School Exam Surprise: Do Exam Results Frighten Your Teen?

School Exam Surprise: Do Exam Results Frighten Your Teen?

By Donovan Grant

The stress of waiting for exam results can be tough on our kids. And when it’s tough on them, it becomes tough on parents too. We all want the best for our kids and we are just as excited for them.

For the families that are home during August when the results are issued, it’s a quick trip to school to find out. For those who have gone on summer holidays, it’s a nervous wait until the family returns home. Maybe your son or daughter is in this position this year. If they are, our thoughts are with you.

Imagine a 16, 17 or 18 year old opening the envelope with the results. They’ll probably be holding their breath with anticipation, palms sweating and then the moment of truth….PASS, FAIL, A Grades, B Grades, C Grades and more. We wish every blessing for every young person who gets the grades that they want. One thing for sure, not every child is going to be an A Grader and some are going to feel a lot of stress.

Here’s the viewpoint of a typical young lady…

“My AS results date is a few weeks away and I am very afraid and nervy about what they will be. If my results aren’t good enough then I might not be able to complete my A levels and go to a nice university. I just hope that everything turns out for the best, whatever happens. Please help me Lord, help me to overcome these doubts and fears of what might happen.”

What have we done to make kids feel that way? From what we see, the current society is shaping up that children must attend school up to 18 years old. They need to get good grades at A level exams. And then they must get a degree just to give them a chance of getting a job!

Psssst. “A degree does not guarantee that your child will have a job at the end of it.”

Knowledge alone is not enough. Competence and being able to do what they know is more important for them. The truth is- many young people may not realise it yet, but they don’t study just for the results; they study and learn to work hard so they can fulfil the dreams they have in life. For some that will mean a University placement and a job. For others it may mean creating their own business. Exam results are just a measure of what knowledge they can retain and restate in a pressurised situation rather than a measure of the person.

Now hear this… we are not saying that exam results don’t matter. What we are saying is that exam results don’t actually change the person; exam results are just a step along the way of your teenagers continuing journey.

If your son or daughter gets the grades that they want, celebrate with them because it’s great to see hard work pay off.  If they didn’t make the grades there is still reason to celebrate and lift them up. Having been a parent for over 21 years, I know without a doubt that the success of our children depends much on the investment that we put in as parents. Everything takes work, studying and learning takes strategy and children learn in different way.

Our youth need to be prepared for failure from a young age. There is no promise that all teenagers will ace their exams and get into their first choice university so they can stick with their friends. They deserve to be taught to have a plan for life, things may not always work out according to script and that failing exams is not the end. It just means they have to adjust their plan, take the next step and keep moving forward.

Success and failure are a power source and that can be used to inspire greater achievements in the lives of our families. If parents can help to harness that energy then our children can achieve anything.  

Whatever happened for your teen’s exam results this year or next, here are three “E”s that are useful to keep sharing with them:

1.     Encourage them that mum and dad still loves them the same

2.     Empower them by telling them that you care for them and will be there every step of the way

3.     Educate them that they still have a plan for their life even if It is not what they thought it was before.

Parents, let's keep our teens moving forward toward their dreams. We love you and enjoy reading your comments every day. Please leave a comment below what is the next move for your teen.

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play.

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