Making good use of Christmas Holidays for your Leaving Cert student?

by | Dec 21, 2022 | Downtime, Teen support

So, Christmas is almost upon us, and school holidays are here for the next two weeks. How can your teen make good use of their Christmas break? Well, it all depends on their goals! And the progress they have made towards them.

Let’s have a look at the different options that could be on their agenda:

  1. Many students are eyeing up their mocks and Leaving Cert exams, feeling that they are nowhere near where they should be. Maybe, they are going full-on revision courses in one or more subjects with grind schools.
  2. Some students are using their free time to finish off – hopefully not start! – work on their portfolios for design type courses for fashion, architecture, or similar. This is a great time to finalise these to ensure that they have sufficient quality work completed.
  3. Some students are happy enough to do some revision on their own as well. And any assignments they have been given by teachers to complete over the holidays.
  4. Some will be happy to take the break, do what is necessary in terms of homework and that’s enough for them.
  5. In all likeliness, there will be some combination of all of the above!

Whatever is good for your teenager, it’s a good idea to support them in their options. Unless of course, they are nowhere near their own stated goals, motivation is down, and they are struggling to maintain their progress.

Helping to renew motivation

black background with text in white saying DREAM BIG.

Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

The Leaving Cert programme is a two-year course and, by any standard, is a marathon. It is no surprise, therefore, that motivation will flag at some point. Here’s how you can help your teenager renew their motivation and regain the confidence they need:

  1. Review their goals: are they beginning to change their mind about the course that they had been planning on doing – or are they losing confidence in their ability to get the results they need?
  2. Ask the question – whose goal was it in the first place? Children are programmed to meet the expectations or their parents and this carries on into the teenage years. Parents can really help their teens by having some quiet contemplation themselves to consider the expectations they have given their children. Or, indeed, allowed their teenagers to absorb from school and society. Given the individuality of your teenager, are these the correct study and career goals for them?
  3. Reassure your teenager that whatever the outcome of the Leaving Cert, their future is bright. Great careers can come out of the most ordinary exam results given time and a good outlook on life.

Must Do’s

There is one activity that your teenager should prioritise over the holidays and that’s to register for the CAO. They do not have to have their choice finalised yet but the registration fee is at a reduced rate until 5pm on 20th December. And a parent can really help by watching their teenager fill in that registration form to ensure that it’s done correctly. You can do a trial application form on the CAO website here

And finally…

Teenager sleeping

With all the activity they may take on this Christmas holiday, the best thing that your teenager can do is get plenty of rest and relaxation. The VERY best thing they can do is sleep and sleep some more! They need it to maintain good general health but also to help those brain cells connect allowing them to retain all that information they need for their forthcoming exams.

The SECOND very best thing is they get out into nature for walks and chats with family, friends and pets. Teenagers are humans and humans thrive on connectivity with each other and with nature.

Whatever option your teenager chooses this holiday time, I hope it is a very happy time for you and your family.

Helen Dillon Careers Coach for Leaving Cert Students

Helen Dillon – Careers Coach for Teenagers


Find out more about how I can help your teenager choose their career here.

Learn more About Me in my bio


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