Disappointing Exam Results? Here’s How You Can Help.

test picAcross the UK today, parents of GCSE students will be either celebrating or commiserating. But what can you do if your child’s results are more disaster than triumph today?

Don’t panic. When the initial upset has eased a little, sit down with your child and discuss the situation as calmly as possible.

Emotions are OK. Allow your teenager to express his or her emotions but try and minimise any tendency to overly dramatise the situation. Remind your child that you love him or her irrespective of the results.

It might be worth a remark. If the result was close to the next grade boundary and only just missed a higher grade, you can apply to have the paper remarked. Your school will advise you how to go about this.

Could this be a wake up call? Your child will know deep down if there wasn’t enough effort put into revision or coursework. This is a tough life lesson but it can be a spur to ensure harder work or improved focus in the future. If there is a weakness with exam or revision technique then the teacher will be more than happy to set extra work and advise how to improve. It’s probably worth focusing mainly on those subjects key to their chosen diploma, degree or career.

Can they still go their chosen college? Even if the current results disqualify them from the original course, there may be another course they would still be eligible for. There may also be another route into the end career your child has set their heart on.

Don’t wait too long to make decisions and get advice if you need it. The UK Exam Results Helpline- 0808 100 8000 – has specialists on hand to advise students on the best course of action with the grades they’ve got. You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

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Study The Evidence

There’s a lot of pressure on our children these days – My 17 year old is doing his A.S. exams at present, some of my friends have children who are sitting A Levels and some are doing SATs. There’s a lot of pressure on us parents too. Parents can be heard everywhere discussing how their children are doing – and how best to support them. Should you test them, help them plan their revision, buy extra study guides? How many hours should they study for?

Even between exams, as a parent you need to be on your toes to make sure that everything at school is running smoothly. Don’t assume that you can just leave it all to the teachers. It’s very easy (as I’ve discovered on occasion) to take your eye off the ball and not spot that your child is struggling. Especially when you are a single mum, this can seem like such a responsibility but you know your child best and you know what motivates them, how best to encourage them and when they need a gentle shove in the right direction. One thing that helps is to keep asking how things are going, show an interest and offer advice. Keep the dialogue open, make it easy to chat without censoring your child’s feelings. Reassure them – and yourself – that it’s only through mistakes that you learn. It’s vital that your child can trust you to take their concerns seriously – what may seem trivial to you can be major for them. Be fair at all times; if they are in the wrong, make that clear. But if someone needs to fight their corner, step up and be counted!

My book, “THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available to order on Amazon and hits the shops on 1st July. Visit my website: www.thesinglemumssurvivalguide.com