Supporting Your Child Receiving Exam Results

Parents and carers, as well as young people, can feel excited, anxious, worried and / or disappointed when Leaving Cert results time arrives. It can be difficult to know how to provide support, but help is available for all. There are some steps you can follow to help your child through this challenging time:

Support your child through talking and listening

If your son or daughter, or a young person in your care, isn’t happy with their results, 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 young person will need someone to listen to them and may not be able to think ahead about other options are this stage, so well-meaning advice may not be helpful for them now. Reaffirming them 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 for 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 child about setting aside a time to sit down with them 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 child feels supported and empowered to make their own decisions.

Seek further support if needed

While feeling 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 child best, so if you are concerned about them, it is important to consult with your GP. In addition to the support of their parents, young people often find it helpful to talk to someone else at this time. ISPCC Childline is here to listen to any child or young person in Ireland, 24 hours a day, every day. The service can be contacted by calling 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), chatting online at (10am – 4am daily), or texting to 50101 (10am – 4am daily). Further information and support for young people is also available at Click here to see the information we provided to young people on this topic, at

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