Dealing with results – A few useful tip
It is important for the counselor to help children cope up with the disappointment, if at all, related to examination results. Broadly speaking examination results should be treated as a spring board to future achievements and better prospects. Examination results can cause a great deal of anxiety to the students and parents alike. However, a consistent family support system can be of help.
Parents should look out for the following signs:
· Physical symptoms, such as sleeping or eating more or less than usual
· Mental symptoms, such as loss of concentration and interest
· Emotional symptoms such as tears, tantrums, panic attacks
· Addictive symptoms, such as excessive drinking or smoking or using pills
· Self depreciating comments “I knew I’ll never pass or never do well or…Mohit’s much brighter than me………”
Must Dos for parents:
v Do not nag the child. Be supportive and encouraging.
v Help the child to develop self-discipline, self-direction, self- confidence and a sense of achievement.
v Just good schooling and tuition are not substitutes for emotional cushioning.
v Help the child in maintaining his confidence especially when he seems discouraged by his dropping marks or grades. Do not displace your anxiety on the child.
v The achievement goals should be realistically set according to the
v Praise the child when he does well. Encourage the child’s performance with positive statements like, “well done”, “you can do better”, rather than saying “that was not enough”.
v Do not harp on previous failures or results.
v If achievement expectations are too high it may lead to greater anxiety.
v Humor relieves tension. Be light and humorous with the child.
v Try to gain your child’s confidence and discuss problems. Help to find a solution.
v Exams are not the end of the world.
v Accept that expectation for every one to do well is unrealistic.
v Involve the child in decision making.
v Be aware of the market demands and do not concentrate on traditional courses alone. This will narrow down the options considerably and cause stress.
v Many students do better after school because of maturity and greater focus, course of interest, rise and awareness level and exposure to options.
v Avoid criticizing or comparing the child with others.
v Make the child feel important and loved.
v Listen to your child.
v Take help of a professional counselor in case of a conflict or depression over the result.
The students should:
· Assess priorities, assets and difficulties
· Follow a normalized routine atmosphere at home.
· Imagining extreme consequences and worst situations is of no use and needs to be discouraged.
· It is helpful to know what she/ he can accomplish.
· Do not magnify failure and try to talk them out of it. Should not demean themselves.
· Contact the teachers or counselors if they feel low or anxious or disinterested.
· Develop alternative coping strategies and de -focus from the pain.
Must Dos for students:
v Learn to be positive.
v Learn to relax.
v Talk to family and friends.
v Do your best and stop worrying. Result is not the ultimate decisive factor.
v It is more important to choose the next options.
v Find out and update with wide and varied career choices. Invariably the decision should not be based or influenced by the friends.
v For an average performer or below average, skill based/vocational courses. are best choice
Common feelings in suicide
· A crisis that causes intense suffering and feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.
· Conflict between survival and unbearable stress.
· Narrowing of patient’s perceived options.
· A wish to escape (it is an escape rather than a going-towards).
· To punish self and/or to punish others with guilt.
Indicators for increased chance for suicide
· Withdrawal Behaviour for few days
· Mention of suicide repeatedly.
· Suicide note
· Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
· A history of serious psychological problems.
· A history of impulsive, poorly controlled and destructive Behaviour.
· A history of continuing academic problems and learning difficulties.
· Adjustment difficulties with family, school, peers etc.
Helping suicidal adolescent
· Establish rapport
· Allow the student to narrate his/her own story
· Use age appropriate language
· Tactful questions. Avoid leading questions e.g. “you don’t want to kill yourself”
· Obtain detailed description of any suicidal plan ask about availability and lethality
· Smooth movement from one topic to another
1. Communicate that people do get through this – there are other children who feel as badly as he/she feels now.
2. Advise the child to give himself/herself some time e.g., “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything”. Or a week. Suggest that feelings and actions are two different things – just because you feel like harming / killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute.
3. Periodically, keeping in touch over the phone will reduce the intent of ending their lives. Counseling needs to be practical and useful.
4. Long lectures with a moralistic tone are not advised. These make the already depressed student guiltier and his intent stronger.
5. The student should be advised to contact a professional counselor as soon as possible. If not efforts should be made to encourage him to meet his teachers or school counselors or talk to his parents. The more he talks about his problems to various people; he is likely to feel much better.
6. A student who is severely depressed and expresses absolute
helplessness about future is more at risk than a student who talks about casual things.
7. No medicines should be prescribed over the phone.