Tips for how to deal with anxious matriculants waiting for results
There is an increased risk of depression and even suicide at this time for some.
Matric pupils of Parktown Girls High School leave the school in a jovial mood after writing the English paper 1 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy)
Parents are advised to keep an eye on their children’s mood as they await their matric results, so that any signs of depression or suicide can be reduced before harm is done.
This comes ahead of Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s scheduled announcement of the national and provincial results on Thursday.
On Friday, the results will be available on several platforms, including The Citizen’s website.
Educational psychologist Vanessa Barnes said the waiting period usually results in a significant rise in anxiety.
Parents should avoid putting additional pressure on their children and be supportive about their way forward and options.
She said: “Parents should try not to place undue pressure on their children leading up to them receiving their results.”
If the results are available online, in the newspaper or at the school, decide beforehand where those results should best be obtained.
“If there is concern regarding a possible failure, it might be best not to send the child to the school to receive their results but to collect it as a parent. That way, children can process results in an environment that is safe for them.”
Barnes also suggested that the best way of dealing with the anxiety was to utilise “grounding techniques” that kept the pupil busy.
In this way, the pupil stayed positive and in the loop about other options for their future. These included bridging classes and colleges to enter universities later.
“It is important to remember that even though this seems like the biggest event in your life, it is only a small chapter of it. Motivation to succeed will result in you not accepting failure, but rather seeing it as an opportunity to take another path.”
She said that in the event of failure, it was expected parents would be disappointed. They should rather be encouraging.
“Help your children to research other options as a means of them achieving their school leavers or bachelor’s acceptance results. In doing so, the parents will also feel at ease regarding the way forward.
“If you suspect depression or notice suicidal ideation, take the child to a mental healthcare practitioner immediately,” said Barnes. –email@example.com