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“Prepare yourself with information of what the other options could be – this is a fine line to walk as it can be disheartening to feel that your family has given up on you, and the fact is that results may be better than the worst expectations so it is really all about balance.

“If your child has not shared results with you for several hours after they have been released, then you need to ask. One way or another the family cannot manage the situation if it is not out in the open. If there is an angry reaction, then it is best to respond again with empathy and let the mood settle before asking again.”

Payne says parents should take note of three practical steps to handle stress about results:

Find out if the child wants to see their results before you do or whether they are happy to share the experience with you.
Remind them that the results do not define who they are and share their good qualities. Love is unconditional and they need this reassurance.
Start discussing their options for further study or life after school.

On the day, prepare the learner:

Encourage them to not compare themselves to their peers, friends and siblings.
Remind them that they worked hard and all you can expect from them is effort, hard work and dedication.
Remind them that there are many options for next year, and that you are going to plot the best route together.

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