A parents view on surviving the Leaving Cert

I have thought long and hard about what my first blog post would be and decided that since my first child has just finished her leaving certificate I would talk about that experience as a mother as it may relate to many people who have gone through or will go through it this year with their children.

What a rollercoaster! It was an experience of many emotions and I had to steady myself and be very mindful of what I was energy and emotion I was sending out to my family. It was all about holding the ship steady and to keep on going regardless of what happened.

I had to be there to support my child through all the study that she was doing by being there and ensuring that life flowed as smoothly as it could. After all the study there was the whole experience of the actual leaving cert exams and again ensuring that home was as conducive to exam pressure as possible. This had to be balanced with a busy house with five other family members which had to continue to run.

I also had to ensure that she looked after herself by getting adequate sleep, good food and by me being a listening ear during the harder parts. All of these elements were so important at this time.

Then there was the wait for the exam results, the initial reaction and the discussion that followed before the long awaited CAO offers. This was the most anxious time and definitely a time of high emotion.

Unfortunately she did not get her first choice on the CAO offer and was quite disappointed. I needed to be aware of how it would be affecting her and used diversion/distractions such as going for a driving lesson and having discussions about all the positives such as getting accommodation and the excitement of moving to a new city and life. Now she is settled and very happy, starting a new chapter!

Things will turn out for the best but you have to keep things going as much as possible. It is a hard time for everyone but can also be exciting and very positive. Be kind and compassionate, to yourself and to your leaving cert student.

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