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Am I failing as a parent? Don’t give up!

You’re helping more than you might realise.

teenager embraced with mum

There is nothing harder than seeing your child go through a hard time. It can be heartbreaking to see your child suffer and know that it could and should be different, especially when that experience has an impact on their schooling or education.

You’re right.  It’s exhausting, and sometimes parenting hurts. It can be even harder when they push you away, refuse every option and helping hand you offer and just seem angry or down about the world. Don’t give up, you’re helping more than you might realise.

What you should know

School shouldn’t be a negative experience.

All Queensland state schools are committed to building a safe, inclusive learning environment. If your child is experiencing problems you can make a time to talk to the school to discuss how they can help support your child’s needs.

There is help.

If you’re unhappy with the response, you can ask to talk to someone else at the school until you find the support you need. These conversation starters might help you with getting in touch with the school. If you’re not getting the help you need, contact the regional office.

State schools in Queensland aim for “every student succeeding”.

Keep that in mind, and remember that your child has rights and the school is there to help them succeed.

There is a point to it all.

Staying in a mainstream education setting can have lots of benefits for your child; ensuring their study isn’t interrupted, keeping school routines and friendships build a sense of belonging and in many cases, means they keep close access to their support network.

You’re making a difference.

There’s a lot you can, and probably already are doing, to help your child when times get tough. By simply being there, you’re helping them feel valued and safe. By listening you’re helping them feel validated and giving them a way to vent and seek help. By showing your own determination in overcoming obstacles in work, life and learning, you’re teaching them how to not give up.

There are good things too.

What you say and do can also help them focus on the positives – both at school and in other areas of their life – and not let the negatives define their learning. Showing your own positive spin can help give your child the strength to see things differently too. By keeping your cool when they are angry or emotional, you are showing the value of emotional control and being a role model.

Yes, it matters.

You may be the only one they have opened up to, and it’s important that you do let the school know so they’re able to help find a solution. Talk to the school, know your options and make sure you continue to advocate for your child.

This isn’t the end.

Once you’ve found a solution and made it to the other side, you are still supporting your child to find the motivation, and often courage, to try again. Teenage life means a lot of ups and downs. Focus on the positive things; their friends, classes they like, their sense of humour (things that make them unique) what they are good at, or their aspirations after school. These things are still there – there’s a lot to look forward to and a lot of reasons to make the most of their learning now.

It can be draining to overcome hard times, so it’s important to know that you can find support too. Talk to friends and others who may have had similar experiences or who know and value you and your child.

You know your child deserves to be happy, and feel fulfilled in their learning. Overcoming hardship builds resilience and strength and is something they will be able to use later in life. Remember, there is help and support.

Support Contacts for Spark

Last Updated: 14 July 2022