A message to parents of Year 11 children returning to school.
Today is ‘back to school’ for many Year 11 children. They are likely to have had their mock exams before Christmas and will be being reminded by teachers how little time there is left between today and the GCSE exams starting for real. This blog is about GCSE-anxiety.
It is a stressful time for a young people, and the majority will get through it both successfully and unscathed. However, for a small number that will not be the case.
I am a counsellor who specialises in working with young people. If I am honest, counselling is probably the wrong word in the context of GCSEs and anxiety. It’s more about the ability for a young person to offload their worries in a safe environment. Key is being secure in the knowledge that their friends won’t find out, and that the person they are talking to will not be judgemental.
As I said, most Year 11 children will come through the year without a problem. For others who find it more challenging, it is likely just to be a temporary issue. The signs that a child might be struggling are:
- Insomnia – continuous nights of being unable to sleep, the worry of what is to come causing anxiety.
- Self-harm – marks, scratches, cuts. An indication of inner worries, and no easy means of expressing feelings or emotions.
- Introspection – a normally outgoing child withdraws into his or herself.
Dealing with GCSE-related anxiety
Talking therapies are highly effective methods of working with 15 and 16 year olds. A trained person (not Mum or Dad,) asking how you are feeling can be all it needs for a child to open up. A safe environment to offload all of the weight of their anxieties, to get things ‘off their chest’. Doing so in a safe space, that is confidential, where peer groups need never know they had ever visited.
Concerned about your child?
GCSE-related anxieties can be very intense but ultimately are short-lived. If you are concerned about your child and just want to talk to me in the first instance, without any obligation then please do call or email or complete the enquiry box opposite.