It’s really hard to be a student.
- You don’t have a choice over how your day goes.
- You have to ask permission for everything.
- It’s easy to feel like your day is full of people trying to catch your mistakes.
- You are constantly being evaluated.
- You have a full day of class, then a full night of homework.
- You are told that colleges want extracurriculars.
- You are told that colleges want good grades.
- You are told that colleges want BOTH extracurriculars and good grades.
- You are figuring out who you are.
- You are having your first friends.
- You are having your first fights.
- Your brain is still developing.
- You are tired.
- Your body is growing.
- You’re so aware of your body.
- You’re hungry.
- You’re hungry, and have precious little time to eat.
- You love your parents.
- Your parents drive you absolutely nuts.
- You fight sometimes.
- You’re trying to find your people, and that’s hard.
- You’re trying to find YOURSELF, and that’s even harder.
- You’re surrounded by people who want different things from you.
- You make mistakes.
If you are a student, tell someone if this stuff is getting to you.
If you are an adult with a student in your life, listen closely. Take it seriously. Re-read the list above, and put yourself back in that position. Connect with how hard it is, and think about what you can do to support your student:
- Help them set boundaries.
- Make sure they are resting.
- Help them set boundaries on their time.
- Give them a break sometimes.
- Give them good healthy snacks.
- Consult with a professional. We can help.
- Try some therapy. Therapy is listening, supporting, and brainstorming ways to help.
- Get an evaluation. If school feels impossible, evaluations can help you pinpoint what is going on and figure out how to help.
It’s Hard to be the Parent of a Student. We Can Help.
Parenting is a full-time job and then some.
- You are trying.
- You are trying to help them develop.
- You want them to be resilient.
- You want them to learn.
- You have your own stress.
- You are managing a lot (schedules, plans, futures, meals, feelings, sports, supplies).
- You are trying to set them up for the best possible future.
- You lose your patience.
- You’ve lived a life with your own mistakes, and you wish you could save them from the same pain
- You don’t always understand why they’re blowing up.
- You don’t always have the energy to handle when they’re blowing up.
- You don’t always know what you should do when they’re blowing up.
- You feel like you can’t always afford to let them off the hook.
- You worry about their grades.
- You worry about their futures.
- You have to manage their screen time.
- You have to keep them safe.
- You have to know what they have to get done.
- You have to let them develop their own independence.
- You’re constantly stuck between how much to help and how much to let them figure it out.
- You are exhausted.
- You doubt yourself.
- You make mistakes.
- You lose your patience. (Did we already mention that?)
- You’re getting feedback from all over about what you’re supposed to be doing.
- You don’t have any idea where to start with all of the things you’re “supposed to be doing.”
- You get stuck in the social media world and feel like other parents have it figured out.
- You know what helps you, and try to offer it to them (sometimes it works, sometimes not).
- You love them so much.
- You’re doing your best.
We get it. We’re here for your students. We’re here for you, too.
Let us know if you want to talk. Let us know if you want to talk about your student. Let us know if you want to talk about yourself. We can help you figure out what’s going on with them. We can help support them. We can help support you. We can help you all interact better. We’re here.
Author: Mollie Burke
Dr. Burke is a Psychologist at Hope Springs Behavioral Consultants. Her theoretical orientation is Existential-Humanistic. She acknowledges the inherent struggles, difficulties, and hardships of life. However, her approach also emphasizes the incredible ability of human beings to endure these issues to lead purposeful and intentional lives. Basically, she believes that life is hard, but humans are amazing. (We think she is pretty amazing too.)
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