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Parents, are you feeling the pressure too?

By Ligaya Ninte

We all know that Year 12 can be an incredibly stressful time for students. What we don’t always know is that parents are usually going through the same journey and can feel just as stressed and helpless as their sons and daughters.

Year 12 exams are just a two-week period of student’s life, but it’s a time that can create an extensive amount of stress for students, and hence, the whole family.  You may have more children to follow, or perhaps you have been through this already with older kids.  Getting each child through high school is an achievement and momentous for parents too.

So here are our top tips to help you plan what is certain to be an extraordinary year ahead

Emphasise that it’s normal to feel stressed

Stress is normal when we are involved in something challenging. We feel stress because we are exposed to the possibility that we may not perform well. You can tell your child that this tormenting feeling is good because it means you are challenging yourself. Ask them how they feel, listen and encourage, but help them to see challenge as a good thing.

Tell them not to worry about not getting the results they want

Children can feel that if they don’t succeed in their exams it will affect their whole life.  But honestly ... sometimes a few knocks in life can help shape us as humans. Tell them that not getting exactly what they want is a normal part of life and that there are multiple pathways to success.

Try to distract them from overthinking problems

When a young person is stressed, they will repeat an idea over and over again in their mind. Sometimes, it is comforting to entertain the idea, but more often than not it just complicates the problem more. Doing something you enjoy can be the best distraction for worrying thoughts.

Figure out how they like to work

We all learn differently and that’s alright. Work out the most effective environment for your child.  Find out their study habits, if they like to be alone or study with friends. They may be a visual learner and use lots of pictures, or a verbal learner and need to talk through ideas.

Maintain open communication before results

Even the most hardworking and smartest students will have a level of apprehension in the lead up to receiving their ATAR results. Parents know their children better than anybody else, so you'll understand how they are feeling.

If they're anxious, that's absolutely normal and the important thing is to keep open lines of communication.  Speak to them about how they're feeling and listen - you can't do much but give them support and a viewpoint and reassure them that they've done their best.

Celebrate the effort, not just the result

Both students and parents need time to process the results and assess what the ATAR score means for the next phase of their lives. You need to be ready for results day as the way you react will influence them almost as much as the score itself.  Whatever the result, don't forget to celebrate the effort that has been put in.

After you've allowed your child time to process their results, you can start introducing perspective about what they really want to do. Discuss what they're thinking and start planning other ways to get into their course. Your kids have been with you for 17 to 18 years, so they know exactly what to expect from you. If your first reaction is to jump in and try to solve things, they know you're going to do that, and they won't hear it. Instead, sit back and ask them what they want to do.

Provide stability and support while they transition to uni

Going from high school to university is a big change and everyone handles this transition differently. Some will handle it with calmness, but others will be worried and unsure. The most important thing you can do is keep things as normal as possible throughout the process.

Kids put themselves under so much pressure these days, and the last thing they need is more nagging from parents, be it about their results, what they want to do or how they are behaving. The more parents sit back and let them handle things themselves at this point in their lives, the better it will be. It all comes down to understanding your sons and daughters and how they are feeling about the end of school. This is a significant change in their lives and your role as a parent is to maintain a level of steadiness, so they feel comfortable and confident taking their first steps into the real world.

Our top tips for parents

Speaking from the experience of surviving children going through year 12, these are our top tips for parents:

  • Encourage effort and then just let the results happen
  • Give your children space to be who they are
  • Enable them to get the rest and sleep they need
  • Be there to have meaningful conversations with them if they want it
  • Encourage them to get out and exercise
  • Feed them healthy food and dish out plenty of love

We can help

Many students see a gap year as a good post-school choice, a chance to earn money and meet the criteria of Centrelink’s Youth Allowance.  However, they may not be not well informed of the rules to qualify. Most parents and students do not know the qualifying period, the minimum amount to be earned, whether the money earned had to be taxable or how to apply for Youth Allowance.

Both parents and their children need better information about this financial assistance. Your dedicated team at Lincolns Accountants can help you through this process with support and advice. Call us anytime on 08 9841 1200 and have a chat to one of our professional and passionate team members.

 


Looking after your mental health

Our newsletter article highlights one of the stresses on people across our community, and just one factor that may have an adverse impact on mental health.

1 in 4 people suffer with a mental illness at some stage of their life, the main ones being depression and anxiety.

The key to a faster recovery is to seek professional help so you can get back to doing what you love and enjoying life.  However, getting help with mental health can often be a barrier for many people – perhaps they don’t know where to turn or they feel isolated from access to assistance.

The Black Dog Institute has a fantastic mental wellness program that contains some really great online resources and phone apps that can be accessed for free from anywhere.


Our new online fee payment system

Apxium, our new online fee payment system, has been in place for 3 months.  Like any new system, it takes some getting used to – for you and for us.

Now that we are 3 months along, we thought a few reminders on how the system works might be helpful. 

Notifications and reminders

You will receive an email each time an invoice is issued to you.  You will then receive a reminder email and text messages if the invoice is not paid by the due date.

If you wish the email to go to a different address or the text to a different phone number, that’s easy for us to change, just let us know.

Secure payments online

Some people have queried the security of the online payment, it’s music to our ears that you are security conscious.  You can rest easy.  The email you receive contains a link to your own secure online payment portal.  From this portal your payment is made over a secure gateway using credit card or direct debit.  You can also choose to pay now or on the due date.

If you do enter your bank or credit card details to make a payment, this only pays your current amount outstanding.  It does not authorise payment for any future invoices.

Who is Apxium?

Apxium is the provider of the new online payment system.  There has been some confusion about the name Apxium on notifications.  Rest assured the communication is from Lincolns, it just comes with the help of our new Apxium software.

Apxium’s security

The Apxium system is fully PCI compliant, meaning they must meet the same compliance regulations as the banks, credit card suppliers and other online payment providers such as PayPal.  Apxium must adhere to strict regulations regarding the security and privacy of any information that is passed through their systems.

Questions?

If you have any queries or comments regarding this new system please contact Kylie Thomas on 9841 1200.


Your top 3 IT concerns

Thanks to everyone who participated in our IT security survey last month. 

Results are in and a third of you backed up your computer daily, with another third doing so when you thought of it. Over 60% of you updated your software when prompted, with the same amount using the same password for multiple applications. 90% of you think you can spot a scam email when it hits your inbox. These are promising results and you are certainly no novice!

Thank you to those who shared your concerns about IT with us. We have decided to answer the 3 most common worries you had, but please note the answers to these questions will vary depending on your circumstances.

Here are the top 3 issues raised:

What if the cloud server goes down? The term cloud server refers to multiple virtual and physical servers that are geographically dispersed, making them one of the most reliable forms of technology. Cloud servers have a much lower chance of causing you an issue, as the risk is reduced due to the vast quantity of servers working together to store your data.

I don’t know how to back up my computer.  The method of backing up your computer will vary depending on the size of your infrastructure.  If you’re at home, it may be as simple as buying an external drive and copying your files to it on a frequent basis.  If you own a business, there are options depending on the size of your storage requirements, from cloud-based to physical / onsite servers.

Protecting my personal identity and hacking.  There are many things you can do to protect yourself online, eg review your social media privacy settings frequently, when purchasing online use a reputable and secure site, be skeptical of emails from unknown senders as an email with a harmful link could begin a chain reaction.

If you didn’t find your answer here, we are happy to help you out.  Contact us on 9841 1200 with your IT concerns and questions.

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