School interviews and assessments are every mother’s nightmare nowadays. Children may perform really well, yet still get rejected, because schools have different standards upon which they prioritize acceptance.
Why didn’t my child pass the assessment?
First of all, you must understand that there is a great possibility that your child did well in the interview. It’s not their fault they did not pass. On the other hand, your child might panic to the extent that he/she cries and screams, and refuses to enter the interview room all. You need to think that, either way, your child has done the best he/she can, and they deserve your support anyway.
How to handle a child who didn’t do well in a school assessment
According to Dr. Rana Hany, Certified Positive Discipline Educator from Positive Discipline Association USA, there are actions that need to be taken to support your child in similar situations.
Never blame. Guide emotions instead
If the child cried and screamed, and refused to talk to the interviewers, that’s because he/she was afraid or extremely uncomfortable. Imagine strangers took you from your parents to a place where you are asked questions. This is uncomfortable for anyone, imagine how it would be for a 3-year-old. Accept and validate their feelings. Try to help them put their feelings into words. Do not get angry and blame them. We totally understand that this situation will make you panic, and that’s okay. But it’s not the end of the world.
Listen, reason, and practice
Listen to your children after the assessment and understand their feelings. If they were afraid or anxious, explain that it is normal but something that they have to do, because they are older now. You can suggest role-playing, where you ask your child to be the interviewer then vise Versa.
A nice unconditioned gift will help!
Promise them to get a gift right after the next assessment, and do not link it to how they perform. A gift is a nice gesture of support no matter what they did because if it’s conditional, it would increase their anxiety and might have a negative effect on their performance in the interview. Instead, be affirmative that they have all the right to be stressed, but they also have the ability to control the way they react, and that you support them no matter what happens.
What was your experience like with school assessments? Did you encounter a similar situation? If yes, how did you react?