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7 tips to manage procrastination and support teens revising for exams

Holistic tips to support your teen’s revision

“I’m exhausted, I can’t focus”

“I’m too tired to get up”

“I think I’ll just clean my desk it’s mucky”

“I need to organise my notes before I revise”

I meet a lot of parents who have teenagers going through exams. Almost without exception their biggest frustration is how their child has turned into a last minute merchant, with a whole range of reasons not to get on with course work or revision. It’s SO frustrating as a parent to see them “wasting time”, “messing up their chances” or just plain putting it off.

These young people may appear lazy but they aren’t, they’re paralysed by fear – FEAR OF FAILURE. And at the root of the procrastination is the opposite of laziness, it’s perfectionism. Now’s not the time to worry about what’s led to this pattern of behaviour, my aim is to give holistic support to both sides of the family, parents and teens, to lower the stress all round, because this is a stressful time for everyone.

Manage stress levels: Why not try homeopathic support for this. Parents, let’s start with you. In my opinion the most important thing you can do is take responsibility for reducing your own stress levels. Helios homeopathic pharmacy produce an excellent combination remedy called Stress relief which contains 3 remedies which have great reputations for reducing the symptoms of stress.

For our young people there’s Bach Rescue Remedy and similar flower essence sprays/drops such as Emergency Essence which are great when everything gets too much, and they can give themselves drops when they need. There’s also a fantastic homeopathic remedy called Lycopodium which might reduce symptoms which look like this: well behaved at school but shouty and dictatorial at home; find it hard to focus and very good at making excuses for not getting on with tasks; starving hungry then full after a few mouthfuls; bloated stomach and full of wind; keen on sweets; at their worst late afternoon to early evening, around 4-8pm; regularly gets the ‘midnight munchies’.

A registered homeopath will have far more remedies up their sleeve, and a visit for yourself and/or your child would give you individually targeted support.

Relinquish control: It’s not helpful to stand over our teens and try to make them work. They have to find their own motivation and by calmly stepping back and supporting them it can become easier for them to step up to the task.

Make the mountain smaller: Each day begins with hours of potential work time stretching before our teens. To someone who’s fundamentally petrified a whole day can seem too much to contemplate: how about asking them what their best time of day for work is? Maybe suggest they focus on working just for that small window, eg. 11am till 1pm, and aim to complete 1 specific thing? 1 thing successfully completed is better than 10 things put off and not started, right?

Reinforce unconditional love: The charity Young Minds makes the great point – we know we love our children no matter what, but our teens might have lost sight of that since society places such great store by academic achievement. Make sure your child knows you’ll still love them if things don’t go well for them on the day, and plan to celebrate reaching the end of the exams, rather than waiting for results day.
Encourage regular breaks and exercise: Exercise gets more oxygen and blood to the brain, warms us up and helps with those feel-good hormones too. Breaks in general give brains the chance to rest and consolidate the information which has been learned just beforehand. So breaks increase productivity!

Bolster confidence: Help them realise how much they do know and can do; support their goal setting and planning by asking what help they need and checking they feel OK to embark on their session.

Encourage good nutrition: Brains need healthy fats to function at their best. If your teen isn’t keen on fish try an omega 3 supplement instead; high sugar loads can destabilise blood sugar which certainly won’t aid concentration; and our whole body functions better when well hydrated so plenty of water is so important.

So there you have it, 7 tips to support teens during the lead-up to exams. If you take one thing from this article please let it be that no teen wants to procrastinate, they are too afraid not to, though few would admit that; they need us to be grown ups and support them in their life journey. Why not try homeopathic remedies to ease the tensions and make this easier?

About Dorothy
I’m an educator and homeopath with a background in teaching and science. I run my busy practice near London where I enjoy working with both individuals and families, and I’m passionate about empowering you to make decisions about your own health.

This information is provided for educational purposes only, it is not a replacement for a consultation with a healthcare professional. It is your responsibility to seek professional advice for all serious injuries or illnesses.