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How to deal with a disappointed Leaving Cert student 


Disappointment is part of life and it can be seen as an opportunity to learn something. An exam is a measure of your knowledge of a set of questions, not a measure of your intellect, or of your worth as a person or lovability. We use less than 2% of our brain function and therefore all have vast potential. 

A person’s academic achievements are a result of learning opportunities, home environment, and parent’s attitude to learning, motivation, interest and level of emotional and social maturity. Confidence is central to the acquisition of knowledge and for our child to feel confident, we need let them know how highly intelligent they are, regardless of their knowledge of a particular subject.   

Therefore, belief in your child is crucial to them feeling confident. Tell your child if they are anxious “You are not an exam result”. Encouragement and praise gives heart to your child’s efforts to learn. Encourage your teenager to set some goals that are achievable –maybe learning to drive or finding a part time job so when they achieve something, confidence is restored.  They will want more of the good feeling it gives them and understand the commitment required to achieve something. 

There have never been more educational options available for young people. This is a time for your young person to be gentle with themselves, to take time and make no rash decisions. Just because they get a CAO offer does not mean they have to take it. Ask them ‘Do you want this? If it is not what you want, then do not take it and end up dropping out of College later. Talk together to the School and Career Guidance and to others in a position to offer relevant advice. With the CAO offer, you are given time to decide; therefore it is essential not to make a rushed decision which may be regretted later, get good advice and look at all the options.



Sheila O Malley runs Practical Parenting.

Practical Parenting courses in:

One to One mentoring  Evening Courses

One Day Saturday Courses  Talks to Schools/Organisations

Book now: 086 8759086

W: www.particalparenting.ie or e-mail info@practicalparenting.ie