10 out of 10 for stress

These are anxious times for 200,000 households in the Netherlands but just grit your teeth, writes Hanneke Sanou.

Today sees the kick off of two weeks of stroppy teenagerdom and frazzled parental nerves – yes, its the start of the national school final exams.
Approximately 400,000 parents (minus the 5.6 percent of single parents who will have to bear the whole brunt of late night hysterics brought on by 15 cups of coffee on their own) are collectively bracing themselves, a national clenching of teeth. Any natural urges to nag are to be suppressed. Patience and calm is what is required.
Can they do it? Two weeks of tiptoeing around wild eyed teenagers who ditch their household chores in the name of Exams but find time to party in the name of Having to relax in order to face Exams, is it humanly possible?
It had better be. No parent in his right mind would want to see his son or daughter stumble at the finishing line.
That’s why thousands of them have been packed off to last-minute crammers in Leiden, Utrecht and Amsterdam – a handy source of income for universities and underpaid teachers thanks to the €100 or so a day fee.
After all, think of the stresses of a resit! Or, god forbid, a repeat year. Think instead of sending them on their merry way, onto university or a job if there are any left. It’s only two weeks. Then you can have your life back.
Hanneke Sanou is a freelance journalist

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