ISPCC offers tips to parents in lead up to Leaving Cert results

The ISPCC and National Parents Council will have helplines on the day

ISPCC offers tips to parents in lead up to Leaving Cert results

Students at Belvedere College S.J. in Dublin, sit the Leaving Cert exams in 2009 | Image: RollingNews.ie

We are less than 48 hours until this year's Leaving Certificate results will be announced on Wednesday.

Ahead of that, the ISPCC has issued tips to help parents.

Director of services, Caroline O’Sullivan, said: "Although there will be a lot of students who are happy with their results and looking forward to the next stepping stone in life, this week can be a challenging time for many families as some students may feel anxious waiting for their Leaving Cert results."

"Receiving disappointing exam results can be stressful and upsetting for both young people and their parents."

"The best tip is to keep the communication lines open, support your son/daughter through listening and talking, and keep your own expectations in check."

"There can be a lot of pressure on young people to perform well in exams but they should be reassured that there are other options and this is just one stepping stone in life, there are many others."

The ISPCC tips include:

  • Support your child through talking and listening: If your son/daughter isn’t happy with the results they have received, the best way to support them is to let them know that they can talk to you and that you are there for them. Your son/daughter will need someone to listen to them and may not be able to think ahead about other options at this stage, so well-meaning advice may not be helpful for them now. Reaffirming that you are proud of them and that you believe in them will help them face the path ahead
  • Keep your own feelings in check: It is important that parents keep their own feelings in check. Parents as well as young people can have high hopes about exam results and can often be left disappointed when results are not what they expected
  • Explore other options: When the initial disappointment has dissipated, you could talk to your young person about setting aside a time to sit down with them and explore and research their options in more detail. Contact their guidance counsellor or link in with other services that can help them to look at their options
  • Focus on their strengths, achievements and unique qualities: Keeping the focus on their strengths and achievements and unique qualities will really help to build up their confidence and self-belief again. There are lots of options available and it’s important that your young person is supported and empowered to make their own decisions
  • Seek further support if needed: While being down and low for a few days is a normal reaction to disappointing results, an ongoing change in mood and a loss of interest in things that they would have usually enjoyed can be a sign that they may need some more support in dealing with the issue. You know your young person best, so if you are concerned about them, it is important to contact your GP.

The ISPCC's Childline is available around the clock on 1800-666-666 or visit childline.ie.

Alternatively the National Parents Council, staffed by professional guidance counsellors, is on 1800-265-165.

'Harmful alcohol consumption'

Other groups have also offered advice as the results approach.

Alcohol Action Ireland, a national charity working to reduce alcohol harm, is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the risks associated with alcohol.

"Students deserve to go out, celebrate getting their results with their friends and we hope they enjoy marking this milestone in their young lives," said head of advocacy and communications with Alcohol Action Ireland, Conor Cullen.

"We know that, for a significant number of young people, their plans to celebrate this week will include alcohol and this is reflected by the fact that they are being targeted by venues, particularly through social media, with drinks promotions that encourage the type of harmful alcohol consumption that is a threat to their health and well-being."

"Many young people may not go out to a venue to celebrate, but alcohol could still be involved when they meet their friends and so it is important that parents speak to their children about their plans, wherever they are going", he adds.

The group also says that there is an obligation on all alcohol retailers to be particularly vigilant in ensuring they are not selling alcohol to minors.