The Matric Parents Toolbox: 7 steps to survival

matric parents

It’s time for the Class of 2023 to shine! Matric Parents, will you survive?

This can be a stressful time for students and parents, if not pro-actively learning to plan and navigate the challenges of the year.

As parents, how can we ensure that our children are coping at worst, thriving at best and getting through as fluidly and easily as possible? As an experienced performance and wellness coach, below are some practices that can aid with this objective.

Survival kit for Matric Parents

As with all things, I encourage you to absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

1. Check-in often and re-assure regularly

The Matric year, whether you recall, or not can be an emotional and mental rollercoaster at the best of times.

Find ways to check in with your child, without seeming overbearing. Ensure they have a go to person who they can confide for times when they might feel overwhelmed.

It is incredibly important to assure your child that all they need to do is give their best, and that no matter the outcome everything will be fine and that they will be loved.

Nobody is ever defined by one single exam or set of exams, and this just one steppingstone in the journey of life.

2. Ensure they have a study plan and hold them accountable to it

Does your child already have a well-defined and robust process implemented, as well as goals for the year? Ensure that they do! The goals might not be critical; however, the processes are.

If they and you are not sure as to how draw one up, consult people who have done it before.

3. Adopt a team mentality and know the key dates

Adopt a team mentality and seek to help your child where you see them struggling. Don’t expect your children to remember every milestone and be willing to walk along the journey hand in hand, whilst at the same time allowing them to take pole position.

Below is a list of the key dates:

4. Obtain insights from their teachers, coaches, and tutors

With 12 years behind you, matric parents will know instinctively when their child needs help. By now, your child’s teachers, coaches and tutor will have probably gained key insights into strengths, weaknesses, challenge areas. Reach out to them to collaborate on ways to ensure that the student has their bases covered.

Address the weaknesses and areas that need attention by finding resources, and getting additional assistance in the form of coaching, tutoring, and mentoring.

5. Ensure the 3 R’s are maintained (Refuel, Rest, Rejuvenate)

These 3 pillars will form the foundations, not only for this year. They are the cornerstones to sustained performance.


Don’t expect your child to perform optimally mentally or emotionally if their diet is off point. Resist the urge to buy them sweets, chocolates and worst of all, anything with caffeine. Studies show that all these potentially increase focus and energy for short bursts of time, followed by a crash. Choose fruits, almonds, and nuts. Encourage them to drink water rather than energy drinks and coffee.


The mind works best when well rested. Get your child in the habit of going to bed early, say no later than 10pm, and rise early, no later than 6am to kick off the day. There is a caveat here, depending on chronotype.

Get them in the habit of taking mini breaks in between their study sessions and get them moving during this time. Movement is medicine, especially when seated and having to focus for extended periods


Remember that your child will need periods of recovery time, especially when the mind begins to fatigue. Monitor them, where possible and if you see them beginning to saturate, intervene and get them to take a walk or do something enjoyable. All in balance.

Ensure that your child is doing some form of exercise daily, be it running, gym, ballet, yoga, dance or whatever. The body loves to move, and it is a sure way to also rejuvenate the mind as well.

Get them to meditate, there are various apps online that offer free guided meditations specifically for students. I suggest Insight Timer as it has many free meditations, however the number of apps are many.

Below are some helpful links:

6. Remove distractions

As a matric parent the responsibility falls on you to ensure that as many distractions as possible are removed.

The major one is digital devices. This can be a powerful tool and a very damaging distraction as a student might be tempted to look at social media on their phone, which can eat into their study time.

If needs be, ask that they give you their mobile device during their scheduled study time and allow them to go online during breaks.

A fantastic tool for matric parents to monitor screen time usage is Stay Free Screen Time Tracker or Family Link by Google for Android and Offscreen for Apple apps.

7. Past year exam practice under exam conditions!

The key issue for many students is even though they may fully understand the subject material, they don’t practice under exam conditions. This is probably one of the most major contributors to poor performance. It leads to stress and anxiety for many in the exams.

Here are links to exam portals:

Note: If you enjoyed this article, and would like to stay updated with more, you can:



Udersh Mahesh

Udersh Mahesh

Udersh S. Mahesh is an engineer, coach, lifestyle optimizer, yoga instructor, mindfulness facilitator and entrepreneur. He has 9 years of experience in guiding Matric students in effectively navigating their year. His vision is to contribute to creating a world of empowered individuals with a deep sense of purpose that is aligned to their highest values. He is the founder of Easy as Pi and Entheos Wellness, 2 sister organizations that focus on equipping people with tools to thrive.

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