Irish Mirror article about Richard Hogan:                     ‘Top therapist tells parents how to keep calm and encourage their kids ahead of Junior and Leaving Cert’

As exam pressure mounts ahead of the Junior and Leaving Cert next month, parents have been
advised to keep calm and shelve their own anxieties.

There’s just five weeks to go until around 120,000 schoolchildren will complete their tests all over the country.

Family therapist Richard Hogan has told how mums and dads need to treat the daunting examinations as a one of life’s learning curves.

He said: “The majority of people experience stress and for some families we want the child to be more stressed and other families want their child to calm down and gain some perspective on the exams.

“It’s such a learning moment for your child.

“We’re hard-wired as mammals to experience stress and we’re going to experience throughout our lives and it’s important they develop the coping skills to manage the Leaving Cert.”

Mr Hogan said the tell-tale signs of stressed-out students are “they might be overwhelmed, they might not be able to sleep, not going out”.

And the therapist has some advice for parents who are having sleepless nights about their kids not studying enough. Mr Hogan told told Virgin Media One: “Sometimes we need to do a bad exam, we need to fail sometimes.

“Success is sometimes about failing and overcoming it.

Perfectionism is a thing that causes a lot of stress.”

4. Relax

“Adults also need to know there are many paths. The journey is life.

“It is only an exam at the end of the day.”

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