Call increase expected in exam week

Parentline Plus is encouraging parents to contact the charity's free helpline and email support as many young people throughout the UK prepare to receive their exam results.

With A level results due out this Thursday (19th August) and GCSE's next week, it can be a fraught time for all the family - brothers and sisters included.

Jeremy Todd, Parentline Plus' Chief Executive said:

"For a lot of young people exam results mark the end of one phase and the beginning of a new one in their lives. This can be unsettling and lead to unease, depression or even indifference. Whatever pose your children put on, it is highly likely your child cares deeply about his or her exam results and their parents attitude towards the outcome. With increasing pressure on academic places, Parentline Plus is on hand to provide guidance and support to stressed out parents. Failing an exam does not make your child a failure, and while the whole family may be disappointed with the results, parents, guardians' and carers should make it clear they are not disappointed in the child. What is important is to have a contingency plan and to consider all the options available and to be one hundred per cent behind the child. At this crossroads in a child's life, parents and children need to communicate and this means both talking and listening to each other.”

If you're concerned and want to talk to somebody, you can get in touch with a member of our support team, via email, live chat or telephone on 0808 800 2222.

Parentline Plus top tips for coping with Exam Results Stress:

  • Whatever pose they put on, your child cares deeply about their results and about your attitudes towards them. Encourage them to talk and reassure them that you are behind them and love them whatever the results.
  • Discuss with your child what results both of you anticipate and make sure you have the same realistic expectations. Reassure them that failing an exam doesn’t make them a failure and that while you may all be disappointed in the results, you aren’t disappointed in your child.
  • Have a contingency plan for what to do if results aren’t as good as you hoped. Know who to call at the school for advice or support. If your child had a place at college conditional on results, have a contact number – you can often negotiate on a lower grade. And know how to get in touch with UCAS (Universities' and Colleges' Admission Service) to find a place at another college if the first one falls through.
  • Plan an event to mark the results. Whatever these are, celebrate the effort that went into them and make it clear that you love, respect and value your child for themselves, independent of their achievements.
  • If the experience has been too stressful or their results were not as good as they hoped, young people may be ready to give up at this stage. Parents may need to guide them firmly into going back to education and trying again. You do, however, have to keep a careful balance. Young people sometimes have a better idea than their parents as to what is good for them. It’s not helpful to push them to do something you did or wanted to do, rather than what is right for them.