Results day can be a nerve-wracking experience for many young people, many of whom will queue up at school and face an anxious wait to find out how they've done in their exams before they can think about the next stage in their education.
It can be an equally stressful time for parents too. But there are a number of things we can do to ease the strain and help our children prepare for their future.
1. Keep calm
If you are nervous, you can bet your life your child will be so try to keep things as normal as possible at home.
Your emotions will likely affect how your child feels so keep calm and stay positive. Why not plan a nice meal or a day out to give the family something else to think about after the big day? It will give you all something to look forward to and also show your child that while exams are important, life will always continue.
2. Plan the day
It is a good idea to chat to your child beforehand about their plans for results day. Some young people like to have their parents with them on the day, others may want to collect their results with friends. Resist encouraging them to go with what you think is best and let them choose.
Some schools make arrangements for students to collect the traditional brown envelope in the school hall. This can provide a sense of community for some students and also gives them the opportunity to benefit from the wealth of support available from staff. Along with this, some schools will also send exam results via email.
The often public nature of exam results day does not appeal to everyone and emailing can offer many advantages. Students can choose to digest the news alone, or at home with family. And those young people who enjoy the buzz of results day can make arrangements to be with their school friends when the results come in.
3. Don't hesitate to seek help
One key piece of advice parents who have already experienced navigating through results day suggest is to seek help if you need it. Pick up the phone to your child's school if you have any questions on the day about next steps. But it is also prudent to be ready to support your child - whatever the outcome.
You will want to do your research so that you understand what grades your child needs in order to follow the pathway they have chosen. There is plenty of guidance available from your child's school or directly from the relevant examination boards that could help point them in the right direction.
4. Have a plan B
You will need to be ready to help your child consider their next steps in the event that their results are not as good as they might be expecting. Results day can be an early tough life-lesson for our children and how we react in these situations can go a long way to helping them maintain a positive outlook.
If they get the grades they need, you will want to celebrate and share their joy, but encourage them to think about friends who may not have done quite as well. A little reticence and sensitivity will be appreciated when it comes to keeping friendships strong at a time when many young people may start going their separate ways.
I wish all of you preparing for results day and your children the best of luck in getting the news you are hoping for!
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