‘Oh NO! ‘ Handling Disappointing Exam Results Positively

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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I remember  waiting outside my son’s school in Caterham with all the other tense parents as my son Will went in to collect his GCSE results.  There was a hiccup and a disappointing result in History and a quick reframe of what we were going to do to help him handle the next steps, that weren’t in his plan And no one expected.

Kids get results online now and it can be enormously stressful to handle ‘ bad news’ Or ‘disappointing news’ but it’s really important how YOU handle this moment too.

The contents have the potential to help your child’s dreams come true… or shatter them into a million tiny pieces …… for now.

But it’s about mindset, getting back up, and looking for the positive ways forward if things haven’t gone according to plan.

But whatever the results it’s always a day of very mixed emotions for many young people.

Some achieve above their expectations and others feel shocked, stunned and disappointed.

I can still remember the day I didn’t get the grades I was expecting for my “A” levels the first time and the worst thing was not only opening the paper and seeing the results, but being rung up by all my friends who expected me to do well and wanted to share all their great exciting news with me.

So what can you do when your kids don’t do as well as they expected?

Well, the first thing is not to look disappointed and look to blame someone – it’s a natural reaction but it’s not helpful because it will not move you all as a family into a more resourceful place.

Stay grounded, centred and positive for your teen – even if you feel upset or disappointed for them and don’t allow your partner’s reaction to cloud or influence yours ! Often in life we look back and say – gosh I’m really glad that happened as …. this wouldn’t have happened …. and I wouldn’t have …. travelled, met my wife , or spent time in Bristol instead.

Try to focus on what will be coming, what you learnt from the situation and how you can move forward either with retakes or where to go instead.

Start to immediately focus on what has gone well, and what you can do next and by keeping relaxed and open you can start to ponder more options – the secret is to remain calm, open minded and flexible and to go and talk to the right people who can help you plan the next small steps.

But while it may feel like the end of the world for a teenager whose dreams have just gone up in smoke,  they may have only taken a detour, and it might not be quite as bad as it seems. For help is at hand like never before to ensure that initial disappointment can be turned around.

Scores of experts, myself included, are poised at the other end of the phone, waiting to administer advice, support and a listening ear to teenagers and parents struggling to come to terms with what the postman or school notice board has just delivered.

If you, or your teenager would like to chat with me I’m on 01883 818329 – I can offer everyone clarity, direction and confidence  in the next steps forward.

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