Go easy on matrics
Don’t blame students who have failed, rather offer support, says Masanda Peter.

2010 must have been one of the toughest years for matriculants in the country. The World Cup also interrupted the school year. There was the teachers’ strike, which caused disruptions in schools, and this must have have definitely set the students back. The students also had their own time in the striking field with the boycott of preliminary exams.

Some of the students will fail and that is the reality of life. This will in some way or the other come back to affect the parents as well. I think this is the time where we need to support our children. Of course they will be at their lowest.

Having been a matriculant myself, I know how pressurised this time can be. It is not unusual to hear of some students committing suicide during this time if they hear that they have not made it.

Reasons for failure

As parents it is often easy to come up with all the reasons why the child failed.

If it was not for all the parties they attended they would have passed. If it was for the child not hanging out with boys all the time she would have made it, or watching too much TV, or being on Facebook.

This might be at least partly true - you know your child - but this should be a time of supporting, not blaming.

It is during this time that your parenting skills will be tested and if you are a parent to a matriculant I think you need to be ready. Of course you might feel your money has been wasted but you need to console and give support as well.

As hard as it will be, we need to be there for our children. This will be the time when they need us most as parents. This could be the perfect time for you to sit down with your child and point out the shortfalls in a harmonious way. Some parents just scream, want to hit the child, call them stupid and all sorts of things in a moment of anger. At their lowest point that is the last thing they need.

Sometimes you learn by making mistakes. There are those students whom reality might hit and they get to change their ways. The next time they might pass with flying colours because they know the consequences and how their failure affected the household.

What should parents advise matrics who failed or didn’t achieve their goals?

Read more by Masanda Peter

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