When the exams are over and the results are in, you may feel one of two ways about your child’s report card: thrilled or underwhelmed.
If you feel thrilled, then good for you! Clearly your child’s hard work is paying off. However, if you’re not satisfied with the results and can’t help feeling, well, a bit disappointed, it can be difficult to contain these emotions in front of your child.
Here are some tips on how to handle your child’s exam results, whether they are excellent or not so excellent.
Consider how your child is feeling about their poor results
Before you react to your child’s poor exam results, consider how they are feeling. It’s no use piling on the negative sentiment if they’re already a bit down in the dumps. Tell your child that you will need to have a discussion about the results but put it off for one more day. Then spend the day commiserating and just being there for your child. One more day won’t make a difference, and right now your child needs to know that they have your support.
Have a meeting
Set a time and date to meet with your child in a neutral spot, such as the kitchen or dining room table. A coffee shop or restaurant is even better. Once you and your child are settled, ask them to explain to you how they approached their exam revision and where they feel they went wrong. Try not to interrupt and certainly don’t interject with disparaging or negative comments.
If it seems clear that your child put no effort into their exam revision, then you will need to find a way to motivate them to do better. Perhaps this is where trying to find a different approach to studying is a good idea. Explore the possibility that your child is unmotivated because they are struggling to keep up or bored… Investigate study techniques that are suited to different learning styles.
If your child tells you that they tried the best they could, believe them. In a case like this small tweaks to a study routine might be the answer. Ask how the actual exams went – many children do just fine throughout the school year only to find the high-stress exam days challenging. Writing exams is a skill that anyone can learn.
The Ace it! study guides includes information and study tips that can help your child find a study method that works best for them.
Don’t have tunnel vision
Getting a solid education is absolutely essential, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s not the only marker of success. A child’s self-esteem is sensitive – be proud of the things that your child is good at, and try not to be overly critical about the things that they aren’t so good at.
A child with a good self-esteem can do much better than a child with a low self-esteem.
Your child may be good at sports, have artistic flair or be excellent at working with their hands. Focus on your child’s loyalty, kind heart and good manners. Don’t be so easily frustrated with them; rather focus on how hard they try and how they continue to persevere.
You clearly have big dreams for your child, and this makes you a good parent. Try not to impose your own wishes and dreams onto your child, and to rather help them achieve their own.