How parents can help children suffering from exam disappointment

The days before results come out, many parents have promised their children a multitude of things, so much so that when the exam results finally come out, children see material gain or loss. This tension plays a big part in their happiness. For senior six leavers, it often seems to them that their entire futures depend on their exam results.

The days before results come out, many parents have promised their children a multitude of things, so much so that when the exam results finally come out, children see material gain or loss. This tension plays a big part in their happiness. For senior six leavers, it often seems to them that their entire futures depend on their exam results.

When results finally arrive, students are divided into two groups: the grinning, who have passed their exams, and the heartbroken. Teachers, of course, are well trained in consoling the disappointed children and handing out hankies and advice, but what can a concerned parent do to lift up their downcast sons and daughters?

First of all, give them the opportunity to let out their disappointment. Let them cry.

Faith Kwizera, the headmaster of Ecole Amis des Enfants, said “it is very important to realise that life goes on even after results disappoint a student. Parental support is paramount. Parents should guide their children so as to reduce their frustrations and stress. For A-level students, the alternatives might include doing a re-sit of exams, reassessing academic choices, or opting for a different route such as an on-the-job training scheme or an apprenticeship.”

The key thing is to let your child know you love them, regardless of exam results, or anything else for that matter. It’s a good idea to share your own stories of failure, if only to establish that everyone has their ups and downs and that it isn’t the end of the world.

Paul Nsenga, an engineering student in third year Makerere University, faced result disappointment. “ A-level results sometimes are not a measure of someones’ true intelligence, things may or may not go well at times due to various reasons irrespective of one’s previous performance. But that should not hinder you from pursuing your dream or future career.

My parents supported me in all aspects and didn’t lose hope in me. And ever since I started my course, I have never failed to get a first class in my semester papers. The support my parents offered gave me the strength to still believe in myself and strive not to let them down,” he said.

Today, exam results might be delivered online, on phone or at school, so it’s wise to be there in person, if you can be. And if the screen fails to yield good news, try not to give away your feelings. It’s important that you don’t convey your own disappointment. Spellman an academic expert argues that “How you react will be remembered by your child for the rest of his or her life, so you want to get it right. That’s the thing about parenting. You may not get any gratitude at the time but, in the long run, your efforts will be appreciated “

 

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