Reducing Stress in Year 12. Tips for Parents

It is over half-way through Term 1 2022 and the pressure is starting to build. How do we bring down the stress levels so that our family life is less volatile and more peaceful?

There is so much going on: homework, SAC's, socialising, eating properly, driving lessons, 18th birthday parties, part time work, getting on with other siblings, study, volunteering, sport, leadership roles and of course - sorting out what happens after year 12 and the never-ending question around 'What am I going to be when I grow up?'

My first suggestion is to take a deep breath - and know that it will all be OK in the end!

But in the mean time?

Well I can't help you with everything, but I can remove one level of stress in the family home by helping you with the last question about 'what to be when I grow up'..

And to start with - it is the wrong question! Perhaps it needs to be around' what to do' and not 'what to be'....

To reduce stress for your Year 12 (and the rest of you living in the same household), let me help you by giving you a few tips and tricks. (I know everyone is different but this works for many and you can choose what is best for your situation)


  • Turn the conversation around. It is not about 'what you want to be when you grow up, but more about 'what you want to do with your life' Start with 'what do like doing and what are you good at?'

  • Another good question is 'which subjects do you prefer?' or 'which ones are you best at?' or 'what subjects do you like now?' and 'are there some you might like to continue with in some form after year 12?'

  • From there it may be looking at (for Victorian tertiary courses) and putting words like geography, history, biology, sport, health, economics, art or mathematics into their coursesearch search engine and see what comes up. And explore from there

  • If they have some idea of a field of interest for eg health, engineering, accounting, teaching, environmental scientist, graphic design, veterinarian or marketer, that can also be put into the search engine of to see what comes up in terms of courses and tertiary providers

  • Another option is to go to and put occupations of interest in that search engine and explore the large amount of information available there. You can look rates of pay, future prospects, daily tasks and similar occupations - and so much more!

  • Read your school's newsletter - there is usually a career section: READ IT so you know what is going on.. And if there isn't one, ask why not and suggest they put something out there for parents.


  • Talking side by side rather than face to face is so much better for all (They can think and maybe answer - without feeling like it is an interrogation - and you won't see the eye rolling!)

  • When they bring career conversations up, don't jump in. Just listen. And listen. And listen. And then perhaps gently offer - 'is there any way I can help you sort this? Or do you just want to get it off your chest?' And then accept their answer and leave it there. If they want help they will usually ask.

  • Offer to take them to University//TAFE open days/information sessions (Check uni websites for holiday programs, information evenings, virtual tours etc)

  • When driving in the car as you take them to sport, social events etc. Say little and see what comes up.

  • OR - Mention that you saw in the schools newsletter that there is an event at xyz uni and you are happy for them to drive there to get the driving hours up as practice for their licence


  • Listen to them and if they don't do much more than grunt just be there for them

  • Provide plenty of fresh delicious food

  • Encourage healthy eating, sleeping, social and exercise habits


  • If they tell you their results be supportive no matter what

  • Encourage exploration on helpful websites when they ask for help (see above)

  • Encourage them to see their school careers advisor


  • Suggest study and homework is really up to them but you are happy to put things in place like tutors or planning sessions or further careers advice or further help from teachers IF THEY WOULD LIKE.

  • Tell them not to stress about the future - just focus on doing their best now and doing what is possible

  • Be aware that it is good to have a goal/plan - but that it is ok to change that

  • Be aware that there is always another way for them to get to where they want to go

  • Be aware that it is ok that they do not to know what they want to do in the future right now

  • Be aware that TAFE is good, Uni is good, Apprenticeships are good.

If you need more help give me a call on 0419 319 150

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