Studying and work

Exams, work, the future, it’s all stressful stuff. Arguing about studying and work happens a lot in families and often people will have different ideas about what is best.

  • Going to school
  • Staying on at school
  • Skipping school
  • Getting bullied
  • Homework
  • Changing schools
  • Getting into trouble at school
  • What to do next?
  • Finding work
  • Losing your job
  • I feel frustrated
  • I’m old enough to make my own decisions
  • I don’t care anymore
  • I get really stressed out
  • I feel lonely
  • I get angry
  • I feel misunderstood
  • I’m worried about my future

What can I do to make things better?

  • What do you need?

    Try to explain to the other person what you need and why rather than what the problem is. Example:


    “You are constantly on at me to find a job and asking questions, you won’t let it go.”


    “I need to be treated like an adult and trusted to be able to do this myself.”

  • See it from their side

    Try and see the situation from the other person’s shoes.

    Person 1

    “I hate going to school, it’s boring, I hate all my subjects, and it starts way too early.”

    Person 2

    “I know it’s hard but I want her to have all of the opportunities possible to do what she wants with her life. This starts in school.”

  • Be honest

    Ask questions and explain how you feel. Example:

    “I don’t understand why I have to do my homework straight away when I get in from school? I need time to relax. I’m totally stressed out with school at the moment.”

  • Consider alternatives

    Consider lots of options to solve the problem.


    “I hate school, and I’ve been thrown out of college. My parents keep going on at me to do something.”


    School and college isn’t for everyone. However, we all need to do something with our time and find a way of earning money. Be creative and open to thinking of other ways you could do this.

Time and Space

Finding a good time and place to talk with your family about stuff is important.

Make sure you won’t be interrupted by anyone else.

Choose a time where you are both around - not 5 minutes before one of you has to run out the door.

It helps if you’re not already angry with each other about something else.

Conflict Resolution and Mediation

After working through the steps above and considering your own situation, you may find it helpful to know more about conflict resolution and mediation.

Sam is much happier now that he and his mum know how to deal with their arguments better.

If you get together and talk about it, I've often seen people come up with much better solutions themselves.

Paul Burns, Mediator

We still have our arguments, but we deal with them a lot better now.

Kerry, Sam's Mum

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