Parents encouraged to approach build-up to matric results release in a healthy way

Parents have been advised to reconsider the weight they put on matric results.

Matric is a big deal for South African youngsters — it condenses 13 years of school into one crucial National Senior Certificate. And, waiting for Matric results can be nerve-wracking as well as take a toll on teens and their families.

It is this that determines success or failure. The pressure is real, with everyone believing having a matric certificate is the golden ticket to the future.

It is for this reason that Dr Lauren Martin from SACAP (the South African College of Applied Psychology) suggests that parents use this time to teach their teens about resilience.

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Weight of matric results

“It’s important for parents to rethink how much weight they put on matric results because stressing too much about it doesn’t help. While matric results matter, it’s essential to broaden the perspective and consider other options and pathways,” she said.

Dr Martin recommends parents know about alternatives like supplementary exams, matric upgrades, and higher certificate programmes for those without a Bachelor’s pass.

“The exams are done, and what we need to be focused on is moving forward. It’s important to know that there is not one person whose entire future was defined by their matric marks,” she added.

Dr Jaclyn Lotter, SACAP’s Academic Dean, advises parents to keep communication open during this waiting period. Creating a non-judgmental space for teens to share their thoughts is crucial.

ALSO READ: Matric pupils share their emotions and expectations as results day approaches

“It’s important to create a safe space for your child to express their thoughts and feelings, and to listen with full attention and without judgement.  You may find it necessary to help manage expectations,” she said.

Different paths to success

Managing expectations is key, she emphasised, adding that success isn’t just about grades. She encouraged parents to discuss different paths to success.

“Parents should encourage exploring options and reassure their teens that one setback doesn’t define their future. Facing challenges builds essential life skills like perseverance, problem-solving, resilience, and agility,” she said.

“We develop vital life skills during times when everything doesn’t go our way.  We learn perseverance and use problem-solving skills, and we increase our capacity to be resilient and agile. Parents can help to encourage the exploration of other options and provide reassurance that one setback doesn’t define their child’s future,” she concluded.

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