Parenting, School and exams

08 August, 2017

5 tips for parents whose children are set to receive their Leaving Cert results

Leaving Certificate results can leave students losing track of all perspective and getting caught in the hype of the situation. Here's some advice for parents on how to help.

Very soon, Leaving Certificate results will be released to thousands of students up and down Ireland.

It is a time when it is easy for students to lose track of all perspective and get caught in the hype of the situation. Thus, if you are a parent of a student who is receiving their results, it is essential that you act as a steadying anchor during this tumultuous period.

It is not always easy to know what to do in such scenarios, so we have put together a list of tips for parents whose children are due to receive their results.

Give perspective

Most of us can remember when our own results were released and realise that this can be a time of uncertainty, stress and anxiety. It’s easy to think that this is an ‘all or nothing’ scenario and, although the Leaving Certificate is important, it is not the only deciding factor in any element of life.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Paul Gilligan, emphasised this point when stating: “Your child will be too close to the event to realise this; but the Leaving Certificate isn’t going to determine their whole life’s purpose."

“It’s essential that you give them the perspective of knowing that, if their results don’t go to plan, it doesn’t mean that they can’t achieve their ambition.”

Discussion is essential

After the initial feelings of excitement dies down, the student may feel a little underwhelmed and lost on their results day.

After such a significant moment in time, it can be difficult to readjust to not having a huge weight on their shoulders. It will help if you talk through the results and their feelings, but do it on their terms.

Some students may find it difficult to move past the emotional strain and stress of this period. If this is the case, then seeking professional help may be the answer, as this intervention will enable students to get past the trauma and anxiety of this difficult time.

Give a gentle reminder

Your son or daughter may be happy with how their results went, but not everyone will be in the same boat as them.

It is no harm to give them a gentle reminder that not all students will be feeling elated at this time and to be considerate of their peers’ feelings.

It’s all too easy to get swept up into the moment, while forgetting that not everyone’s situation is the same.

Remember, over-analysis is not a good idea

While it may be necessary to consider getting a re-check, it is generally wise to avoid extensive post-mortems of the past and detailed examinations of the future. Let the student enjoy their post-results party and then the business of ‘what’s next?’ can be discussed.

If things haven’t gone to plan, obsession over mistakes isn’t going to help anyone and if they have, now isn’t necessarily the time to be making detailed plans.

Of course, it is important to run through what’s next for your child, but, at the same time, now is a time to celebrate.

Be proud and avoid added pressure

Your child has completed their secondary school cycle; now is a time to be proud, no matter what their Leaving Cert results were.

Paul Gilligan added:

“Many students get caught up with questions, such as ‘what will my parents think?’ and ‘will my parents be upset with my results?’. This is an added pressure which doesn’t yield positive results for the student. Your son or daughter has gone through one of lives’ key milestones, so let them know you are proud of them.”

Continue to…

International Youth Day 2017