Parents are unknowingly hindering their child’s studying when they go into their rooms and ask how their study is going, a new survey has revealed – students also revealed the ways in which parents could be helpful in the lead up to exams.
An online poll conducted by Pilot Pen Australia and HSC tutor Clarissa Armani found that, out of over 300 students, 62 per cent said their parents hindered their studying and only 38 per cent said their parents helped.
The majority of respondents (57 per cent) said the worst thing parents do is “interrupt my studying by coming in my room” and “constantly asking me how my studying is going” (37.05 per cent).
Stress and Frustration
Ms Armani has been a tutor for four years and has been creating study content on TikTok over the past year.
“Parents often use overbearing strategies that they think may be helping their child but in reality, from these results, we’ve seen that the majority of students are saying their parents are hindering them when it comes to studying,” she said in an interview.
“That usually ends up stressing out students, making them have low confidence and they become frustrated. It’s just overwhelming (because) the students are trying to sort out their own time, but they have a parent telling them that they need to do it right now.”
“The majority of respondents said the worst thing parents are doing during exam periods is interrupt their study by entering their rooms and constantly asking them how their study is going.”
This also prevents the child from developing their own studying style, Ms Armani said.
“By letting the child be by themselves and study individually, they can end up working out what study method works best for them,” she said. “There’s so many study methods and each individual really needs to work out what’s best for them.
“And if you have a parent interrupting that study session, I think the whole study session just becomes ineffective.”
However, Ms Armani understands that parents have the right intentions in mind.
“I think they are trying to help, I don’t think that parents are trying to hinder their children at all.
“I think they’re trying to keep on top of their children and make sure they’re achieving their potential, it’s just the route they take when they’re talking to their children.”
What Parents Can Do Instead
To better support their children, parents can begin by asking different questions, Ms Armani said.
“Parents should be asking questions like ‘Is there anything that I can do to help you start studying?’; questions like that are better than saying ‘why aren’t you studying right now?’”
They can also help by ensuring the student has the right studying environment, she said.
“I don’t think parents need to do anything big or crazy, just those little things make a big difference to the child’s study sessions.” – Clarissa Armani, HSC tutor
“Parents should be providing healthy snacks, a quiet environment, clean desk spaces (and) proper stationery. I think those little things really help, I don’t think parents need to do anything big or crazy, just those little things make a big difference to the child’s study sessions.”
This is consistent with the survey results, which showed that respondents wanted their parents to give them space (35 per cent), buy them stationery (26 per cent) and make them a cup of tea or provide snacks (22 per cent).
The survey also revealed other distractions, including phones, TVs, the internet, other electronic devices and loud noises, with 27 per cent of respondents citing these as distractions.
“Technology is a huge distraction, I think it’s social media on the phones, it’s so accessible,” Ms Armani said.
“Sometimes, technology can actually be used to help and can be a tool to help students study… when I’m tutoring, I use apps to show students different ways to learn.”
To minimise the distraction of social media, Ms Armani suggested students log off social media while they’re studying or, if that’s too difficult, they can leave their phones outside their rooms.
“I think that does help, it makes the child aware that when they go into their study room that’s studying and then when they come out, they can have access to their phone again.”
Feature image: Photo by Windows on Unsplash