How to support your child on results day

Hannah Morrish,student choice and higher education leader at The Student Room
Hannah Morrish,student choice and higher education leader at The Student Room

Results day can be stressful for everyone involved. Watching your child go through the process can be difficult and knowing how to handle results day to support your child is vital.

Research by The Student Room found that a quarter of 2018’s exam students said their parents made them feel worse about the day and added to their stress levels.

Here are some top tips for parents looking to support and help their child on Results Day.

Never compare their results to their siblings, family members or friends
Comparing results is never going to end well. They might not have told you, or let on that they’re worried about this, but naturally they’re already going to be comparing themselves to everyone else. No one else’s grades matter but theirs. Similarly, if you’re really proud, think twice about posting it on social media. Although this is a lovely thing to do, it might make them feel really embarrassed.

Make it clear that you are proud of them regardless of the outcome
Your child is one of the first to have taken the reformed A-level syllabus - it’s been a really tough road and a steep learning curve for them and their teachers. Let them know that you’re proud they’ve got through this and recognise it as a milestone. Ask if they’d like to celebrate it, or if they want some quiet time. Don’t be offended if they want to be alone - they’ve been worrying about this day for weeks, so it’s natural to experience a bit of a come-down.

If they haven’t done as well as they hoped, what do I do?
Do some research online on the sly to get clued up. When they’re ready to talk, they’ll be impressed by how much you know. Be careful not to push any opinions on them at this stage, just listen and feed in when you can. If they’re still considering university, look into Clearing places as the majority of universities will have a range of courses available. If they feel as though one of their exam results is a little “rogue” based on their predicted grades, contact the college’s exams officer for an exam review. Finally, look at vocational options like school leaver programmes and apprenticeships. Alternatively, there are some fantastic FE colleges locally which offer great courses that could fit perfectly with their interests and potential career aspirations.

They’ve changed their mind about what they want to do in September what do I do next?
Listen to their reasoning, explore why they feel like this. It might only be temporary so give them space to work out what they want to do and the support they’ll need from you along the way. If they no longer want to go to university, it’s better they defer the year or decline the place now rather than drop out a few weeks later, wasting a year of student finance. There will be plenty of other opportunities to apply to university later on down the line if they want to.

For more information and advice, visit: www.thestudentroom.co.uk

Hannah Morrish, student choice and higher education leader at Brighton-based company The Student Room.