Parents urged to be kind, supportive as matric results come in

Counselling Psychologist and Public Speaker Tholinhlanhla Dlamini-Ngcoya. Picture: Supplied

Counselling Psychologist and Public Speaker Tholinhlanhla Dlamini-Ngcoya. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 19, 2024


Durban — Parents have been urged by psychologists not to be hard on their children, no matter what their matric results are.

Counselling psychologist and public speaker Tholinhlanhla Dlamini-Ngcoya urged parents to show their children love and be kind to them during this time. She said the class of 2023 should know that there will always be challenges in life. She said not getting the results one desire should not make one give up.

Dlamini-Ngcoya said in any case, if one does not get their desired results, they should move on to “Plan B”, as this could open up other opportunities.

“Not every child is an academic, and that’s okay. Parents should understand this,” she said.

RAKHI Beekrum is a mental health psychologist. | Archives

Furthermore, said mental health psychologist Rakhi Beekrum, it’s natural to feel depressed and hopeless when one falls short of the mark.

“There is a further burden if they feel that they have let down others who believed in them, if they are negatively compared to others if they lack good coping skills or support structures.”

Beekrum added that it makes sense to feel disappointed when we do not get something that we hoped for, especially if we feel that we gave it our best shot. In order to deal with our feelings, we first need to allow ourselves to identify the emotion that we are feeling and give ourselves the space to feel it in the moment.

“We often think about our feelings, which can intensify the feeling. So name the emotion, notice what it feels like in your body, cry if you need to. Speak to someone that you feel safe to speak to.

“We don’t have to immediately rush to find solutions when we are still feeling emotional. Allow the emotions to settle; and after a day or two have discussions about your options,” urged Beekrum.

She further urged parents to not make their disappointments or anxiety about their future the focus. She said it’s important that parents manage their own emotions so they do not place further pressure on their children.

“Let them know that you care about them and will support them in planning a way forward. Be realistic about your child’s unique abilities, talents and interests. University is not the only option for a successful future. Support them by acquiring information from different institutions or check with the university they hoped to go to if there are specific bridging courses for the course that they hoped to get into,” she said.

Furthermore, Beekrum said if a child has a history of mental illness such as depression or self-harm, it’s important to monitor them.

“Comfort them and let them know that you believe in their ability to be successful in life,” she advised.

She said the world is changing and there is not just one path to success. Parents should look out for social withdrawal, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, as well as prolonged depressed mood and feelings of hopelessness.

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