Addressing Mental Health Issues For Your Teen: Here Are 5 Warning Signs And Solutions!

Addressing Mental Health Issues For Your Teen: Here Are 5 Warning Signs And Solutions!

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As a parent, nurturing your child’s mental well-being is extremely important. In today’s world, it’s crucial to recognise the subtle warning signs that may indicate your child is struggling mentally. There are various signs that your child’s mental health could be declining, but first, it’s important to understand what exactly mental health in children means.

Mental health in children encompasses their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences how they think, feel, and behave, impacting their ability to cope with stress, form relationships, and navigate daily challenges.

A recent survey reveals that one in five children and young people in England aged eight to 25 likely experienced a mental disorder in 2023. The report titled “The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2023,” released by NHS England, indicates that 20.3% of 8 to 16-year-olds were identified as having a probable mental disorder in 2023. Among those aged 17 to 19, the figure stood at 23.3%, while in the age group of 20 to 25, it was 21.7%.

Considering these alarming statistics, it’s important to prioritise your child’s mental health and avoid it reaching a distressing level. By prioritising your children’s mental health and equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge and resources, you can proactively tackle any mental health issues in your child’s life, and ensure that they thrive emotionally and mentally.

As a parent, you play a crucial role in recognising and addressing any signs that may indicate your child is struggling emotionally. Understanding these warning signs is the first step towards providing the necessary support and intervention. 

1. Mood Swings And Changes In Behaviour

If your child starts experiencing severe mood swings and sudden changes in behaviour, it is important to pay close attention to them. One common behavioural change to watch out for is social withdrawal. If a child who once enjoyed spending time with friends and engaging in activities suddenly loses interest, becomes withdrawn and isolates themselves, it could indicate feelings of sadness, anxiety, or depression. Similarly, excessive irritability or outbursts of anger that seem disproportionate to the situation may suggest underlying emotional distress.

Mood swings, another key indicator, can also be telling signs of mental health issues in children. While mood fluctuations are a normal part of growing up, extreme and frequent swings from elation to despair or agitation can indicate deeper emotional turmoil. These mood swings may disrupt daily functioning, affect relationships with peers and family members, and impact academic performance.

Parents need to approach changes in behaviour and mood swings with sensitivity and understanding. Rather than dismissing them as typical ‘growing pains,’ taking the time to acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings can foster open communication and trust. Encouraging your child to express their emotions and offering support without judgement can help them feel heard and understood, laying the groundwork for seeking appropriate help if needed. 

Changes in behaviour and mood swings should not be ignored or dismissed lightly, as they can be early warning signs of mental health disorders in children. By staying attuned to your child’s emotional well-being, maintaining open communication, and seeking professional support when necessary, you can help to improve your child’s mental health and overall well-being.

2. Frequent Temper Tantrums

Frequent temper tantrums in children can be a significant indicator of potential mental health issues, and parents must recognise this behaviour as a potential red flag. While occasional outbursts are a normal part of childhood development, persistent and extreme tantrums that occur frequently may signal underlying emotional struggles that require attention and support.

One reason temper tantrums may indicate mental health issues is that they can be a child’s way of expressing frustration, anxiety, or other difficult emotions that they may not have the language or understanding to articulate. These outbursts can be a coping mechanism for dealing with overwhelming feelings, and addressing the root cause of the tantrums is essential for supporting the child’s emotional well-being.

Furthermore, frequent temper tantrums can impact a child’s daily functioning and relationships with peers and family members. Children who experience frequent tantrums may struggle to regulate their emotions, leading to difficulties in social situations and academic settings. These challenges can exacerbate feelings of frustration and isolation, further highlighting the importance of addressing the underlying issues contributing to the tantrums.

Parents play a vital role in supporting their children through frequent temper tantrums by providing a safe and supportive environment for them to express their emotions. You need to remain patient and empathetic, avoiding punitive responses that may escalate the situation. Instead, you can help your child develop healthy coping mechanisms and teach them alternative ways to manage their emotions effectively.

Ultimately, frequent temper tantrums in children can be a sign of potential mental health issues that require attention and support from parents and caregivers. By recognising these outbursts as a form of communication and addressing the underlying emotions driving the tantrums, you can help your children develop healthier ways of coping and navigating the challenges they may face.

3. Difficulty Concentrating

Struggling to concentrate can indicate potential mental health concerns in children, and parents must acknowledge this symptom as a potential warning sign. Although occasional distractions are typical, ongoing and pronounced difficulty staying focused on tasks or activities could signal underlying emotional challenges that require care and assistance.

One reason why difficulty concentrating may indicate mental health issues is that it can be a manifestation of heightened stress, anxiety, or depression in children. When children are grappling with emotional challenges, their ability to concentrate and focus on tasks may be impaired as their minds are preoccupied with worry or negative thoughts. This can impact their academic performance, social interactions, and overall well-being.

Many children achieve low grades at school because their mental health challenges cause difficulty concentrating, which makes it difficult for them to focus on school work and put in their best efforts. In general, children with high levels of attention problems are much more vulnerable to low academic achievement.

Additionally, difficulty concentrating can lead to frustration and feelings of inadequacy in children, worsening their emotional distress. As they struggle to keep up with schoolwork or complete tasks, they may experience a sense of failure or hopelessness, which can further impact their self-esteem and confidence. You must address these underlying emotional issues and provide the necessary support to help their child manage and overcome difficulties with concentration.

As a parent, you can aid your child’s concentration challenges by fostering a conducive environment for concentration within the home and providing practical techniques to enhance focus and attention. This could entail setting up routines, reducing distractions, and breaking tasks down into more manageable segments. Maintaining open communication and offering emotional support is vital in assisting children in navigating feelings of stress or anxiety, empowering them to cultivate healthier coping mechanisms and resilience.

4. Excessive Worrying, Stress Or Fear

Excessive worrying, stress, or fear can serve as clear indications of potential mental health concerns in children, underscoring the importance for parents to identify these symptoms as potential signs of deeper emotional difficulties. 

Each year, more teenagers are struggling with anxiety. Although occasional worry or stress is typical for children, sustained and intense feelings of anxiety or fear may indicate underlying emotional challenges that demand care and assistance.

One reason why excessive worrying, stress, or fear may indicate mental health issues is that they can significantly impact a child’s daily functioning and well-being. Children who are constantly consumed by worry or fear may experience difficulty sleeping, or avoid social situations altogether. These symptoms can have far-reaching effects on a child’s academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life.

Moreover, excessive worrying, stress, or fear can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. These somatic complaints may be a manifestation of the child’s emotional distress and should not be dismissed lightly. Parents need to take these physical symptoms seriously and consider them as potential signs of a mental health disorder.

Parents can help ease their child’s anxiety by establishing a secure and nurturing atmosphere where their child feels at ease expressing emotions and worries. Encouraging open communication and attentively listening to their child’s concerns can assist parents in comprehending the underlying reasons for their distress, enabling them to offer suitable support and comfort. Moreover, consulting a mental health specialist or therapist can help you tackle fundamental issues and impart effective coping strategies for managing anxiety and fears. 

5. Substance Abuse

The Young People’s Substance Misuse Treatment report’s main finding shows that: 11, 326 young people under the age of 18 were in contact with alcohol and drug services between April 2021 to March 2022 – this represents a 3% increase from the previous year. Nearly half (46%) of young people starting treatment this year said they had mental health issues, which continues the rising trend of the last 3 years (43% 2020 to 2021, 37% 2019 to 2020 and 32% 2018 to 2019). A higher proportion of girls reported a mental health treatment need than boys (60% compared to 38%).

Children who turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with stress, anxiety, or depression may be attempting to self-medicate their emotional pain, highlighting the importance of addressing the root causes of their substance abuse. 

Additionally, substance abuse can aggravate existing mental health issues and lead to a vicious cycle of dependency and emotional distress. Children who engage in substance abuse may experience worsening symptoms of anxiety or depression, as well as impaired cognitive function and academic performance. This can further isolate them from supportive relationships worsening therefore feelings of loneliness and despair, perpetuating a cycle of substance abuse and mental health deterioration.

Practical Tips To Solve Mental Health Issues in Young People.

1. Open Communication

Open communication plays a pivotal role in supporting a child’s mental health. When parents foster an environment where their child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns openly, it creates a sense of safety and trust. 

Building an open line of communication can be challenging, especially when children start distancing themselves. It’s important to reconnect with your child to begin building open communication in your relationship.

This openness allows your child to share any struggles they may be experiencing without fear of judgement or criticism, enabling you to offer support and guidance. Active listening and empathy are key components of effective communication. Additionally, regular communication will help you stay informed about your child’s emotional well-being and identify any signs of mental health issues early to address them promptly.

Open communication also facilitates effective problem-solving in children and helps them discover healthy coping strategies. When children feel heard and understood by their parents, they are more likely to seek help and advice when facing challenges. As a parent, you can offer reassurance, validation, and practical solutions to help your child navigate difficult situations and manage their emotions effectively. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can empower your child to develop resilience, build healthy coping mechanisms, and ultimately thrive emotionally and mentally. 

2. Seek Professional Help

Seeking professional help is a crucial step in supporting a child with mental health issues. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, or therapists specialised in working with children possess the expertise to assess and address a wide range of mental health concerns. Through thorough evaluation and diagnosis, these professionals can provide valuable insights into the underlying factors contributing to your child’s struggles and recommend appropriate interventions or treatments.

What’s more, mental health professionals offer a safe and confidential space for children to explore their emotions and develop coping strategies. Therapy sessions provide an opportunity for children to express their thoughts and feelings openly. Through evidence-based techniques and interventions tailored to your child’s needs, mental health professionals can help them develop skills to manage stress, regulate emotions, and improve overall well-being. Seeking professional help not only addresses immediate mental health concerns but also equips children with lifelong tools for managing their mental health and building resilience.

3. Establish Good Routine And Structure

Establishing routine and structure can significantly benefit a child’s mental health by providing stability, predictability, and a sense of security. Consistent daily routines help children feel grounded and in control, reducing feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. By knowing what to expect each day, children can better manage their emotions and cope with stressors, leading to improved overall well-being. Additionally, routines can promote healthy habits, such as regular sleep patterns, balanced meals, regular exercises and dedicated time for relaxation and recreation, all of which are essential for supporting mental health.

Moreover, structure fosters a sense of accomplishment and achievement, which can boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence. When children have clear expectations and goals, they are more motivated to engage in activities and pursue their interests. This sense of purpose and accomplishment can counteract feelings of helplessness or inadequacy that may accompany mental health issues. By incorporating structure into their daily lives, you can provide your child with a supportive framework for managing their mental health and thriving socially, academically, and emotionally.

4. Nurture Supportive Relationships

Nurturing supportive relationships is vital for children facing mental health issues as it provides them with a strong network of emotional support and understanding. Trusted relationships with family members, friends, teachers, and other caregivers offer children a safe space to express their feelings and concerns freely. 

These supportive connections serve as a source of comfort and reassurance during challenging times, helping children feel valued, accepted, and less alone in their struggles. Additionally, supportive relationships provide opportunities for children to receive practical guidance, encouragement, and positive reinforcement, which can bolster their resilience and self-confidence.

Engaging in meaningful exchanges with compassionate individuals allows children to acquire crucial social and emotional skills, including empathy, communication, and conflict resolution. These proficiencies equip them to navigate interpersonal interactions more adeptly and constructively handle stressors. Through cultivating supportive relationships across different areas of your child’s life, you can empower your child to build resilience and adopt strategies essential for managing mental health obstacles. 

At GT Scholars, we are passionate about helping young people to reach their full potential. We do this through various programmes, activities and transforming content designed for both young people and parents to positively impact their children. You can access our programmes and more content like this by visiting our website.

Here’s The Career Advice That These Millionaires Wish They’d Received When They Were Younger

Here’s The Career Advice That These Millionaires Wish They’d Received When They Were Younger

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As teenagers, you may find yourself standing at a crossroads at a certain stage of your life. While studying provides you with opportunities to grow and explore new career paths, it can also be confusing to decide what you want to do in the future and how you will get there, especially when you are unsure about what you want to do with your life. The weight of making the right decision can be daunting and overwhelming which means it is more important than ever as a student to make informed decisions about your career. This is where career advice comes in. 

Career advice helps you to recognise and understand your strengths, weaknesses, and interests and gives you a clearer picture of the career paths available. So what if you could get career guidance from those who have already reached the pinnacle of success and have become millionaires through their work? Their insights and experiences would provide you with invaluable guidance as you navigate the path to your own success.

Warren Buffett, 91 – Berkshire Hathaway, $364B Annual Revenue 

“The people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.”

Warren Buffet is the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate with a market value exceeding $600 billion. His wealth is estimated in the billions, making him one of the richest individuals globally and a worthy person to take advice from about choosing the right profession.

What he suggests is quite straightforward: when you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to do well in it. Choosing the career that is right for you and aligns with your passion is the first step to success and potentially becoming a millionaire. Imagine waking up every morning excited to go to work because you’re doing something you genuinely enjoy. That’s the kind of feeling he is talking about.

So, when you’re thinking about your future career, it’s worth considering what makes you happy. Whether it’s working with people, solving problems, or being creative; finding something you love can make your job feel less burdensome and more like doing something you enjoy every day. 

Erik Matlick, 49 – Bombora, $31M Annual Revenue

“I don’t know as much as I thought I knew.”

When Eric was asked to reflect on his younger life, he said “I don’t know as much as I thought I knew”. The world is constantly evolving, global industries are constantly changing, and innovations emerge every day. The willingness to admit that we don’t know everything can be a valuable asset. When we’re young, we may feel invincible and overly confident in our abilities. However, acknowledging your limitations and embracing a mindset of lifelong learning can open doors to new opportunities and insights.

Matlick’s advice is a reminder to remain humble and receptive to feedback, even as you gain experience in your chosen career field. By recognising that there is always more to learn, you can cultivate a growth mindset that fuels your personal and professional development. You could achieve this by seeking guidance and feedback from parents, mentors or peers. Stay curious so you are always in a position to learn, adapt, innovate, and stay ahead of the curve.

Andy MacMillan, 42 – UserTesting, $84M Annual Revenue

“Focus as much on relationships as on gathering knowledge”

It can be said that anyone who has become a millionaire with a successful company would not be where they are today without all the people that are behind the company. That includes the workers, the families, and even the customers.

Andy believes in the power of good relationships. So while it’s important to learn and get good at what you do, it’s just as important to build good relationships with others. Whether it’s your family, classmates, teachers, or people you meet during internships or work experience; forming connections can open up doors you never even knew existed.

Think of it this way: having friends and connections who support you can make your journey through school and into your career a whole lot smoother and more fun. So, while you’re working hard on your studies and trying to figure out your path, don’t forget to take time to connect with others, but do it genuinely, be kind, and build a network of people who can cheer you on and help you along the way.

Jason Hsiao, 43 – Animoto, $31M Annual Revenue

“Be smarter about making choices and having a strong rationale for those choices.”

When you are young, there are many options and opportunities available in choosing your career. Being able to make informed decisions is an important part of choosing the opportunities and paths that are right for you. It’s not just about making choices; it’s about doing so wisely, with a clear understanding of the reasons behind each decision.

Understanding the ‘why’ behind your decisions is done by taking the time to weigh your options, consider the potential outcomes, and evaluate how they align with your long-term goals. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive, taking control of your future rather than letting circumstances dictate your path. This will empower you to navigate challenges with confidence and conviction. It provides a solid foundation for you to design your career path and ensures that every step you take towards your dream career is purposeful and intentional.

Steve Jobs, 56 – Apple Inc. $385.70B Annual Revenue

“Your time is limited”

We’ve just discussed making smart decisions, and an aspect of that is being smart with how you use your time. As you are trying to follow your career of choice, it’s crucial to master the art of time management and strategic planning. When you are building your career, time is your most valuable asset. Learning to prioritise tasks, set goals, and allocate time effectively can make all the difference in achieving your aspirations. 

Think of each day as a set of purposeful actions that will help you get closer to your goals. So what actions are you taking throughout your day-to-day life? Is the time you are spending on those actions helping you get closer or further away from your goals? Whether it’s scrolling mindlessly through social media or procrastinating on important tasks, be mindful of how you invest your time.

But here’s the catch: while it’s essential to have a roadmap for your career, it’s equally vital to remain adaptable to unexpected twists and turns along the way. Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs, and being open to new opportunities and experiences can lead to unexpected doors opening.

Bill Gates, 68 – Founder of Microsoft, $227.58B Annual Revenue

“Measure progress and goals” 

Most millionaires or people who are successful in their careers will advocate for setting clear goals and measuring progress towards achieving them. Whether it’s navigating school, pursuing your passions, or carving out your career path, setting goals and measuring your progress is like having a secret map to success. 

If you have a vision of where you want to be in the future, break that dream down into bite-sized goals – small steps that will lead you closer to your ultimate destination. Maybe it’s acing your exams, landing your dream internship, or starting your own business. Whatever it is, setting clear goals gives you something to aim for and keeps you motivated along the way. By setting goals, you’re giving yourself a clear direction and purpose. You’re saying, “This is what I want, and I’m going to make it happen.”

But setting goals is only half the battle and the real magic happens when you start measuring your progress. It is like tracking your score in the game of life. By measuring your progress, you can see what’s working, what needs tweaking, and what you can do better next time. This will help you hold yourself accountable to the goals you have set for yourself. 

Shou Zi Chew, 41 – Tik Tok CEO, $16.1B Annual Revenue

“I worked hard with what I had, I put myself out there” 

As the current CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew is a prominent figure in the tech industry. His journey from humble beginnings to leading one of the world’s most influential companies is nothing short of remarkable.

When reflecting on his path to success, Chew emphasises the pivotal role of hard work and resourcefulness. His words highlight the importance of making the most of one’s circumstances and relentlessly pursuing one’s goals. His journey from a driven young individual with a passion for finance to the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company shows the power of hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to seize opportunities

As you follow your path to success, remember that success is not solely determined by one’s background or circumstances but by not giving up in the pursuit of your goals and having the courage to face any challenges head-on. Leverage your strengths and skills, and do everything you can to put yourself in the position to succeed. 

Are You Ready To Start Working Towards Your Dream Career?

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Make A Difference In A Teen’s Life: Here’s What You Can Do!

Make A Difference In A Teen’s Life: Here’s What You Can Do!

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In a world where academic success and career advancement are essential markers of progress, the journey to success can be intimidating for many young people. Mentoring and tutoring can make a difference for pupils who need extra support and guidance to achieve their aspirations. 

Young people today face many challenges that can negatively affect their academic and personal growth. GT Scholars was started with the mission of helping young people to unlock their potential and talents to achieve academic and career aspirations. Through our programmes, including one-on-one tutoring and mentoring, we have managed to empower many students across the UK to achieve their educational and personal goals. 

You may be wondering how YOU can make a difference in the lives of young people. This blog will share the impact that mentors and tutors can have on the attainment and success of young people today. 

Empower Young People To Overcome Challenges

These days, young people face many challenges in their day-to-day lives. These can range from financial constraints in their families to the mental health struggles they experience as developing young adults. One of the most significant challenges young people face is the overwhelming pressure to excel academically and secure a successful career path. This pressure can also lead to burnout, anxiety and a lack of confidence which further worsens their stress, making it harder for them to achieve their goals. 

Any combination of these challenges can become obstacles that make it difficult for young people to stay motivated and focused on their studies or goals. This is why mentors and tutors play an important role in the success of young people. Support from mentors and tutors can make a difference to a young person being challenged in these ways.

Guide Young Minds To Achieve Their Goals And Aspirations

For young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, a lack of access to quality educational resources and mentorship opportunities can magnify these challenges. Many young people in these circumstances also struggle with navigating the complex education system and job market, often feeling unsupported and uncertain about their future. But mentorship can make a difference in this. 

Through mentorship, young people can receive guidance, support and encouragement that can make a difference in achieving their goals. As a mentor, you can offer advice on how to tackle goals. You can also help students stay focused by checking in on their progress and keeping them accountable for the goals they have set for themselves. Also, you can help them to identify areas of improvement or be a source of inspiration by sharing your achievements and encouraging them to believe in themselves. 

Be A Positive Role Model

As a mentor or tutor, you are a living example of what is possible to some of the students you will work with. Your personal experiences, achievements and journey will inspire young people to also aspire to reach their full potential. Your actions, behaviours and decisions can serve as guidance for them. The positive attributes you demonstrate and share such as determination, resilience, integrity, and compassion can make a difference in how they navigate their own path to success.

Young people become more motivated to achieve their own goals when they connect with someone who is an achiever. Your encouragement, support and belief in their potential will shape their attitudes and beliefs about themselves, which can positively affect their success. The impact of a role model extends beyond real-time interactions and can shape the trajectory of young people’s lives.

By embodying positive traits and serving as a source of inspiration and guidance, you play a crucial role in empowering young people to realize their potential and achieve success in all aspects of their lives.

Cultivate Academic Success

Tutors and mentors can make a difference in enabling academic achievement for young people. Tutoring is an effective way to provide additional support to students who may be struggling academically. By providing personalised support, targeted instruction and valuable resources to students, you can narrow achievement gaps between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds as a tutor. 

According to a study by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, students who have a mentor are 55% more likely to enroll in college. Another study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology revealed that students who received tutoring demonstrated significant improvements in their grades compared to those who did not receive tutoring. This research indicates that students who received tutoring support achieved higher grades in their courses.

Foster Emotional And Social Well-Being

Through mentoring and tutoring, you can help young people develop their social and emotional health. By taking on one of these roles, you can offer more than just academics and create a safe, nurturing environment where students feel appreciated and understood. Also, mentors and tutors act as positive role models through compassion and respect which promotes emotional stability and a sense of belonging. 

In this environment, you can make a difference in the lives of scholars by building a positive relationship with them. They may feel comfortable expressing themselves, sharing their problems, and developing critical social skills. The relationship between a mentor and mentee can help young people become more resilient and confident as they experience empathy, support and feedback. By continuing in this supportive relationship, mentors lay the groundwork for the long-term emotional and social health of young people. 

Help Young People To Maximise Their Opportunities

By mentoring young people you can make the difference in how motivated they feel to maximise the opportunities before them. A study by the National Mentoring Partnership found that mentored youth are 81% more likely to engage in regular extracurricular activities. This shows that mentorship can empower young people to actively participate in diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

Besides this, mentorship influences long-term success. Young people who have mentors are 78% more likely to volunteer regularly and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions. Also, employees who have a mentor are promoted five times more than those who do not. These statistics prove how you can make a difference through mentoring young people. Generally, some students do not realise they need help or that there are ways to receive it. Many students might not be aware that they need maths a tutor or personal mentor to help them overcome the challenges they are facing or achieve their high aspirations. 

Offer Individualised Support To Help Them Build Confidence

Individualised support is essential when trying to help young people develop their self-confidence. Students who receive one-on-one support and encouragement, through academic tutoring or mentorship, are more likely to have the tools they need to overcome obstacles and trust their own skills. In education, individual support makes a big difference for pupils. By getting to know the specific learning preferences and needs of their student, a tutor or mentor can offer intentional guidance and support that will promote academic success and personal development. Eventually, as the students continue to succeed their confidence is boosted and they feel more self-assured. 

By becoming a mentor or tutor, you can empower young people to unlock their potential and achieve success through personalised guidance, encouragement and support. You can directly influence the confidence and resilience of young people, helping them build a strong growth mindset to thrive in their personal and professional lives. A growth mindset helps young people to understand that if we put in the effort to develop our intelligence, we will likely see good results. You can read more about this in our blog post on developing a growth mindset.

A Success Story Of Tutoring And Mentoring At GT Scholars

The GT Scholars Programme was started because we want every child to have access to the support they need to reach their goals. They don’t have to live in the right neighbourhood, go to the right school, or have the right household income or grades to gain access to that support. 

One of the exceptional success stories of the GT Scholars Bright Ambitions programme is Faith. She participated in the year-long programme which involved tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programmes to help young people gain the skills, strategies and support they need to get top grades, get into top universities or enter competitive careers. 

Through this programme, Faith felt that she was able to feel more confident in participating in her class and pursuing her goal of studying medicine. She felt that her mentor helped her work towards her goals by providing her with what she needed to achieve her goals. She also felt that her tutor was supportive, understanding and patient and this helped her achieve a higher grade in Maths. You can read more about her experience with GT Scholars at this link

This is why we need YOU!

Our scholars are eager to learn and achieve their goals, but they need guidance and support from undergraduates, graduates, and professionals like you. We believe that you could make a difference in a young person’s life, and that’s why we would like to invite you to join the GT Scholars Volunteer Programme by clicking here.

Just one hour a week could make a huge difference in a young person’s life. Your support could help our scholars reach their full potential and gain entry into top universities. We know that you have the power to make a difference, and you can start your journey to helping young people by clicking this link to sign up for the programme.

Nurturing The Gifted And Talented Future Leaders: 5 Business Ideas For Teens

Nurturing The Gifted And Talented Future Leaders: 5 Business Ideas For Teens

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Does your teen have a drive to succeed? Do you have a dream for your child to have financial independence? If you would at least like them to understand the world of entrepreneurship, you’re on the right track. The world has become more dynamic today, teens are increasingly recognising their potential to start and run successful businesses. In this blog post, we explore five exciting tailor-made business ideas for teens eager to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.

From creative ventures to service-oriented businesses, these ideas offer a perfect mix of profitability and personal fulfilment. This is quite necessary for a teen as they build a business. Your teen could be a budding artist or a tech-savvy future innovator. They could also be someone with a passion for helping others. What is key is for your child’s business to be fueled by passion. Your teen should exercise their creativity and a desire to make a difference with what they offer in the business.

One great thing about these business ideas is that adults do them as well. They have proved to be profitable businesses. We always see baked goods and beverages on grocery shelves. Nanny services, car wash businesses, gardening and landscaping companies bring profit for business owners. This means a motivated teen can make additional money by starting any of these businesses.

These different opportunities also include tips and insights on running the businesses. Understanding more about them can also give inspiration to help your teen turn their entrepreneurial aspirations into reality. Let’s look into these five opportunities and discover easy ways your teen can start making an income. Who knows? Your child could end up choosing one of these business ideas and unleash a new passion and skill. Let’s jump right into it!

1. The Lemonade Stand

The idea is for teens to learn how to set up their stand, name and market it. Other valuable skills teens can learn are the basics of business creation and ownership. As much as a lemonade stand may seem like a business idea for younger children, don’t rule out your teen from this opportunity. Your teen can sell this at a market, where they would also see other young entrepreneurs selling products as well.

Let your teen come up with a creative brand for their business, including a business logo, or a slogan. They can even sing a jingle about it to get them inspired to think innovatively. Allow your child to be creative and give them room to get excited about their business ideas. It will help them run the business with ownership and passion.

Sit down and help them work out the cost and the price of the product. Show them how they need to consider the main expenses such as water, lemon and sugar. They should also think about small business costs like the cups, the time or the electricity usage in their preparation. Help them realise that the cost of running a business goes beyond the cost of the materials or supplies.

2. Bake Sales

Encourage your teen to create all the marketing for their business: the brand and the name. They can also work out the cost of starting the business and price of their baked products. For this idea though, ask them to get some partners involved. This idea requires more adult supervision and partnership so before you suggest it, make sure you will have the time to invest in the project.

Help your teen in getting them organised with the different roles and tasks required to be completed. Make sure they delegate tasks amongst every member of the group. After all, all the profits will be split equally within the group. A bake sale can be a great way for a group to fund a trip. They can also have a short-term goal like making money to buy pizzas after a sports match. Whatever their business goals are, this needs to be clearly communicated within the team so they all work towards it.

3. Babysitting

This business idea comes with a lot more responsibility. That is why your child should be mature enough to handle working with little children and understand the responsibility involved. Your teen will need to consider the expenses babysitting will bring. They will need to consider costs like transport when deciding on their price. Encourage them to keep clear track of all earnings and expenses.

This can be a fantastic business if they create a good solid reputation. The key is to be trustworthy and work in a reputable manner at all times. They need to be organised and good at planning. They should also be great at managing their time to be on time for their babysitting appointments. This will help them build a good reputation when they do not inconvenience their clients, who are the parents or carers.

If your child is younger, then a great alternative for them can be pet-sitting. This is also a great opportunity for your child to learn, but the responsibility is manageable for younger people. If your teen is a pet lover, then watching over someone’s furry friend can be a great and easy-to-manage business for them. The joys of this business is that they can interact with the animals, take them for walks or play with them. This can work for a child that does not have any fear of animals or allergies towards those pets.

4. Yard Work

This is a great way to create an income through the skills they learn from their normal chores at home. The initial stages of starting this business are important because a yard-working business has the potential for much growth. One way of motivating your teen about the business is to have them think of a business name. Your child can set an hourly rate that will be acceptable and also help them earn more. This will help them avoid working more for less pay. It also is a good way to prevent feeling exhausted and deflated from their business. 

It will be helpful to have your child track their expenses so they can easily see the profit they’re making from their business. Not only will they slowly learn about the financial side of the business, but they will also learn to value the profit they make. This can cultivate wise money habits and good financial knowledge.

5. Car Washing

Washing cars is another great business idea your teen can think of starting. This business will require money to start their business as they will need supplies. They will also need to take into account all the expenses of the business and which market to target. Choosing to work in a closer range from their home or choosing a further but potentially more profitable neighbourhood will affect the expenses of the business. One option may bring in more profit, but potentially increase expenses like travel costs and supplies. This will also affect your teen’s time and the amount of cars they can wash because of the travel. Another option could be closer to home, but not bring in more profit.

Sometimes parents tend to let their children run this kind of business at their expense. Teens will usually use the items that their parents have at home. This means they don’t invest in their business and this does not help them grow.

Work with your child and support them in their business. You can do this by giving them the price of the items they need. You can take them to the store for their initial shopping trip. You could also loan them the initial amount to help get them started. You can then arrange a payment plan your child can honour. Encourage an agreement that your child can pay once they start getting customers or when they make a profit of a certain amount. You can both agree on the terms. When you take their business seriously, they will do so as well.

These five ideas are meant to inspire your teen to think of where their passion lies. This should be the starting point for them to think about a business they would enjoy running. No matter what your child’s interests are, there’s something for everyone. Whatever business your child chooses, it is helpful for them to realise that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to. In this case, they have the capability to launch their business. The fear of failure should not hinder them because business is something that can grow their resilience. 

Sometimes what a young person needs is additional support and training to help nurture the skills they possess. At GT Scholars, we believe that gifts and talents can and should be nurtured by parents, tutors and mentors. Among its different programmes, GT Scholars runs a programme for young people, empowering them with leadership and personal development skills. This programme is called Inspiring Future Leaders which runs workshops including entrepreneurship and financial empowerment for young people aged 12 to 14. If you would like to know more about this programme, you can find out more here.

12 Skills Young People Need For Careers In Demand

12 Skills Young People Need For Careers In Demand

What's new? Young people

Over the past few years, many jobs in traditional work sectors have been declining, with new jobs being created to cater to new markets and industries. Employers are now interested in workers with soft skills that can be adapted to changing needs in any industry. 

These are skills which are common to many occupations and various industries. These differ from technical skills such as numeracy and literacy, knowing how to create an app, or having a medical license. Transferable or soft skills work alongside job-specific technical skills and create individuals who are productive members of society whilst being committed to lifelong learning and development.

Research conducted by Deloitte in 2018 states that these skills have grown in popularity and importance, with some employers stating that, for certain positions, they would choose someone with the right transferable skills over someone who only has technical skills.

Soft skills will allow you to be agile and adaptable in rapidly changing national and international work environments. These skills make you a desirable employee to recruiters and allow you to move between jobs and become a resilient part of the workforce.

Why do young people need soft skills?

Nowadays, employers may expect their workers to ‘wear many hats’ in any single position, making a single career with a fixed knowledge base less common and less attractive to recruiters. 

To succeed in the current and future work environment, young people have to develop skills that enable them to be students and workers who are committed to lifelong learning and personal development. Having soft skills means you could have a greater sense of security in the labour market by applying these skills to different jobs across varying sectors. These skills will also increase your chances of finding productive and rewarding work with greater opportunities and benefits.

A 2023 report states that some of the labour developments previously considered to have been causes of job loss are going to be catalysts for positive change in the job market in the next five years. 

As some skills and industries become more important than others, the need for employees with soft skills grows. It suggests that any young person planning to enter the workforce should prepare themself for the future job market with skills that can be used or ‘transferred’ across different industries.

The 2022 UNICEF Global Framework on Transferable Skills simplifies these skills into the 12 most common soft skills that students need to be adaptable in the workforce.

1. Creativity

When most people think of creativity, they primarily consider artists or individuals who have a natural talent for expressing themselves through the arts. However, in the scope of work, creativity more commonly presents itself as an ability to think differently, making it a cognitive skill. 

It is possible to learn creativity at any age or stage of education. Having this skill encourages divergent thinking which involves considering different ideas or solutions to a problem.

This skill can be developed in collaborative and social settings, therefore stimulating other skills such as empathy and understanding of other cultures or individual backgrounds. This makes it a useful tool for developing positive social skills as well.

As a result, having creativity shows an ability to adapt and have flexible responses to daily problems and this can aid in personal empowerment. 

2. Critical Thinking

This is an ability to ask questions, identify assumptions and evaluate facts. It allows the broadening of views and helps in gaining a deeper understanding of what may only be perceived at face value by others. 

Individuals who can think critically can differentiate between opinion and facts. They are also capable of questioning the validity of information through listening, observation and understanding diverse perspectives. When you can think in this way you can synthesise different thoughts and are likely to become a stand-out person in any school, work, or social environment.

In the digital age and with more information available than ever, this skill is growing in importance. It is necessary to know how to separate what is true from what is false as a lot of misinformation is circulated online, without verifiable evidence or from irresponsible sources.

Critical thinking has also been linked to an increased ability to make conscious and balanced decisions as individuals can remain open-minded and curious, desiring to be well-informed and flexible to other viewpoints before concluding. 

In the workplace, this skill increases in complexity presenting itself as the ability to analyse situations and solve problems. This leads to effective job decisions that can improve team and individual performance. 

3. Problem-solving

When someone has problem-solving skills, they can identify a problem, and take logical steps to find the most effective solution, then monitor and evaluate the impact of the solution being put into action.

Most businesses or organisations solve a problem in the market or industry that they are in. Therefore, this skill can be used in almost any industry, position or role. 

At an individual level, it increases one’s sense of empowerment and achievement when action is taken to solve an existing problem. When children face difficulties within the classroom or other social environments, they can face these challenges. As they develop into members of the workforce, they are more likely to assume responsibility for tasks and take initiative to identify and solve problems.

4. Cooperation

The ability to cooperate is an ability to work effectively and respectfully with people or teams. A cooperative individual can work with others to achieve a common goal that goes beyond personal benefit or gain. 

In classrooms, this can be seen in students who can work with others without being overly competitive. In a work environment, it means being able to respect the opinions of others, working within a role that is assigned to you, and resolving any conflicts that arise within the team. 

Developing this skill enables you to set goals and build relationships which aid in personal growth. It is closely related to empathy and problem solving making people with this skill more likely to be emotionally intelligent.

5. Negotiation

When two or more people communicate to reach an agreement on their interests, this is considered to be a negotiation. This skill shows an ability to be cooperative whilst using respectful and assertive communication.

This skill can be learnt through observation and practice. It extends beyond childhood into work when an individual can show that they can engage in positive and respectful interactions. 

Also, an ability to negotiate and ‘win’ promotes a level of healthy competitiveness that also seeks to help everyone benefit from a situation. It fosters cooperative partnerships and relationships which would help anyone going into a new role to work in new teams or work environments. 

6. Decision-making

We make decisions every day for ourselves, within our family, at school, or work. This is the process of choosing an option or path of action that is preferred, using specific information and criteria to make the decision. 

This process is not always systematic, with steps that have to be ticked off in their specific order for a decision to be made. Some decisions are made quickly and in an instant using intuition, or without much time to analyse information, and others are made over time using reasoning and critical thinking. It is vital to be able to make both kinds of decisions effectively when you are aiming to find a job in any industry. 

The ability to make decisions is influenced by past experiences, information, and beliefs amongst other factors. It can be taught and learnt through tasks based on communication, creativity and critical thinking where you identify the pros and cons of taking a course of action or choosing one option over another. 

When you can make decisions from an early stage, it creates a higher chance of being able to take risks in the future. This is useful to businesses that might require an employee to participate in a competitive environment and risk-takers who are also good decision-makers are more likely to come up with new and innovative ideas in the workplace. 

7. Self-management

You are considered to have self-management skills when you can recognise and control emotions, feelings and impulses. This skill shows strong self-awareness and improves the ability to connect with others and the quality of these connections.

People with strong self-management skills have better responses to stressful situations. It also exhibits traits such as autonomy, confidence, perseverance and persistence which indicates that you can get through tasks at hand despite challenges, obstacles and distractions. 

With this skill, you can assess your strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and actively manage life planning. It has been shown to contribute to strong collaborative skills and the maintenance of good relationships with co-workers through respect, empathy, and tolerance.  

8. Resilience 

When you can successfully navigate changing and adverse situations or difficulties in daily life whilst regaining emotional balance, you are considered to be resilient. It is an ability to actively, consciously, and constructively address problems.

Resilience itself may not lead to academic or work success but the traits resulting from resilience such as determination and perseverance can be applied to long-term goals and contribute to overcoming challenges in school and work. It is a vital skill that creates an ability to keep momentum where others might give up or be discouraged.

9. Communication

Effective communication (speaking effectively and listening actively to ask questions and respond) requires critical thinking and reasoning. It includes verbal and non-verbal exchanges through different forms of communication. It is a vital aspect of human development which is important for individual fulfilment and interpersonal relationships.

It was once important to know how to communicate face-to-face but technology advancements have introduced new communication channels such as email and talking on the phone. These new methods of communication create a need to evolve any in-person communication skills to be applicable in a digital context. 

10. Respect For Diversity

This can be defined as the ability to recognise the uniqueness and differences of each individual. It implies openness to other perspectives and a willingness to perceive others as worthy of respect. This skill or attribute is closely related to equality, tolerance and understanding of individual differences based on various factors.

This skill shows that an individual can test their assumptions and adapt to diverse societies and communities. In the world of work, respect for diversity prevents discriminatory practices and encourages collaboration and productivity in teams.

11. Empathy

When you can understand the feelings of others without judging them and being able to experience them for yourself, you are considered to be empathetic. As a key concept in developmental psychology, it involves other key skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, cooperation and communication.

Empathy is important for building healthy professional and work relationships as it translates into an attitude that recognises others and is based on respect and collaboration. It is closely related to respect for diversity and adults with empathy skills can provide a safe space for others to be heard and understood, therefore promoting social cohesion, collaboration and positive relationships.

12. Participation

This is an action of individual and community empowerment through taking part in and influencing processes, decisions and activities. Active participation has been shown to also contribute to higher self-esteem and greater capacity for social interaction which contributes to healthy school or work environments.

Participation is a critical skill to being a productive member of any society or environment, through the use of communication skills and critical thinking for active participation.

Tips for Developing Your Soft Skills

Developing soft skills can and should be a lifelong process. You’ll need to stay up-to-date with developments around the world to know what types of skills will help you across different jobs and how you can develop them. 

You should also be thinking about the career or job you are aiming for and the technical skills that might be the most applicable in that job, but you should still keep in mind other transferable skills that might give you a competitive advantage over others.

Then you can assess yourself or ask your friends, family, teachers, and/or mentors to give you an evaluation of which skills they have seen in you and which they think you have potential to develop further. 

The key is to identify the skills you possess and, depending on the job you want, discover where that skill and job intersect for you to be able to transfer your skills across different jobs or industries. 

Once you have done this, it’s time to get the work done! This could mean getting work experience through a part-time student job or finding out more about apprenticeships. You could also consider participating in extracurriculars that help you develop the skills you need. 

GT Scholars is committed to helping young people become successful in their academic and future careers. Through our Success Academy, you can gain access to online leadership coaching and personal development courses.

If you are between the ages of 11 to 18 years old, contact us today to learn more about the Success Academy and mentoring programmes at GT Scholars.

10 Ways To Teach Your Child That Failure Is A Part Of Learning

10 Ways To Teach Your Child That Failure Is A Part Of Learning

Parents What's new?

Failure is not only normal, it is essential for growth and learning. Yes, that’s right: to learn we must fail. In a world that often celebrates success and achievement, it can be easy for children to develop a fear of failure. The truth is many of us are constantly held back by this fear even as adults. So how do we ensure that children develop a mindset for success? How do we encourage them to try even when they face the potential of failure? And when they fail, how do we get them to keep trying? 

The most famous inventor of the 20th century, Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that it won’t work.”  As parents, we have to help children understand that every attempt provides a lesson to learn. Reframing failure in this way is how we give children the opportunity to learn from their setbacks, review the situation, adapt and improve for success. 

Create A Safe And Empathic Environment For Failure

Creating a safe and supportive learning environment is crucial for children to embrace failure. As a parent or caregiver, your role is very important in encouraging them to take risks and make mistakes without fear. Offer praise and encouragement not only for success but also for effort. When children face failure, they respond best to empathetic gestures and conversations. Instead of dismissing their feelings with phrases like, “It’s okay, you will do better next time,” empathise with their distress. Acknowledge their disappointment and express understanding, saying something like, “I can see that you are really disappointed by this, and I know you are hoping to do better.”

Share Stories About Your Own Failure

As social creatures, we learn from each other, often through storytelling. Sharing personal experiences of failure and resilience can be a powerful way to teach children important life lessons. Tell your child about a time when you faced failure and how you handled it. Be honest about the challenges you encountered and the emotions you felt. Most importantly, share what you learned from the experience and how it ultimately made you stronger. Make sure your child understands that sometimes you don’t achieve what you set out to do, but through persistence and monomaniacally focusing, they can yield incredible results. 

If you don’t have a personal story that directly relates to your child’s situation, find one that is relevant and authentic. We have all heard the stories of failure, Einstein was classified by his teachers as “mentally slow” and Walt Disney was fired from one of his first jobs due to “lack of creativity”. Tell them these stories so they can dare to take risks, fail again, try again and reach their full potential. Many great teachers use storytelling to inspire and teach others, and you can do the same for your child. 

Encourage Them To Reflect On Their Failures 

When your child fails, it is a great idea to spend time with your child and help them to examine what went wrong and why. You can work together to come up with an action plan on what to do to apply the knowledge from what has happened and ensure they are prepared when the next opportunity presents itself. Questions such as, “why?”, “Is there another way to do it?” or, “What if this happened, what would you do?” But remember to not be harsh when asking these questions. This could have an opposite effect if the child feels attacked or criticised. The goal is to offer thoughtful support and facilitate their critical thinking and problem solving in the situation. This process of self-reflection allows them to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for future success. By learning from their mistakes, children can become more self-aware and proactive in their approach to learning and personal growth

Help Them Build Their Tolerance For Frustration

Helping your child learn to deal with frustration is really important, especially when things don’t go their way. According to Dr Mintzer, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, strengthening our ability to stay strong in stressful times, which is also known as frustration tolerance, is how we learn to accept unexpected situations such as failure. Not learning to tolerate failure leaves kids vulnerable to anxiety. It leads to meltdowns when the inevitable failure does occur, whether it happens in preschool or college. And perhaps even more important, it can make kids give up trying—or trying new things.

We have to balance our acceptance of failure with the strength and courage to make the necessary changes for success the next time we try again. Many of us are constantly held back by the fear of failure. Frustration tolerance is all about being able to handle tough times and not giving up, even when we face failure. So when they keep trying, even when they feel frustrated or fail, they start to build confidence. They learn that it’s okay to stumble because every setback is a chance to learn and grow. That’s how they become resilient and unstoppable, no matter what life throws at them

Teach Them To Embrace Their Own Journey

From as early as 2 years old, children start to become aware of others’ opinions, sometimes fearing judgement from teachers, friends, and even their parents. This fear of what others might think if they fail can hold them back from taking risks and making decisions that are true to themselves. But by guiding your child to embrace their own journey, you give them the confidence to overcome this fear. You will be teaching them that in life, success often requires making choices that others might not understand, and that’s okay. By focusing on their own path and staying true to themselves, they’ll learn that failure is just a stepping stone on the road to success.

Be A Model For Resilience And Positive Coping Mechanisms

As a parent, you have the incredible opportunity to show your children how to handle life’s challenges with resilience. One of the most powerful ways to do this is by demonstrating positive coping strategies in your own life. When you face setbacks or difficulties, openly share with your children how you’re feeling and how you plan to manage those emotions. For example, you might practise deep breathing exercises or turn to a trusted friend for support. By showing your children these coping strategies in action, you’re teaching them valuable skills for dealing with adversity and showing them that it’s okay to ask for help when needed. Remember, your actions speak louder than words, so by consistently modelling positive coping strategies, you’re helping to build resilience in your children and empowering them to tackle life’s challenges with confidence.

Foster A Growth Mindset

When your child fails, it can be difficult for them to move past it. Teaching your child to embrace their failure is crucial for fostering a growth mindset. A growth mindset helps your child believe that their abilities and intelligence can be cultivated through hard work and perseverance. By understanding that failure is not a reflection of their abilities but rather an opportunity for growth, children are empowered to embrace challenges, persist through setbacks, and ultimately achieve greater success. You can learn more about the growth mindset through our workshop, “The 9 Success Habits to Help Your Teen Succeed at School and Beyond”

It can be difficult to teach a growth mindset especially if you don’t know where to start. A good place to begin is to stop complimenting their natural abilities and effort. This will make them think that they are already naturally inclined which leads to thinking that this is fixed. Effort is important for a growth mindset, but by encouraging it, your child will assume that trying anything is good enough. It’s best to encourage their thinking. Try with phrases like “It’s ok if that didn’t happen. What are you going to do better next time” or “Great Job! Creating that list of goals really helped you!” By using these forms of verbal reward your child will start asking themselves these questions and start using the techniques that yield the best results when they fail.

Nurture Their Curiosity And Desire To Learn

Encouraging children to develop a love for learning is about more than just giving instructions or comparing them to others. Nurturing curiosity and a desire to learn requires going beyond simple motivation. It involves engaging children in activities that encourage them to discover things on their own, such as interactive games or hands-on projects. By associating learning with positive emotions, you can create lasting memories and foster a genuine enthusiasm for acquiring knowledge. Encouraging children to explore their interests and pursue learning for its own sake sets the foundation for a lifelong passion for education. Encouraging a love for learning helps children overcome the fear of failure. When they’re motivated by curiosity, they become more resilient and understand that mistakes are part of growth. 

Give Them The Facts About The Benefits Of Failing

While the concept of failure may seem discouraging, scientific research has uncovered several surprising facts about its benefits. Brain scans have proved that the more mistakes we make, the more our brain grows. Research by Overbye (2022) has found that the part of the brain that is important for learning from our mistakes takes a really long time to develop compared to many other parts of the brain. Physically not by much, otherwise we’d all have bulging heads. 

Essentially, failure stimulates neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganise and form new connections. When they face setbacks, their brains become more adaptable and resilient, enhancing learning and problem-solving abilities. Failure fuels innovation and creativity by encouraging individuals to think outside the box and explore alternative solutions. Many groundbreaking discoveries and inventions have arisen from failed attempts and experimentation. Remember Edison’s quote at the start? By reframing failure as a natural and beneficial part of the learning process, children can embrace challenges with a renewed sense of optimism and perseverance.

Learn The Habits For Success

At GT Scholars, our main goal is teaching young people how to develop the ability to overcome the challenges they face and to pursue their goals and aspirations confidently.

That’s why we created the Success Habits Workshop! Through this workshop, as well as our programmes for young people aged 11-18, we teach young people about the 9 Scholar Success Habits that they can use to achieve success at school and beyond! The best part is these habits aren’t limited to young people, anyone can learn about these habits and discover how to implement them in their day-to-day lives. Interested in finding out more? You can register for the Success Habits Workshop by clicking here.

Here Are 7 Simple Ways To Boost Your Child’s Attention Span!

Here Are 7 Simple Ways To Boost Your Child’s Attention Span!

Parents What's new?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, children are confronted with a lot of distractions that can challenge their ability to maintain their focus, leaving them with a short attention span. Research suggests that the average attention span of children has declined to a mere 8 seconds, which is shorter than one of a goldfish! Factors such as the influence of technology, constant exposure to stimulating content, and the culture of instant gratification all contribute significantly to this attention decline. As a result, many parents find themselves grappling with the challenge of keeping their children focused and engaged in various activities.

In children, abilities to concentrate can vary widely depending on factors such as age, their developmental stage, and individual temperament. While some children naturally have longer attention spans, others may struggle to focus for extended periods of time.

A strong concentration time serves as the bedrock for effective learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that are indispensable not only in academic settings but also in everyday life. In the classroom, children with better concentration time are better equipped to absorb and retain information, actively participate in discussions, and excel academically. Furthermore, a child’s ability to sustain attention also impacts their social life, as it enables them to engage in meaningful conversations, listen well, and navigate social situations with confidence.

So what are some things you can do as a parent to boost your children’s ability to sustain attention?

1. Reduce Screen-Time

Technology plays a significant role in shaping the concentration time of children all over the world. The constant exposure to screens, whether it’s smartphones, tablets, computers, or television, can lead to short attention spans and difficulty focusing on offline activities. With social media, instant messaging, and a host of online content at their fingertips, children are often bombarded with stimuli that can break up their attention and hinder their ability to concentrate.

To lessen the negative effects of technology on their concentration, it’s essential for parents to collaborate with their children in managing their screen time effectively. Together, parents and children can establish boundaries and strategies to strike a balance between digital engagement and offline activities.

A few tips for managing screen time includes establishing screen-free zones and times, setting limits on daily device usage and encouraging alternative activities. Another great tip would be having parents lead by example by demonstrating healthy screen habits themselves.

2. Promote Physical Activity And Good Nutrition

Physical activity and nutrition play a crucial role in supporting healthy brain development and concentration in children. An important fact to note is that regular exercise actually helps to increase blood flow to the brain; it promotes the release of neurotransmitters that aid in concentration, and it reduces feelings of restlessness and impulsivity.

Encouraging children to engage in physical activities such as sports, dancing, or simply taking a walk can help improve their focus depth; and a great way to reinforce this engagement is for parents to join in with their children. 

Additionally, providing nutritious meals and snacks rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids can support cognitive function and enhance focus and concentration. If you’d like to read more, check out our blog where we look at the Top 10 Brain Foods Guaranteed to Energise Your Child’s Body and Mind.

3. Establish Routines And Structure

Routines and structure are vital for children as they navigate through life. Establishing consistent daily routines can provide predictability and stability, which are essential for reducing anxiety and improving attention spans in children. Setting structured times for activities such as meal time, homework sessions, and curfews can help children manage their time effectively and transition between tasks more smoothly.

Tips for creating effective routines for children include setting clear expectations and boundaries. Use visual schedules or charts to help them visualise their daily routines and responsibilities. Additionally, provide positive reinforcement for following the routine, such as praise or rewards for completing tasks on time or adhering to curfew. Encouraging open communication and flexibility within the established routines can also help children feel empowered and motivated to stick to the schedule.

By implementing these strategies, parents can support their children in developing healthy habits, promoting independence, managing their time efficiently, and improving their ability to concentrate amidst the distractions of their childhood. For more information on helping your child manage their time effectively, have a look at our blog on time management: Helping Your Child with Time Management: 5 Gentle Approach Techniques. 

4. Establish Daily Reflection And Goal-Setting Practices

Encouraging children to engage in daily reflection and goal-setting practices can help improve their self-awareness, motivation, and attention span. By setting aside time each day for reflection, children can develop a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This process fosters mindfulness and introspection, allowing children to recognize their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours more effectively.

Incorporate goal-setting into daily routines by encouraging children to set specific, achievable goals for themselves. These goals can relate to academic, personal, or extracurricular activities and should be broken down into manageable steps. By establishing clear objectives, children gain a sense of purpose and direction, which can enhance their motivation and focus.

Parents can support their children in this process by providing guidance, encouragement, and accountability. Encourage open communication and collaboration, allowing children to express their aspirations and seek assistance when needed. Celebrate their achievements and milestones along the way, reinforcing their progress and instilling confidence in their abilities.

By integrating daily reflection and goal-setting practices into their routine, children develop valuable skills such as self-discipline, resilience, and perseverance. These practices cultivate a growth mindset and a proactive approach to learning, ultimately leading to improved concentration time and academic success

5. Introduce Interactive Learning And Engaging Activities

Interactive activities and engaging games are not only fun but can offer valuable opportunities for children to enhance their attention spans while enjoying hands-on, immersive experiences. Participating in interactive learning experiences allows children to stay actively engaged and focused for extended periods of time, promoting cognitive development and critical thinking skills.

Examples of interactive learning activities suitable for children include, debate clubs or public speaking workshops, escape rooms or mystery games, STEM projects or robotics workshops, creative writing or storytelling workshops.

By participating in interactive learning and engaging activities tailored to their interests and abilities, children can strengthen and improve their focus depth, cultivate critical thinking skills, and enhance their overall cognitive development. These experiences not only provide valuable opportunities for learning and growth but also foster a sense of curiosity, creativity, and engagement in children’s academic and personal pursuits.

6. Provide Positive Reinforcement And Encouragement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for shaping children’s behaviour and encouraging desired outcomes, including improved attention spans. Praising children for their efforts and achievements, providing specific feedback, and offering rewards or incentives can motivate them to stay focused and engaged in tasks.

It’s important for parents to be patient and consistent in their approach to positive reinforcement, recognising and celebrating small victories along the way. Some other examples are encouraging a growth mindset, modelling positive behaviour, and creating a supportive environment.

By creating a supportive and encouraging environment, parents can help boost their child’s confidence and self-esteem, which are essential for sustained attention and learning.

7. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking, once seen as a skill to boost productivity, has been shown to have detrimental effects on attention spans, particularly among the young people. Encouraging teens to avoid multitasking and instead concentrate on one task at a time can greatly enhance their ability to sustain attention and ultimately improve their academic performance and overall well-being.

When teens attempt to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, their attention becomes divided, leading to reduced efficiency and comprehension in each activity. By focusing on one task at a time, teenagers can use their cognitive resources more effectively, leading to deeper engagement and better retention of information.

Excessive multitasking can contribute to increased stress levels and mental fatigue in young people. Constantly switching between tasks can overwhelm the brain, leading to feelings of frustration and decreased motivation. By encouraging teens to prioritise tasks and tackle them one at a time, parents can help alleviate stress and promote a sense of accomplishment as their children experience the satisfaction of completing tasks with full attention and focus. 

Nurturing attention spans in children is essential for their academic success, social development, and overall well-being. By implementing the practical tips and strategies outlined in this blog, parents can create an environment that supports their child’s attentional development and helps them thrive in today’s overly active world.

From managing screen time to promoting physical activity and mindfulness, each suggestion is aimed at empowering parents to make informed decisions and encourage healthy habits that enhance their child’s attention span and cognitive skills.

Remember, building attention span is a gradual process that requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By working together and providing the necessary support, parents can help their children unlock their full potential and succeed in school and beyond.

On our website, you can access articles, blogs and resources that can provide you with tips and strategies to help your child in various areas of their lives, from academics to personal development. You can equally sign up to our weekly parent’s newsletter and get to know our upcoming programmes to support you and your child.

Enjoy Our Tutoring And Mentoring Programmes. Here are 15 Tips For New Parents & Scholars

Enjoy Our Tutoring And Mentoring Programmes. Here are 15 Tips For New Parents & Scholars

Parents What's new?

At the start of each term, we take time to actively reconnect with our current and new scholars. We want our programme to be a positive and fulfilling experience for all our scholars and parents. Together with our mentors and tutors, we aim to provide the best support possible and also continuously improve. These tips will help you experience the full benefits of our programmes!

1. Visit Our Tutoring And Mentoring Programmes Page

As a start, you may want to visit our courses page on our website to find more information about the programmes that we currently offer. There, you will find all the information and details that you’ll need to make a decision and also know what to expect. Some of the great programmes that you will see are our tutoring and mentoring programmes. These programmes have proved to be beneficial to many of our scholars who’ve previously been part of them. 

We have designed our programmes to meet different needs and help scholars achieve their individual goals. Because our scholars’ unique aspirations will determine which programme they choose, we have created programmes that include aspects that will help our scholars achieve success. We have, for example, programmes that offer both tutoring and leadership courses within the programme to help a scholar reach their academic and leadership goals. These programmes vary and are meant for you to choose one that suits your teen best according to their personal goals. You can read more about our courses here

2. Have A Discussion With Your Child

When you have more information about the courses that we offer, you can discuss this with your child and try to establish which programmes will be best suitable for their academic needs. By finding out which programme your child is most interested in, you will help them remain engaged throughout the term. 

Sometimes, a parent is well-meaning and would like to enroll a child in a particular programme because of its known benefits. However, having a discussion with your teen may also help you realise the areas that they would also like to improve in personally.  

A child may need a mentor who will guide and support them as they navigate key decisions in their lives. While another young person, aiming to reach their academic goals, may need a tutor that will help them understand a subject, know their learning style or learn study tips to help them excel in their studies. If you’re not completely certain on the areas your child needs assistance in or about the difference between our tutoring and mentoring programmes, we are here to help. You can reach out to us here and we’ll help you identify the best programme for your child.

3. Share Your Child’s Goals With The Programme Manager

Communicating your child’s goals with the programme manager in the initial stages will help the manager match your child with the right tutor or mentor that will help them in achieving their goals. During the application process, we aim to gather as much information as possible about your child so that they can be matched with the right tutor and mentor. We, however, can only work with the information provided to us by you as the parent. This is why it is important to fill out all the necessary information in the application form so that we will not only know your child’s goals, but we can match your child with the most suitable tutor or mentor.

4. Arrange Sessions

Make sure to always arrange your child’s sessions directly with the tutor or mentor. Another great way to communicate throughout the programme is to set up a WhatsApp group and to have all the information and arrangements in one place. This way your child will not have to make any arrangements on their own and you will always be updated with changes or details throughout the term.

5. Stay Consistent

When you’re setting up sessions with the tutor or mentor, consider choosing the same day and time to keep it consistent. You may want to ensure that your child sticks with the planned schedule so that they will get into a good routine. This may also help your child reach their goals and ensure that you reap the maximum rewards during the term. 

6. Only Cancel Or Reschedule Sessions When Absolutely Necessary

Always aim to stick to the planned schedule and remember that the tutor or mentor will try to be as flexible as possible, but won’t be under any obligation to make up for the postponed or skipped session. Try to do your best to avoid canceling a session. Also remember that communication between you and the tutor or mentor is very important to reschedule on time when necessary. 

We are aware of unplanned events and unforeseen circumstances that are out of your control that can cause conflicting and clashing schedules. When this happens, please make sure to inform the tutor or mentor ahead of time, so you can reschedule the upcoming session for a different date. Please also let the tutor or mentor know a few days before your scheduled session.

7. Give Notice And Plan In Advance

Once you are officially in the programme, you will be able to book tutoring or mentoring sessions in advance. Before the programme starts, your assigned tutor or mentor will contact you within 48 hours. This will also give you a chance to see which dates and times will work best for you and your child. The times agreed upon will have to work for both your child and the tutor or mentor’s schedule.

8. Meet The Tutor Or Mentor

We recommend that you meet with the tutor or mentor for your first session using a safe online communication platform of your choice. Having a video call will be a good starting point and add value to your relationship. This will be important for your child as the primary goal for the tutor or mentor is to build a relationship with your child to encourage, help and achieve goals together. This is also a great time to discuss the online tools that will be used for the tutoring and mentoring sessions, best way for the tutor or mentor to contact you, as well as some potential challenges in sessions that the tutor or mentor should be aware of moving forward. This leads to the next tip.

9. Be Available For Feedback Sessions With The Tutor Or Mentor

Once enrolled in the programme, your child will have access to tutoring or mentoring sessions. The tutoring or mentoring programmes also include feedback sessions that take place between the tutor and the parent. These sessions are meant to give progress on your child’s tuition or mentorship. 

The sessions can happen at the beginning of the term to explore your child’s areas of improvement. These feedback sessions can also occur in the middle of the term, as well as at the end of the term to mark progress. It is essential to take part in these sessions because they will help you note how your child should be implementing changes in their development.

10. Make Sure An Adult Is Present For All Sessions 

Safeguarding is important and so it is highly recommended that an adult is nearby during all the planned tutoring or mentoring sessions. You won’t have to be in the room during sessions, but you will need to be nearby when each session takes place. 

11. Check Your Emails Regularly

The tutor or mentor will be sending information to you regarding progress reports. As we strive to keep an open line of communication, we recommend that you check your emails regularly and respond promptly to calls and messages from us or our tutors or mentors. We will keep you updated on any important information you will need. We will also contact you regarding any information we will require from you as part of the process of joining the programme, to help us meet your child’s goals more efficiently.

12. Try To Attend Enrichment And Skill-Building Days

Each term we have 2 to 3 enrichment days for our scholars, parents and tutors or mentors. We encourage all to attend the enrichment days which provide the perfect opportunity for scholars and tutors or mentors to interact and build a relationship. Our enrichment days are all about building skills and encourage young people to do their best. Attending an enrichment day will also give you a clear update and understanding of what is happening on the programme.

13. Look Out For Notifications For Workshops And Enrichment Days

To make sure that your child does not miss out on our skill-building days or workshops, have a lookout for notifications for these events. It is also important to be aware that the first preference for all enrichment days goes to children who are already taking part on our tutoring and mentoring programmes. However, if these tickets are not claimed within a certain amount of time, they are then released to the general public so other children can benefit from them.

14. Adhere To The Safeguarding Policy

We value and abide by our safeguarding and protection policy and expect all our parents, scholars and tutors or mentors to observe safeguarding rules. We therefore urge parents to make sure they know when their children are meeting their mentors or tutors by arranging all sessions on behalf of their children. Please don’t leave your child to arrange bookings with the tutor or mentor by themselves. Tutors and mentors have been trained to make all session bookings via the parent, so they will be expecting this.

15. Keep In Touch With Us

We would love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions or need further information about our programmes. Feel free to contact us at any time, as we have a fantastic team on standby ready to assist and support you! You can register your interest here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

The Parent’s Guide On How To Get Your Child Started In Coding

The Parent’s Guide On How To Get Your Child Started In Coding

Parents What's new?

Each day our world is getting more immersed into technology in such a way that digitalisation is almost unavoidable. From smartphones to smart cars, from mobile apps to artificial intelligence, from video games to robotics, the digital world encompasses us and has infiltrated almost every domain and industry in today’s world. Therefore, getting your child interested in coding will by all means be beneficial.

Getting your child started with coding is not as highly complex as it may be perceived. The process is not complicated! And so, in this blog, we are going to guide you with easy and practical steps that you can begin to apply immediately, if you would like to get your child started with coding.

Undoubtedly, technology has developed dramatically in recent years, reshaping the very fabric of our daily lives. This shows the necessity for the youth of today to not just passively engage with technology but to become a producer within the industry. Embracing this reality, allows young people to gain a valuable advantage  to navigate the complexities of the world with ease and gain the incredible power to innovate, create and influence in ways that were previously unimaginable! In this blog, we’re here to guide you through the process, breaking down barriers and pointing you toward resources that can make learning to code both accessible and enjoyable for your teen. Let’s dive in and explore what coding is all about and why it’s such a crucial skill to have in today’s world.

Why is coding so important?

Coding, at its heart, is like giving instructions to a computer in a language it understands. Just as we use words to communicate with each other, coding involves using special languages called programming languages to tell computers what to do. It’s about crafting digital recipes that computers follow to perform tasks, create software, build websites, develop apps, and even design games.

Think of it as giving your computer a set of step-by-step directions to accomplish something, whether it’s solving a problem, processing data, or creating something new. It’s a bit like being a wizard, casting spells with words and symbols to make amazing things happen on your screen.

Beyond the technical jargon, coding is a creative process. It’s about thinking logically, solving puzzles, and bringing ideas to life in the digital world. Just like artists paint on canvas or musicians compose melodies, coders craft lines of code to build the technology we use every day.

But why exactly is coding considered a valuable skill to have? Some of the reasons why coding has become more popular is because it provides a great career choice for young people The world is becoming more tech-focused and integrated. In the area of careers, tech skills are greatly sought-after and offer a higher pay. Therefore, learning a tech skill in this digital age puts your child at an advantage.

However, it’s not just about the paycheck. Coding also helps your teen become a better problem-solver. When they’re figuring out how to debug lines of code, they’re basically learning to tackle challenges on their own. And those problem-solving skills come in handy way beyond the computer screen.

An added perk? – Coding can boost your child’s chances of getting into their dream college. These days, universities are all about that digital know-how, so having coding skills sets your teen apart from the crowd. It shows they’re not just tech-savvy, but also driven and ready to tackle new challenges.

How early can your child learn coding?

Children can start learning coding as early as preschool age, although the depth of their understanding and the complexity of concepts will naturally vary depending on their age and cognitive development. There are coding resources specifically designed for young children, such as games and apps that teach basic programming concepts through fun and interactive activities. As children grow older, they can progress to more advanced coding languages and projects tailored to their age and skill level. Ultimately, there’s no set age to start learning to code—it’s more about fostering an interest in technology and providing opportunities for exploration and learning from an early age. So, let’s dive into what exactly are the perks of starting coding early! 

By nurturing your child’s digital literacy, you equip them with essential skills to integrate, belong and navigate the increasingly tech-centric world we live in. Whether through coding courses or other avenues, enhancing their understanding of technology facilitates smoother interactions with various aspects of life. Learning to code stimulates adaptability in teens, enabling them to swiftly tackle evolving tasks and challenges with resilience and versatility. As they grasp the inner workings of apps and websites, their confidence blossoms, fueling a more creative approach to programming projects and bolstering their belief in their cognitive abilities.

1. Know Your Why

Understanding “why” you and your child are embarking on a coding journey is crucial for motivation and success. By defining clear goals and aspirations, you can tailor the learning experience to align with your objectives, whether it’s cultivating problem-solving skills, preparing for future career opportunities, or simply fostering a love for technology. Knowing your “why” provides direction and purpose, guiding you and your child through the inevitable challenges and setbacks that come with learning to code. It serves as a constant reminder of the value and relevance of coding skills in today’s digital age, motivating both you and your child to stay committed and enthusiastic about the journey ahead.

2. Create Room In Your Child’s Schedule For Coding

It’s important to evaluate your child’s extracurricular activities. Do this to work out if they have the time and capacity to join a coding programme that is more predictable in its lesson times. Practice makes perfect they say, right? Hence, adding it to your child’s schedule will give them more time to practise and master the art of programming progressively.

3. Find A Tutor And A Community For Your Child

A great teacher can turn challenging and complex tasks or projects into something simple to assimilate and resolve. That is why here at GT Scholars, we offer the Code Creators Club, facilitated by experts who are patient and will bring your child along as they learn. Code Creators Club is not only a programme facilitated by industry experts in the areas including computer science and programming. It is also a community that offers support from the facilitator, the scholar success team, as well as your teen’s peers. What makes Code Creators Club even more ideal is that your child can join this programme from 11 years old.

4. Use Tools That Make Coding Fun And Easier

From interactive coding games to user-friendly platforms, these resources make learning to code a breeze. By incorporating fun elements into the learning process, such as gamified challenges or visual programming interfaces, you can ignite your child’s passion for coding while simplifying complex concepts. Whether it’s block-based coding environments for beginners or creative programming apps that encourage experimentation, these tools empower young people to explore and experiment with coding in a playful and engaging manner. You can read more about some useful ways on how technology can add value to your teen’s life in enjoyable ways here. You can introduce your teen to movies or books that can grow their interest in coding. Incorporate some creative ideas in their learning so they want to learn how to code. 

5. Include Learning Environments With Physical Locations

Writing code requires a virtual space for it to function successfully. When everything happens in a virtual space, there is a temptation to consider online tools for learning for coding. However, another good way to fuel enjoyment in your child’s learning is incorporating learning experiences in physical locations. This could be a coding camp or an after-school programme at your child’s school or neighbourhood. 

Your child attending a camp in a physical environment among other programmers could spark a desire to learn more and excel in coding. Being around their peers might cause them to work more creatively and uniquely tackle problems in their programming.

6. Watch Video Tutorials

Understand a little bit more about what you wish your child to learn. Slowly introduce this to them by showing them videos of young people offering coding hacks. When they see their peers coding, this could make them start believing they are capable of coding as well. It can also ignite a greater desire to get your child started in coding. Expose them to videos teaching them a basic coding skill that they can put into practice. Try this so you can give them an opportunity to learn outside of a coding class. This can get them comfortable with independently seeking solutions whenever they make mistakes or get stuck in their projects.

7. Get Your Teen To Use Educational Websites

Use websites that offer basic and easy tips and tricks to learning how to code. Aim for websites that offer tips for beginners. Remember the aim is to get your child started in coding, and not running away from it. So using websites that make coding accessible and understandable to a young person will grow their interest. Before you recommend a website to your teen, make sure you review it first yourself. You can look out for how easy it is to understand. You can also look out to see if it is focused on educating a beginner or young person. To help you in this area, here are 10 websites young people can use to learn anything online

8. Sign Your Child Up For Coding Courses For Teens

Once you know your goal for coding, the next step is finding a coding class. Your teen can learn coding independently. However, expert programmers and professionals can help your teen thrive even more in coding. Finding a course that has a regular time for learning will cut down the frequency of your teen potentially missing lessons. 

GT Scholars has created an excellent programme called the Code Creators Club. In this programme, young people get to learn about different programming languages from industry experts. With a different topic each month, such as gaming, web development and animation, your teen will develop new skills each week. This programme offers stability with regular lesson times. However, it is also flexible, giving your child a replay to catch up on missed lessons. To learn more about the Code Creators Club, click this here.

A combined effort from you and your teen is required to get your child started in coding. For a successful experience for your child, your part to play will be researching and planning your teen’s coding journey. Your teen’s role would be investing their time in learning and practising how to code. 

Now, armed with these insights and resources, you’re ready to embark on an exciting coding journey with your child. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s code away and unlock the endless possibilities of the digital world together!

How To Help GCSE & A-level Students Stay Energised And Prevent Burn Out

How To Help GCSE & A-level Students Stay Energised And Prevent Burn Out

Parents What's new?

As parents, there’s no doubt that we desire the very best for our children, especially when it comes to their education. And with the demands of the GCSE and A-level exams, it is natural for students to feel overwhelmed and stressed. If young people are not properly guided through dealing with stress, it might lead to burnout. The best thing to do as a parent or carer, is to provide the support that they need in order to help them overcome stress and prevent burnout.

It’s still important to keep in mind the significance of this phase in their educational journey, as young people tend to feel a lot of pressure when doing their GCSE and A-Levels. The pressure to perform well can be immense, from managing the exam schedules to coping with academic expectations, this phase presents heavy responsibilities to young people, and if they are not prepared and assisted to cope and overcome this pressure, they can overwork themselves, leading them to experience burnout.

While academic prowess is undeniably important, it should not come at the expense of your child’s well-being. As you read on, we will explore how you can alleviate your teen’s stress and workload during this delicate period of their academic journey. We will also explore the signs of burnout in teens and how you can assist your teen to succeed without sacrificing their mental health.

What are the signs of burnout in GCSE and A-level students?

Burnout can happen if your teen has sustained long-term overwhelm or stress caused by school work, assignments, exam preparation or the pressure to get good results and succeed.  

According to a 2021 report by Anastasija Dojchinovska, 73% of teachers believe student mental health has worsened since the introduction of the reformed GCSEs and 55% of teachers believe that mental health has worsened among students since the reforms of the A-Level exams.

Some of the signs of burnout in teens are physical and mental exhaustion, irritability, frustration and self-isolation. You may notice your child studying for many hours on a daily basis without adequate rest between revision sessions, and they may begin to experience persistent fatigue, struggles to concentrate, irritability over things that previously did not frustrate them and feeling constantly worn out. At that point, it is crucial for you to recognise this as burnout and begin to tackle it as soon as possible, as prolonged burnout can have detrimental effects on both academic performance and overall well being.

Remember: Burnout does not go away automatically, it has to be tackled intentionally. So what can you do as a parent to help your teen prevent burnout and stay energised?

1. Establish Healthy Habits

Establishing healthy habits for your teen is a foundational aspect of supporting their academic success and overall well-being. Encourage your teen to consume a variety of foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods not only boost brain function but also help maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day, allowing your teen to remain focused and engaged in their studies.

Hydration is another key element in maintaining cognitive function and overall health. Make sure your teen drinks plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and alert. Regular physical exercise is equally important, as it not only improves physical health but also serves as a natural stress reliever. It can help clear their mind, increase energy levels, and improve concentration. Additionally, quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function and emotional stability. Encourage your teen to establish a consistent sleep schedule that allows for adequate rest each night. By nurturing these healthy habits, you can help your teen manage stress, enhance their academic performance, and prevent burnout.

2. Encourage Open Communication

When your child knows they have a safe space to express their concerns and feelings, it can ease their emotional burden and help them process their thoughts more effectively. Encourage your teen to talk openly about their school experiences, any challenges they may be facing, and their feelings about upcoming exams. You can ask them about their study habits and if they are encountering any obstacles, and then listen actively to their responses. 

By creating a judgement-free environment, your teen will feel more comfortable sharing their struggles with you, which can alleviate feelings of isolation and stress. Through open communication, you can also identify potential signs of burnout early and work together to establish healthy coping strategies. By being present and engaged in your teen’s academic journey, you can offer valuable advice and resources to help them succeed without sacrificing their well-being.

3. Teach Them Stress Management Strategies

As exams and academic pressures mount, teenagers may experience heightened stress and anxiety, making it essential for parents to be more involved and attentive to their needs. In addition to having open communication, introducing your teen to various stress management techniques can help them navigate challenging situations. 

For instance, deep breathing exercises can provide immediate relief from stress by calming the nervous system and allowing them to regain focus. Mindfulness meditation can help them stay present and manage their thoughts and emotions more effectively. Walking outdoors or spending time in nature can provide a refreshing break from academic pressures and boost their mood. By incorporating these practices into their daily routine, your teen can build resilience, better manage stress, and cultivate a sense of inner calm, all of which are essential for preventing burnout and promoting overall well-being.

4. Limit Technology Use 

With constant access to smartphones, tablets, and computers, teens can easily become overwhelmed by information overload and distractions. Setting boundaries around technology use can help your teen focus on their studies and maintain a healthy balance between their academic and personal life. Encourage your teen to turn off electronic devices during study sessions and establish tech-free zones or times in your home, such as during meals or before bedtime. By teaching your teen to limit their technology use, you can help them prioritise their mental health and focus on what truly matters—achieving their goals and maintaining their overall well-being.

5. Set a Well Organised Study Schedule

It is crucial to avoid them overworking as they work towards deadlines and their academic responsibilities increase. You can help them set a weekly or monthly study calendar and allocate their study times, revision sessions and other school related activities, including regular breaks and sufficient time to rest. This will help them avoid having long marathon study sessions that could end up overworking them. Ensure that you also allocate time for social activities, relaxation, and exercises in order to boost their energy levels. Additionally, if your child does some home chores, you can help them by reducing it, if possible, so that they can have more time and energy to prepare for their academic responsibilities. You can check out this blog on our website to get more insights about helping your teen to effectively manage their time.

6. Help Them To Set Realistic Goals and Priorities

When goals are unrealistic, it gives them a lot of pressure to overwork themselves in order to reach them. And when they notice that despite their efforts, they are still not getting there, they get stressed, anxious, and discouraged, thinking that they are incapable! This can also further affect their self-esteem. Sit down with your child, ask them what they want to achieve and help them set realistic goals by breaking them down into small and achievable tasks they can complete. The more they achieve those easy tasks, the more they will be encouraged by those small wins. You can enhance their encouragement further by giving them simple rewards for achieving their tasks. This keeps them motivated and fuels them to keep their eyes on their goals.

7. Prioritise and Plan Relaxation

Intentional self care and relaxation reduce the chances of burnout. As much as your teen will be focusing on their GCSE and A-Levels, they shouldn’t be solely busy with school activities. A healthy balance will play a vital role in preventing burnout and keeping them energised. Whether it’s bike riding, reading books, or pursuing their hobbies and interests, doing activities that make them laugh and happy will help to take their mind off of exam stress and allow them to reflect and refocus on their goals with renewed energy. You and your teen need to prioritise and allocate time for other activities outside of studying. By doing this, they will have a mental balance which will help them to prevent high frustration levels and burnout.

With this information, you can provide significant help to your teen during their GCSE and A-Levels. Additionally, you can read this blog on our website as it provides more tips and strategies that can be equally useful for you and your teens.

At GT Scholars, we are passionate about helping young people to discover, develop and deploy their unique potential and achieve their aspirations both academically and professionally. We do this through various programmes and events that bring remarkable value to our scholars. To find out more about our programmes, click here.