Matric Results: Coping For Parents and Students

Multiple years of schooling, attempting the balancing act between the academic and social sphere and endless homework and tuition all for one FINAL exam. The matric exam.
Now that the matric results have been released, here are some tips on how to cope for parents and students.

Engage in positive conversations at home

Your child has completed the exam and it has already been done. No amount of ‘what ifs’ and ‘could haves’ is helpful at this point. Avoid insulting, negative conversations and comparing your child to others if they have not achieved the desired results. Rather highlight the areas your child has excelled in and generate conversations around utilising their strengths in a career/entrepreneurial venture.

Set boundaries with family and friends

Results time can be extremely nerve-wracking for most students. In addition, phone calls and texts from family and friends enquiring about the details can increase stress. Parents should politely state that it is private and divulge information that is necessary. Parents should check with their child and determine how comfortable he/she is with details of their results being shared with others. This fosters a supportive environment where the child will feel understood and safe from unnecessary scrutiny.

Manage expectations

Reframe the perception: “This was the year to make or break it, I did not do well and now what is going to happen to me?” To: “This was one year, I have given it my best and I will move forward to the next exciting phase of my life”. It is important for students to understand that there is more that awaits after matric and their results do not define who they are.

Monitor your child

Receiving matric results may invoke varied responses from your child. Monitor your child for any behavioural changes such as changes in sleeping or eating patterns, frustration or short temper. These may be indications of anxiety and distress. Parents should understand, listen and provide support or reach out to healthcare professionals for assistance should this persist.

Historically, suicide rates increase when matric results are released. Signs of suicide may include: Talking or joking about suicide, feeling depressed or hopeless, loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from others, preparing for death – giving things away or seeming to say goodbye, self-criticism, and changes in personality – someone who is usually sociable may not want to go out, become negative, or irritable, loss of interest in appearance, drop in hygiene.

Tips for students

  • Talk to a trusted adult or friend if you notice any warning signs. Be kind to yourself.
  • Keep your mind busy with things that make you feel better, like sports, being with friends, or going to a movie.
  • If the suicidal thoughts become overwhelming, seek immediate help and call one of the crisis numbers or go to your nearest hospital or clinic.
  • Remove any items that can be used to harm yourself or ask others to do this for you.
  • Get a good amount of sleep, rest and exercise. Ensure that you eat regularly.
  • Reach out for support, have phone numbers of people that you can speak to when you feel this way.
  • Learn from others. Use the internet or books to read about others who have been through this.

Lifeline: 031 312 2323
SADAG: 0800 21 21 21
Life path Health: 072 7900 506

Kiara Sunder, Clinical Psychologist
HPCSA No: PS 0143480


Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided by the SPAR Group Ltd for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.