Penelope Silver


How to make it through the stresses and strains of GCSE'S and A-Levels for Parents

Posted on 8 February, 2018 at 10:35 Comments comments (0)

I am thrilled to welcome this guest blog by my lovely colleague, Heather Coppard.

Heather is a fully insured and qualified Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness Practitioner registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register and the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (ADCHyp, GQHP). Heather has over 25 years experience in healthcare, having previously practiced as a qualified Nurse (BSc Nursing studies) and Health Visitor (Diploma in Community Health Studies). This experience has allowed Heather to work with many people and gain a wide understanding of medical conditions and the impact that such issues can have on people’s lives. Heather has always had an interest in the mind-body connection in relation to health and illness and is passionate about the potential benefits that people can experience through hypnotherapy and mindfulness. Heather sees people for a wide range of issues including stress management, anxiety, exam/work pressures, performance anxiety, unwanted behaviours and fears/phobias.

EXAMS!- what does that word conjure up for you?

For me, I can still clearly remember the smell of our school hall, the sound of the enormous clock ticking at the front and the incredible feeling of relief when they were all over.

When my son went through his GCSEs last year I was reminded of just how tricky this period can be and how important it is to have strategies to help and support them and us!!

In my job, I have supported many young students to help them cope positively with exams and so I felt fairly well prepared to guide my son.

He took it in his stride, revised hard but also continued to enjoy the sports and hobbies that balance his life.

He was happy to adopt mindfulness techniques and felt that these helped him to calmly manage both his revision and exams.

His school were also well aware of the importance of mental health and included mindfulness strategies as part of their exam preparation.

There were still challenging times, when he thought an exam hadn’t gone so well or when there was yet another exam/curriculum change to deal with and the night before results wasn't much fun!

Being completely honest I had also underestimated how stressful it would be for us as parents supporting him through this.

We were lucky though, we knew how to help him and also how important it was to look after our own mental health.

I was really glad that I had my own well developed strategies to help me keep calm so I was more help to him when he needed me.

I also treated myself to a couple of fabulous reiki sessions which were blissful!

Chatting to friends with kids of the same age, confirmed they were all feeling the same way and surprised by how challenging it was for the parents and not just the kids.

They all said that they wished they had been more prepared practically and emotionally and that got me thinking about what I could do to help.

Quite rightly much of the exam preparation is focused on the kids.

Teachers are so pressured though in terms of delivering the curriculum that sometimes study skills, life skills and mental health support may be overlooked.

It’s these skills though that can really make the difference to our kids success and well being.

If young people have developed self help strategies and resilience, then they will cope more readily with any challenges that face them.

Practising techniques like mindfulness has also be shown to improve concentration and memory - key factors for exam success! I

f we as parents are more prepared for what lies ahead, we can also get ready to support our teenagers and be calmer ourselves in the process.

One day I was talking to my friend and colleague Penny Silver and we realised that not only were we seeing more teens in our practice for exam stress management, we were also seeing more parents who were describing increased stress during their children’s exams.

Thats why we have decided to offer a course to parents to help them prepare for this important parenting phase.

The course helps parents to identify any unhelpful coping strategies that their teens may be using and suggest alternative healthier strategies.

The course covers lots of practical and useful information and provides a variety of helpful tips and techniques for parents and teenagers to practise.

We look at mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, EFT (tapping) , Reiki and aromatherapy and how both parents and children can benefit from these practices.

Heather Coppard

ADCHyp, GQHP, MSc Management Practice, BSc Professional Nursing Studies, Diploma Community Health Studies (Health Visiting), Diploma In Adult Nursing.

Heather is available for appointments at Blossom Wellbeing Cheshire, please contact me on 0773614197 or

For further information please see: