Preparing your child for the Leaving Cert results

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On Wednesday 17th August, 700 schools nationwide will see their students receive their leaving certificate results, which is a pretty important day in the life of a teenager. And although there will most likely be a lot of students happy with their results on the day, it can also be a challenging time for some families as students feel anxious waiting for their results and some can be unhappy with the results they receive as well. In advance of the big day on Wednesday, the ISPCC has offered tips to parents on helping their children prepare for receiving their results and are reminding families across the country that there is plenty of support available.

Here, the ISPCC offers 5 of their top tips for getting through what can be a stressful few days this week.

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.

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.