By Rashi Ahuja
Waiting for exam results can indeed be a highly anxiety provoking experience for most students as well as their parents and the day the exam results are out, there is both joy and sorrow in equal measure.
Students as well as their families experience a range of emotions, depending on the results. While most people feel the disappointment arises mainly from the grades they get, a large amount of sadness arises from the way the parents react to their child’s result.
The way parents react to the child’s score, to a great extent impacts the way the child views him/herself, his/her self-esteem as well their future choices. Thus, it is extremely important for parents to handle the situation in a calm manner. Here are some pointers for parents to help their children cope during their results:
Allow them to share their feelings openly
In case your child has not scored well, talk to him/her regarding their worries, acknowledge that you can understand that they are upset. Venting is a good emotional release. Avoid saying things like there’s no need to be upset, etc. It is also alright to share your disappointment with your child about his/her performance. If you avoid feeling disappointed, he/she will know you are pretending and that will cause him/her more distress.
Comfort your child
While it is good to acknowledge the disappointment, it is also essential to comfort your child and tell them that you will help him/her find a solution.
Avoid blame games
It is natural for someone to look back and assess where one went wrong and what led to poor results, if at all, but in the process, don’t end up putting the blame on the child. Bringing up old stories and dishing out advice will not help. Ask him/her how you can help and support him/her. Look ahead, while learning from the recent experience.
Avoid talking about the results
Once the results are out and you have had a discussion with your child, allow him/her some space to get over it by him/herself. Talking repeatedly about the same thing may make the child feel nagged and add to the frustration they are already facing.
Express your unconditional love
It is natural for any child post their poor result to have feelings of self-doubt and poor self-worth. At this time, it is essential for you to shower love on your child and provide him/her the comfort that irrespective of what their results are they are still very special to you and that your love for your child is not subject to his/her grades.
A major reason why students feel a high level of disappointment is growing competition. Thus, at this point avoid comparing your child to his/her peers.
Be alert to his/her actions
While some amount of sadness and low feelings are natural after a poor exam result, one should be slightly watchful of any changes in the child’s behavior and thought patterns. In case you feel the child is getting increasingly negative and even after you taking all the steps is still feeling low, consider taking the child for counselling and seeking professional help.
Lastly and most importantly, while failure doesn’t feel good and may have some instant negative repercussions, always remember, “Failure is a great stepping stone to success.”
(The writer is Senior Psychologist at IWill Therapy by EpsyClinic.)