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GCSE Results Day: A Parent's Guide to Surviving

23 July 2019

GCSE Results Day is an important milestone and can be a difficult day all round. If you're a parent, you can pretty much guarantee that no matter what, you’re bound to say or do something ‘wrong’. And let’s face it, teens can often take things the wrong way, so we thought we would ask a bunch of our younger staff members for some advice for you parents on what to do/not to do around results day.

Watch what you say.

The night before GCSE results are out, tensions are going to be higher than usual. Accept that whatever you’re going to say, you’re probably going to be annoying, so avoiding these statements means you are just going to be a little less frustrating!

“You’ve done your best.”

This might come across as a little patronising, like you’re anticipating disappointing results. If you don’t want to add to the anxiety, it’s best to keep this thought to yourself.

"Don't worry, it's not a big deal.”

Just. Stop. Talking. If it’s not a big deal, can you explain what those months of studying were for?

“Your brother / sister did great, you’ll be the same.”

There are few sentences that can spark such anger than comparing your kids, especially if brothers and sisters are high-achieving, child geniuses. Trust us, we will already be thinking about their results so we don’t need a reminder. 

Be cool.

If you’re running around the house in a flap, it is going to drive us nuts! Your anxiety will rub off and add further pressure to the situation and we don’t need that right now. If we are lying about the house, don’t hover around asking unnecessary questions or voicing your concerns - this will just irritate the heck out of us -  we just want to chill as best we can.

Getting the results.

While some people might want their parents to accompany them up to school to collect results, others will prefer to go with friends. Find out what your kid wants to do and respect their wishes. Everyone’s different, so forget what you want to do and put their preference first.


Give them space on the day.

When results morning arrives, we are going to be beside ourselves so we don’t need our parents freaking out as well. If the results need to be collected at school, do not badger your kid with calls, emails and texts. They will let you know the results when they are ready. Even if you’ve gone with them to school, don’t say “so, what did you get?” while they’re opening the envelope. Give them minute to actually process what they are reading, there tends to be a lot of info on the page. 

Be supportive, whatever the outcome.

If the results aren't as good as expected, don't go on about how studying more would have helped. If your kid is upset with the grades they’ve got, don’t trivialise this. Be practical and offer reassurance that it is all going to be ok. Recognise the hard work and effort and really show your kid how proud you are. Just don’t be that parent who posts a Facebook status to gloat or call the entire extended family - that’s just embarrassing. Organising a treat or a small family meal would be a nice way to mark the occasion though either way, if they’re up for it!