Anyone that has either worked with children or has children will know that one of the most powerful words one can use to a child is ‘disappointed’.

When trying to help our children keep and respect what may seem strict but safe boundaries  – when they have crossed the line we may find ourselves explaining how we are disappointed with their actions. I have found this has far more of an impact than any other verbal expression or ban on say computer games etc.

However, we constantly hear how teenagers are increasingly suffering from stress and interestingly Childline today were reported to reveal that they received over 1000 calls from children suffering exam stress. This was expressed as a 20% increase on last year.

Childline went on to say that children felt stressed as they didn’t want to disappoint their parents and this speaks volumes. As parents we have to greatly consider our children’s emotional intelligence and avoid applying undue pressure but replacing it with supportive encouragement.

As we know some children are more communicative about their feelings than others and it is no secret that stress related issues are sadly also on the increase and include eating disorders and self harming.

I am mindful that as we approach exam results days that many students will already feel disappointed with results and do not need parents adding to their dilemma. If they do not get their first choice options for university it may not be the end of the world.

Remember a second choice through clearing may work out better for many students.


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