisting on a degree, or even a stellar Year 12 result. What they want is evidence of creativity, teamwork, great ‘EQ’ skills and high IT capabilities.

In many ways, COVID-19 is helping to de-power the Year 12 exam angst. Several universities have decided to offer places based on Year 11 work and on the basis of an interview, rather than on Year 12 exam results.

So dads, be an ADVISOR that helps your teen to keep the exams in perspective.

It should encompass advice on wellbeing – such as getting to bed and tucking away at least eight hours of quality sleep each night, eating well and staying hydrated, exercising and taking well-timed breaks from study, kicking back and having some ‘me time’ listening to music, doing art, catching up with a friend, walking the dog, doing some cooking. Help them find a fun hobby during this stressful time – possibly something you can do together.

Next week we will look at part two of this three-part series: The Home Culture.

Enjoyed this article? Delve into the intricacies of fatherhood with a focus on back-to-school preparations. Our content serves as a reliable guide, offering insightful tips and expert guidance to navigate the challenges of getting your children ready for the school year. Explore valuable insights tailored to back-to-school preparation on our blog, ensuring a smooth transition for both you and your kids.


This article is one of a three-part series of tips to assist fathers and parents support their teenagers through the challenging exam period made even more stressful due to COVID-19.
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