Snooze your way to better A levels

What happens outside the classroom plays a vital role in exam success. We examine why.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:03 pm
There's more to exam results than just studying

Being a teenager is difficult – there are big life decisions to make, changes to tackle and problems to overcome. So how do you support your teenager without intruding on theirgrowing independence?

“There are lots of tips to support your teenager through those difficult times that young people go through to enable them to be happy and successful,” said David Darby, from St John Rigby College.

“There are ways to let them get where they want to be and make the journey a happy one because happy students are successful students.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Working Together

Rules and structure are important to any child’s life but with teenagers it is particularly important to negotiate clear and fair rules and allow them to be involved in setting them. By involving your teenager in the decision-making process you are not only making it more likely that they will stick to the rules you set but also respecting their increasing maturity.

Getting a good night’s sleep

We all know that most teenagers enjoy a lie-in but sleep is about more than just resting – it is key to their health and wellbeing. On average, teenagers need from nine to nine-and- a-half hours sleep a night. Being well rested makes it easier for them to deal with emotional issues and focus on studying. Undertaking at least one hour of physical exercise a day, will not only help improve their health, it also encourages a good night’s sleep at the end of the day.

Promoting a healthy diet

As parents, it can feel like your teenager is determined to eat you out of house and home at any given opportunity. However, the changes their bodies are going through means a healthy, balanced diet is key to keeping them fit and well. It doesn’t mean banning their favourite foods – which is unlikely to work anyway as they become more independent – but promoting healthy choices and regular meals. Breakfast not only gives key vitamins and minerals needed for good health it also gives them the energy to focus throughout the day. If your teenager is feeling tired and run down it might be due to a lack of iron. Teenage girls are especially at risk as they lose iron during their periods so look at iron-rich foods like red meat, fortified breakfast cereal and bread.

Achieving a balance

Help your teenager achieve a healthy balance between study, work and play. This might mean looking at how many nights a week they are out doing things, how much relaxation time they have or how much they contribute around the house. Study schedules, with clear,achievable targets set by them, can be a good way to ensure your teenager achieves their goals without feeling like they spend all day at a desk.

Find out more

For more information about how you can support young people and work together with your teenager, attend the Parents Conference at St John Rigby College from 10am to 1.30pm on November 12. For more information, visit