A-Level results: How to be the emotional support your teen really needs

A-Level outcomes day can be joyous for some – a time to have a good time their laborious work and look ahead to the subsequent chapter of their life.

For many who don’t get the grades they have been anticipating or hoping for, nonetheless opening the fateful envelope can spark a spread of disagreeable feelings – shock, unhappiness, remorse, and even disgrace.

“Receiving your A-Level outcomes, or any consequence in any respect, can be a tricky second in a single’s journey, with the consequence probably impacting one’s plans for the future,” says Dr Jeri Tikare, medical psychologist at Kooth Digital Well being.

“Bearing this in thoughts, it’s straightforward to see how one can be left with difficult emotions if the outcomes don’t meet one’s expectations.”

If your teen is sad with their outcomes, they’re going to want your support in coping with the disappointment and navigating their subsequent steps.

Psychology and training specialists advise on how one can be there for your little one on outcomes day and past…

Be empathetic

On outcomes day, it will possibly be useful to cope with the emotional fallout first, earlier than discussing subsequent steps, comparable to college or profession choices.

“Make them conscious that it’s pure and attainable to have a mix of feelings – a few of which may embody unhappiness centred round the lack of their desires of success, anxiousness about what the future holds, anger at the self (‘I ought to have labored tougher’), anger at others (‘They didn’t provide me sufficient assist’), and different feelings,” says Tikare.

As an alternative of brushing their reactions underneath the rug, strive brazenly discussing and normalising no matter emotions come up.

“We all know that repressing our feelings can lead to heightened stress and anxiousness,” says Tikare. “Recognising and acknowledging the feelings that the pupil is experiencing can function an preliminary step in direction of successfully addressing them.”

Attempt to keep away from cliches, says Catrin Owen, careers adviser for Working Wales: “Telling somebody who’s labored extremely laborious for years in direction of getting these grades that ‘all the things occurs for a cause!’ can be like rubbing salt in a wound, and will trigger them to turn out to be extra upset with how their outcomes have turned out.”

Don’t make them really feel worse

On the different hand, recriminations aren’t doubtless to assist.

“Quite than specializing in any negativity about examination efficiency, possibilities to have revised tougher or emphasising what they’ve missed out on, have a look at all the choices and reassure them making a unique plan isn’t the finish of the world,” Owen provides.

“It’s the begin of their future, and there are such a lot of alternatives for them to get enthusiastic about – whether or not that’s discovering a unique course or uni place, going into a unique type of coaching like an apprenticeship, or deciding to enter the world of labor now.”

Provide steerage

“Attempt to resist the urge to ‘save’ the younger individual,” Tikare says. “Allow them to know the way proud you might be of them, that it isn’t the finish of the world and that regardless of the ache, issues like this occur.”

As an alternative of leaping in and telling your teen precisely what to do now, assist them take into account their subsequent steps.

“Now the preliminary feelings have handed, it’s time to make a plan,” says Owen. “Talking to knowledgeable can really assist as they can provide an goal and neutral view of the scenario, and provide options you may not have thought-about but.

“Whether or not that’s talking to your faculty about querying a grade, getting arrange with clearing, or contacting a careers adviser – skilled steerage will help take the weight off your shoulders as a guardian and may reassure you that your little one is getting the greatest assist attainable.”

Signpost support

If your teen is constant to battle in the weeks after outcomes day, encourage them to search additional support in the event that they want it.

“It may be useful for the pupil to attain out to trusted individuals round them, whether or not it’s a buddy, member of the family, instructor, or counsellor,” says Tikare. “Having somebody to speak to can present emotional support and a listening ear. Remind them that they don’t have to undergo this alone.”

And eventually, Owen provides, “Concentrate on the positives – planning their future is thrilling, even when there are curveballs.”

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