Helpful tips for parents ahead of the Leaving Cert Results

The ISPCC has this week issued tips to help parents support young people who are receiving their Leaving Cert results on Wednesday.

Director of Services, Caroline O’Sullivan, said: “Although there will be a lot of students who are happy with their results and looking forward to the next stepping stone in life, this week can be a challenging time for many families as some students may feel anxious waiting for their Leaving Cert results.

Leaving cert headstrong August 2016
(Pic: Headstrong)

“Receiving disappointing exam results can be stressful and upsetting for both young people and their parents.

“While it can be hard to know the best way to support your son/daughter during this difficult time, there is plenty of support available for both parents and children.

“The best tip is to keep the communication lines open, support your son/daughter through listening and talking, and keep your own expectations in check.

There can be a lot of pressure on young people to perform well in exams but they should be reassured that there are other options and this is just one stepping stone in life, there are many others.”

Here are the tips from the ISPCC:

Support your child through talking and listening

If your son/daughter isn’t happy with the results they have received, the best way to support them is to let them know that they can talk to you and that you are there for them.

Your son/daughter will need someone to listen to them and may not be able to think ahead about other options at this stage, so well-meaning advice may not be helpful for them now.

Reaffirming that you are proud of them and that you believe in them will help them face the path ahead.

Keep your own feelings in check

It is important that parents keep their own feelings in check. Parents as well as young people can have high hopes about exam results and can often be left disappointed when results are not what they expected.

Explore other options

When the initial disappointment has dissipated, you could talk to your young person about setting aside a time to sit down with them and explore and research their options in more detail.

Contact their guidance counsellor or link in with other services that can help them to look at their options.  

Focus on their strengths, achievements and unique qualities

Keeping the focus on their strengths and achievements and unique qualities will really help to build up their confidence and self-belief again.  There are lots of options available and it’s important that your young person is supported and empowered to make their own decisions.

Seek further support if needed

While being down and low for a few days is a normal reaction to disappointing results, an ongoing change in mood and a loss of interest in things that they would have usually enjoyed can be a sign that they may need some more support in dealing with the issue.

You know your young person best, so if you are concerned about them, it is important to contact your GP.

In addition to the support of their parents, young people often find it helpful to talk to someone else at this time.  

The ISPCC Childline service is available around the clock on 1800 666 666 or visit www.childline.ie for our online service.

Alternatively the National Parents Council (1800 265 165) provides advice and guidance for candidates and parents, staffed by professional guidance counsellors, for one week following the issue of the results.

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