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Post exam discussions with children – Having an empathetic approach is the key

Stay Connected   |  10-Mar-2017

By IC Desk @ Deeksha

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As parents, we all want to know about how our child’s day at school was, and especially in this season, the only question we have is, ‘how did the exams go’! Having the right mindset after exams is as critical as the mindset they have, when they step into their exam centre.  What should our approach be when they get back home after exams? How can we support them?



Whether the exam goes well or not, children will have a lot of things to share. If it goes well, then things will be shared out of excitement. In this case, it is important that we appreciate them and acknowledge their effort. However, after that let’s also ensure that this feeling doesn’t slip into over confidence, and the child does get back and focus on rest of the exams.

In case the exam doesn’t go well, there are two possibilities. Firstly, the child might not want to talk about it at all. This is when the child doesn’t respond to our questions about ‘how did the exams go’, ‘What are you upset about, was it too difficult?’ etc. In this case, let’s give them the space to deal with their emotions and let’s not push them to answer. All that we could do during this time is, divert the discussion into something more positive, make the situation lighter by sharing some encouraging words.

In the second case, the child might vent out, out of frustration. Letting our child vent out without interrogating them further is the best way to help them feel better. Let’s ensure we avoid statements such as ‘you should have expected this, ‘you should have put in more effort’, ‘how was your friend able to perform better’ etc. Instead we could say ‘you still have few more exams to go, I am sure you can do them well’.

In short, we must have an empathetic approach, we must avoid criticism and comparison, and we must encourage positive self talk. This approach will help them recoup their motivation and momentum to put in their best for the subsequent exams.


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