The Leaving Certificate is not the be all and end all, but when you get disappointing results it can feel like it is.
Not getting a certain amount of hoped for points or particular grades in your subjects can be upsetting and stressful for your teen, but it is up to you to help them through this trying time.
If your son or daughter has been left frustrated by their points, the following tips will help them.
1. Support and listen to them
Right now your teen will need all the support that you can give them – not judgement or criticism. Offer them a shoulder to cry on, make sure you listen to their concerns and frustrations and tell them how proud you are of the work they put into the exams.
2. Don’t pass unwanted comments
The last thing your teen needs right now is to be berated for not putting enough effort in, criticism or any form of judgement – they will already be questioning everything right now without you having to put your oar in. Watch what you say at all times – they will be feeling a little sensitive and even embarrassed, and need a kind listening ear.
3. Don’t talk about their options - yet
The initial shock of disappointing results can cloud your teen’s judgement or perspective. They won’t be able to comprehend other options right now so leave that until tomorrow when their head is a little clearer and they feel calmer. They next day is a good time to discuss getting papers checked, accepting whatever CAO course they are offered, repeating, looking into Further Education Courses and private colleges, a trade or even just gaining work experience.
4. Draw attention to the areas they excelled in
Focus in on the positive aspects of their results, the areas they did extremely well in and praise them for it. This can take their mind off their overall result, helping to clear their head and show them what they are capable of.
5. Don’t let them wallow
It can be hard for them to think about anything other than the points they got, especially when their peers got what they wanted, but don’t let them wallow. They have done a major achievement getting to where they are now so let them celebrate.