How to get your child to write their personal statement over the Christmas break

The festive break is usually all about great food, copious naps, and feel-good movies. But if you’ve got children in sixth form, the lead up to 31 January means there’s something bigger looming: the university application deadline! If you’re struggling to get your kids to get stuck in and write their personal statement to ensure they meet the application deadline, we’ve got some top tips.

Parents xmas personal statement primary

1. Change the Wi-Fi password

The main source of distraction and procrastination is the internet, so change the Wi-Fi password and only offer it up once at least the first draft of their personal statement is complete. You could even change the password to something charming like ‘DO_SOME_WORK’.

2. Channel the grammar police

Make sure you’re on hand to advise on spelling and grammar to ensure your kids don’t get discouraged with all that red underlining on their Word document. Giving them a hand with polishing their personal statement will go a long way in encouraging them to take pride in it.

Download your free personal statement guide

Give your child a helping hand with their university application.

3. Sales shopping rewards

After Christmas your kids might be loaded up with gift cards and money from their distant relations, and they’re likely to fancy a spot of sales shopping. Well, why not strike up a deal – they can reward themselves with some online bargain hunting after they’re finished the first section of the personal statement!

4. Take a step back

The hardest thing about writing a personal statement is shouting about yourself and your achievements. For a lot of students, their personal statement is the first time they have to try to sell themselves, and it’s nigh on impossible to write about this without cringing and feeling big-headed. Take the chance to help your kids step back from it all and identify what they want to focus on, and their proudest moments to date. It’s a good opportunity to inject some self-confidence, too.

5. New Year’s resolutions

The festive season is a great time to think about New Year’s resolutions, and what better resolution than writing a brilliant personal statement and applying to university – one step closer to an exciting future! It’s a great feeling to say you’ve stuck to your resolutions too, so this is an ideal way to make this activity a very realistic goal.

6. Put yourself in their shoes

A great way to show your kids that it’s not an impossible task is to write a personal statement yourself! You can talk about your passions and your dream career, then compare this with what your kids write. You might even find yourself connecting further on joint interests that you can pursue together…or just laugh at your attempt…Whatever you do, avoid the clichés and aim for originality to help your kids stand out.

Make sure you check out our application advice section for more tips on how to create the personal statement to end all personal statements!

'Parent and student - how to apply

Parent and guardians' guide to university

Download our FREE guide for parents and guardians, packed full of info on when to start thinking about university, how to choose a course and university, and invaluable explanations on student finance, accommodation, and what you can do to help your child make the right choices!