Leaving Certificate results day … It is a day that parents and teenagers have anticipated for many months, or possibly even years. So many feelings have been generated while waiting on these results, a summer spent wondering what the future holds. For many students, they will also soon be receiving their offers of college places through the CAO. Remember – no matter what the results, life will go on and everyone will find the path that suits them best. Here are our tips on how to support your young person at this time.
- Take your child’s lead. If they are feeling sad, feel sad with them. If they are delighted, feel it with them. As parents, we usually want to try to ‘fix’ things for our children, but it is important not to do that and to realise that the feelings our children have, even negative ones, are the most important thing to acknowledge.
- Plan a special day with them no matter what the results are. Your child needs to know that you love them as much today as you did yesterday. The result is just a result and life will go on. A special day will help to celebrate all they have achieved in their school years, and show them that either way, they worked hard and deserve to feel proud.
- Feelings are the key area of focus this week. Your feelings and your child’s. Make no comparisons. Try not to mention what they should have done – they know. Tell them you are proud of them, talk about all the things they have been so successful at in the last 17/18 years. Talk about their strengths, keep it positive. In a few days time you can help them explore next steps.
- Talk with your child in the coming days/weeks. Explore all the options they have. Seek professional support from the various help lines so you know what options are out there. Maybe something will come up that was not considered before.
- Unless your teen is keen to return to second level and try again, accept the results and move on. The college offers will come out, maybe your child will get what they want and maybe they won’t. Talk with career guidance experts. There are many routes to the career your child hopes for. It may just mean they have an extra couple of years study to do to get there or could explore an alternate route. “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
- At times we can forget that the results are not ours and that they do not reflect on our parenting abilities. If you are feeling upset for your child, talk to a friend about your concerns. It is hard when our children grow up and become young adults. Watching them prepare for college, or move out of home, or take their next step into adulthood, can be a difficult time for parents.
- If you need some emotional support in the coming days or weeks, why not call our askonefamily helpline on 1890 662212 or 01 6629212.
- Allow your child time with their friends. At this stage young people can get great support from their peer group. Set reasonable boundaries with them around celebrations.
- Talk with other parents and agree on where teens are going, how they get there and get home. Talk with your teen about responsible behaviours. Support them to know you expect them to make good choices around what they do in the coming days.
- Do something fun with your child this week, help them see and feel all the things you love about them. Whether they are happy or unhappy with these results, help them smile and see all the world has to offer to them.
Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. Next you might like to read ‘10 Ways to Support a Young Adult‘. You can read the full series here.