It’s a well-known fact that exam season can be one of the most stressful times for both children and parents. Exam results time is fast approaching, and before your child receives their exam results, you should ask them what they expect from their results. It’s important they know that you will support and provide guidance and advice based on their results. If the outcome is favorable, the child will have a reason to celebrate, and you should plan something special.
But when the result is “not good enough”, both you and your child should remain calm and positive. To prepare for this discussion with your child, think about the questions below and plan some answers. In addition, consider some useful strategies to help your child cope with this stress.
Pick out some examples in the current news reports to use as conversation starters. You can also ask some of these questions to your child :
- What is your goal or dream job? How can exam results help you get there?
- What are your plans for the future?
- What are some of the things you could do if you didn’t score as well as expected?
- If I were in your position, what advice would you give me?
- If you don’t do as well in your exams, what are the things that make you feel happy and positive about yourself?
By asking these questions, you can easily understand your child’s point of view. Once you have a better understanding of your child’s expectations, you can help them deal with any disappointment they might feel when they receive their results.
Here are some ideas to help:
1. Remind them that the results don’t define who they are as a person or their potential in life. No matter what their results are, you will always love and support them.
2. If your child does not do well in exams, remind them that it’s okay because life is full of opportunities and challenges to learn from.
3. Help them identify all the positive things they had done in school even when they didn’t score well in exams.
4. Help them make plans on how to get better results instead of dwelling on past mistakes.
5. Give them ideas on what they could do for their next round of exams. For example, if they are studying for PSLE, you can suggest that they go for tuition or extra classes to improve their chances of getting into the school they would like to enter.
6. Share stories about successful people in their journey despite starting with poor academic performance; for example, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos started their businesses with no qualifications!
7. Help your child develop coping strategies for stress.
8. Help your child develop a positive outlook in life by encouraging them to do some volunteer work or helping others wherever they can; this will make them realize that they can do things beyond their imagination.
Remember, exam results time is not the end of the world! So don’t be disappointed or get angry if your child’s academic performance is not up to expectations. Instead, ask yourself, “How can I help my child? Can I get them the right resources and support they need?“
Every exam result is a stepping stone for your child to learn from their mistakes and do better next time. Any exam results are not the end of the world or the end of their dreams for success. With the right attitude, Exam results time can be an opportunity to encourage your child to be persistent and determined to face the challenges ahead.