Exams are over, Summer is here and the student(s) in the family are probably showing visible signs of relief. But it’s not over! Summer might not be as stressful as exam time but it comes with a heap of new decisions for students to make. Do they get a job? Relax as much as possible? Prepare for university? Indulge in a hobby while they have the time? Then there’s the anticipation of Results Day...
The important thing is to have an idea of how to make the most of the Summer.
For some students, this may be the last few weeks they have before they leave their friends to go to different universities. To keep everyone happy – here’s the do’s and don’ts for keeping your child busy this Summer and avoid the inevitable "I’m bored"!
1) Ask if they want to visit their university city
If the university your child is joining in September is far away (or even if it’s not), the Summer is a great chance to find out more about the city, get familiar with transport links and find the food places they might like. This is a practical way of spending time with your student over the Summer and will decrease their anxiety about moving away from home. It’s also great for you! If you’re not familiar with the place your child is moving to, a nice Summer visit is an ideal way to put your mind at ease and be sure they know their way around.
2) Give Birmingham a spin!
Between the cricket, music festivals and Cadbury World, we've got more than enough to satisfy the music lovers, chocoholics and sports fans this summer. If retail therapy is your thing, the Bullring, Grand Central and Mailbox shopping centres have an amazing selection. Read our Birmingham Summer Guide for more and enter our Summer competition for the complete Birmingham experience.
3) Teach them the basics
If your future uni student doesn’t already know, for example, how to work the washing machine, or thinks the oven is an instant food delivery system, then it can be embarrassing for them to ask for help. Do your best to reassure them that everyone has to learn at some point and make it an experience rather than a lesson. For instance, teach them how to cook one of their favourite meals so they know how to cook something when they get to university. Finance is also important – the mysteries of a student bank account and the meaning of an overdraft is a key area where you could give advice. Check out our guide on the seven top life lessons to teach your kids before they go to uni.
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1) Ask them (too much) about their exam results…
…unless they’re showing visible signs of worry. You may be curious but it’s likely you’ve already had the initial ‘how do you think it went?’ conversation – after that there’s no point dwelling on the exams. The results will be the same for your child whether you’ve had one or 11 conversations about it, and each time can increase the stress they might feel.
2) Push them too much
The first thing your student will be doing is breathing a huge sigh of relief. The summer is long, but the immediate priority will likely be to relax and recharge. Because of this, the first few weeks after exams might not be the time to suggest they get busy with applying to Summer jobs or brushing up on some reading before uni.
Rest assured, they’ll soon be saying "I’m bored!", and this will be the time to push the more practical suggestions like getting a job or prepping for their course.
3) Be a helicopter parent
As it was when your child was choosing courses and universities, space and support are key. Helicopter parents always want to know what’s going on in their child’s life and are more commonly referred to as the ‘nagging’ type. If you’re thinking about Facebook-stalking your kids while they’re at university then you might be in danger of being one of these. A great way to avoid this is to get involved in useful ways: take them to IKEA to sort out their accommodation supplies, take an interest in their university town and teach them things they’ll need to be independent.