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Reacting to the results: Parents' guide

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Dr Sidney McGill
Dr Wendel Abel
Orandy Fletcher

Dr Sidney McGill, Marriage and family therapist and clinical sexologist

Everything really depends on how these kids were grown up because if you grow your child to recognise that as well as suffering, there is pleasure and suffering. You never have one without the other. And so they have to learn to deal with disappointment from early and recognise that disappointments don't label who they are. All successful people have made mistakes, have failed at some point, but it didn't stop them from achieving greatness.

Ok, you didn't do so well, meaning you didn't get to go to one of the traditional high schools, and some of your classmates are going to traditional high schools and they are all excited, but you didn't get through. Should you lie, or should you be honest? If you have a choice, you don't have to say, but if you say, tell the truth.

The child needs to be told by the parents that the result does not change the child's ability to succeed in the future.

Orandy Fletcher, Guidance counsellor, Linstead Primary and Junior High

He says when the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results are released, parents must be cognisant of their reaction.

In the event that your child has not attained the kind of success that you would have desired, you have to be there to support your child because if you are going to do otherwise, it will end up that your child might do something that you would not want that child to do. They might end up getting depressed or committing suicide, or such the like.

We have to support them, no matter how they perform. They need to understand that no one is a failure and the journey continues.

Dr Wendel Abel, Psychiatrist

They should be calm and relax as they just have to accept the result. It is normal to be anxious and you just have to encourage people to relax themselves. What is important is that the parents need to prepare themselves to accept the results as they are, and it is important that a child doesn't interpret an unfavourable result to mean that he or she is worthless.

Parents must also ensure that they do not tell their children that they are failures because not getting a good result in GSAT doesn't necessarily mean that it is the end of your life. I have seen children who have got less than favourable results and still have gone on to excel, and equally, we have seen children who have done well on GSAT and still have not excelled in life.