It’s easy to feel helpless as a parent to an IB student. Your child may be going through constant stress and anxiety about schoolwork mixed with the inevitable hardships of being a teenager. When you get too involved your child gets annoyed, but if you don’t get involved at all you may be scared that they don’t feel supported… We get tons of questions at Lanterna from parents who are wondering what the best way to deal with this is – and here are our top 5 tips!
1. Understand the IB
The last thing a child needs when they’re stressing about their EE or IA is a parent asking you to explain what those acronyms mean. If you, as a parent, have no idea what your child is going through and what significance different assignments have then it’ll be near impossible to provide them with useful comments. Take some time to read through the basics of what the IB is so that you can empathize with them! Check out our Breakdown of the IB for IB Parents or any of our other ‘Understanding the IB’ blog posts for more information!
2. Be comfortable with stepping back
Many IB students are happy to study independently without interruption, and may think that even your well-intentioned remarks are worthless. In an interview with IBO, an IB Parent stated that “my children don’t ask for much input… all we do is try and provide a caring, stable, and supportive home environment”. We’ve heard countless stories with students like this, who would prefer to tackle the IB by themselves, and feel that a constant smattering of questions from parents is the opposite of what they need. If you’re comfortable with letting your child have that space, it might be exactly what they would like in order to thrive.
3. Understand venting vs. advice-seeking
Sometimes IB students want to vent about their frustrations and grievances, and aren’t necessary looking for a solution to their problems. It can just be therapeutic to spew out all the things on your mind! We’d recommend that if you hear your child starting to rant about how terrible they think the IB is, ask them whether they would like advice about it or if they just wanted to get something off their chest. Although this might sound strange, there is something extremely comforting about your parents understanding that sometimes you just need an emotional release!
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4. Recognize the difficulty of the IB
The last thing an IB student needs is additional pressure coming from their parents when they’ve got enough pressure already coming from the school and their peers. The IB is an extremely difficult diploma – and even passing it should be seen as an academic success! Expecting your child to get a 7 in every subject is, in most cases, wholly unrealistic. Ask your school for the average IB scores in different subjects to get a perspective on what a ‘good’, ‘bad’, and ‘average’ score is within a particular subject so you don’t unnecessarily stress your child more than they already are!
5. Explore getting them a tutor
A Lanterna tutor can help your child not only to understand problem areas, or difficult subjects, but it allows them to speak with someone who went through the same experience they’re currently going through! Not only will your child get excellent teaching, but receive top tips on how to manage stress, improve organization, and tackle IB exams/assignments. If you’d be interested in seeing how tutoring may work for your child, you can get your own tutor today! Book a package that suits you, and if it’s not for you, then you can get a full refund after the first hour!