Belfast Telegraph

Exam results: parental etiquette

By Tom Sutcliffe

I don't know whether Debrett's covers this matter but somebody should really address themselves to the question of parental etiquette when it comes to one's children's exam results.

The essential rule of thumb here should always be "If I haven't directly asked you, I probably don't want to know". Don't load your little darlings' stellar A-level grades on to your Facebook page. Don't send out a mass email detailing their record-breaking performance at GCSE.

And, above all, don't text or tweet a message which implicitly requires an immediate reply, overflowing with synthetic delight.

Yes, one quite understands that you feel like bragging. And there's no great shame in parental pride provided you conduct yourself in a seemly fashion. But remember, you may be pouring salt into a recently received wound.

Your child's unexpected success may even have contributed to the fact that someone else's is now going through the agony of Ucas clearing.

So, although you are bursting with satisfaction, vent your gratification only in the direction of grandparents and particularly doting aunts. Anyone else who actually wants the information will, I'm sure, be able to winkle it out of you eventually.

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