Tips for parents whose children are receiving Leaving Cert results

We are only days away from the release of the Leaving Certificate results.

It is a time when it is easy for students to lose track of all perspective and get caught in the hype of the situation. St Patrick's Mental Health Services has put together a list of tips for parents whose children are due to receive their results.

Give perspective: It is easy to think that the Leaving Cert is the be all and end all. Although it is important, it is not the only deciding factor in any element of life.

CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Service, Paul Gilligan, said: “Your child will be too close to the event to realise this, but the Leaving Certificate is not going to determine their whole life’s purpose. It’s essential that you give them the perspective of knowing that if their results don’t go to plan, it doesn’t mean that they can’t achieve their ambition.”

Discussion is essential: After the initial feeling of excitement dies down, the student may feel a little underwhelmed and lost. It can be difficult to readjust to not having a huge weight on their shoulders. It will help if you talk through the results and their feelings, but do it on their terms. Some students may find it very difficult to move past the emotional strain associated with their results. If so, then seeking professional help may be the answer.

A gentle reminder: Your son or daughter may be happy with how their results went, but not everyone will be in the same boat as them. It is no harm to give them a gentle reminder that not all students will be feeling elated at this time, and to be considerate of their peers’ feelings.

Avoid over analysing: While it may be necessary to consider getting a re-check, it is generally wise to avoid extensive post-mortems of the past and detailed examinations of the future. Let the student enjoy their post-results party and then the business of what comes next can be discussed.

Be proud and avoid added pressure: Your child has completed their secondary school cycle. Now is a time to be proud, no matter what their Leaving Cert results are.

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