Parents‚ tell your children there are always options. That is the advice from the KwaZulu-Natal division of child protection organisation Childline as many of the country's 2017 matric pupils await their results.

"One can rewrite certain papers or even repeat a year. Failure does not mean that the future is over. Failure can be turned into an opportunity to learn and develop. Learners must verify their results and whatever the outcome‚ if the need arises they must speak to someone."

"High achievers are also put under pressure to perform and achieve multiple distinctions - however even in this case there is the option of remarking‚" said Childline KZN operations manager Adeshini Naicker.

The organisation is prepared for calls from distraught pupils who may have not fared well in the examinations.

"But we are hopeful that the numbers will actually decrease due to the awareness created around matric results over the past few years. Our outreach programs have also covered the issue of examination results and the reactions resulting from it‚" Naicker said.

She advised parents to show love‚ guidance and support to children who may have failed. "Your child needs to know that they have your support and that they will achieve success in their own time."

Parents also need to be on the lookout for a change in behaviour. "Withdrawal and a change in sleeping patterns are a sign of depression. Parents to be aware that matric results are not often the sole reason for suicide but often a culmination of a series of events."

"The entire matric year is stressful for many children‚ so parents need to be wary and watchful throughout the year and offer support continuously in order to avoid a catastrophe‚" said Naicker.

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