5 Tips For Parents On Exam Results Day

Family Health

Exams results day can be stressful for everyone involved. Many teens get really worried about not getting the marks they need to get into their University or college of choice – anxious that not doing so will set them up badly for the future. And it can be really tough for parents too – wanting to help their children with exam stress but not always knowing the best way to do this. 

You might also find the following tips useful:

  • Talk to them. This is always the best place to start. If your teenager seems anxious, talk it over. Teens often keep their problems to themselves,  because they’re worried their parents won’t understand. But letting them know you’re there if they need any help -  and reassuring them that you will do your best to support them -  can make a big difference.
  • Help put things into perspective. Many teens worry that not getting the results they need – and in some cases, this can mean getting anything less than straight A*s – will mean they’ve messed up their lives completely. Let them know that not getting perfect marks isn’t the end of the world and that they’ll still have plenty of opportunities to succeed even if they don’t get into their top choice.
  • Don’t pile on the pressure yourself. It can be tempting to try to boost your teen’s confidence by saying you think they’re going to do really well. But saying you have really high expectations can  make them feel that you’ll be disappointed  if they achieve anything less. It’s much better to remind them about the effort they put in and let them know how proud you are of them for everything they’ve done so far.  
  • Don’t shrug off their worries. Don’t underestimate how tough exam pressure  can be for students. Over 87,000 people visit ChildLine’s website every year seeking advice on the issue and there’s been a 200% increase in young people seeking counselling for exam stress  in recent years. Saying ‘don’t worry’ might feel like you’re helping, but it’s not much use if they’re already worried! Engage with your child’s anxieties directly – that way they know that if they want to talk about things, they can. 
  • Be there for them. If your teen has the results they wanted, celebrate! Letting them know they’ve done well will help them feel good about themselves. You might like to take them out for a treat – after all, they’ve earned it. But equally, if they haven’t got the results they were hoping for, your support and reassurance  is going to be needed more than ever. Even if you are disappointed, don’t make them feel any worse. They may need you to talk over any options with them, such as second choice universities and colleges or clearing. Or they may just want to be alone. Whatever the case,  be there to support them if they need it.

Content sourced from Relate (relate.org.uk).

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