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How to talk to my 12 yr DS who is very stressed with school work, potential school changes etc

2 replies

scrimmet · 12/11/2012 15:30

Hi My DS is a great boy but he is a worrier. He has had exams this week at school and is a scholarship class, the pressure is immense. He is very stressed. He is worried about the results, he is worried he won't meet our expectations. It doesn't matter how much I say it doesn't matter, he worries.

We are also planning on a school change, partly to take the pressure off but also for financial reasons. He is worrying about the move, about making friends and so on. We have talked about it and we are working on ways to make this transistion smooth.

I am doing my best to help him and be supportive (not asking him to do his chores while the exams are on, promising we will have a relaxin xmas etc) At the same time he is growing up and the hormones are kicking in. He can't wake up in the morning and when he is up he is so dozy! I am worried I can't talk to him in the same way, or that I am not getting through.

I really want to talk to him and break these issues down, find out what else is worrying him and help make sense of it all.

Can you help me? what approach should I take?


OP posts:
3nationsfamily · 16/11/2012 11:55

I sympathise with you as I have an 11 yr old DS who seems to be exactly the same at the moment! We moved him to a new school (on scholarship) for Y7 in Sept when all his friends went to the local comp he is now at a private all boys boarding school as a day pupil. He is having a lot of "what if.." moments and the grass seems greener where his "old" friends are. We are sure in the longer term we have made the right decision for him but right now he is finding it all a bit full on.
What has helped us is talking to the school. He has an academic tutor who has reassured him that the end of term tests are nothing to worry about, and has helped him to plan his time better to do his homework (which he had been stressing about- losign focus, not getting done in time etc). Also, he has a head of year who has been terrific in getting him to put things in perspective, hel[ping to cut back on some of the millions of extra curricular activities he has signed up to in a flurry of "new boy" enthusiasm but has been wearing him out.
At home we have been trying to keep things calm and low key, but enforcing 9pm bedtime and downtime before sleep where ipod/ games / tv etc turned off half an hour before hand. The sleep seems to be helping him cope.
He misses his old friends and he keeps in touch by phone and sees them when he can but he has very little free time during term. We are making a concerted effort to invite some of the boys round from the new school as well as planning play dates with his old pals for during the holidays.
It is a slow process at the moemnt but hopefully we are on our way to turning this around. It is a difficult age and a lot to cope with, so no wonder the poor kids struggle.
I don't know if any of this is any help to you, but at least know that you are not alone!!

scrimmet · 22/11/2012 18:14

Thanks for your notes. As you say we are not alone. I sat him down and we wrote 2 pages of things he was worrying about. Anyway he seems a lot more relaxed.
All you say is so helpful as I just need to remember I'm a good mum and that as a family we are supportive. The changes are challenging. But we will get through it!!

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