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I came across an interesting video yesterday which talked about how kids are facing a lot of pressure due to the exam fever these days. It stayed with me as it related with my kids very well.
#ReleaseThePressure, a campaign by Mirinda is an initiative to bring this well known fact to notice again in the approaching season of board exams. And I am glad someone finally spoke about it.
When a child is born, the parents take a pledge deep inside their heart to love the child unconditionally, to protect him/her from every problem of life. When they learn to crawl, they ensure that there is no sharp object which the child might ingest. When they learn to walk, the parents run and pick up the child when he/she falls down. At every step as an infant, a toddler the parents act as a shield.
Soon, the child starts growing up. Along with the physical growth begins the emotional growth. This is the time where actually the child needs a lot of support. He/she is trying to cope with the world, the studies, teachers, peers, expectations, dreams, challenges, physical changes. Unfortunately, this is the time when many parents fail to act as a shield or support for their children.
It’s a competitive world out there and the parents are concerned about their children. Their own expectations and fear reflects in their behaviour towards their children. Come exam time and that fear becomes a pressure for the child. Exam time becomes a phobia for the children. Everywhere they go they are reminded of the tough competition out there; be it the school, the friends, the relatives, the neighbourhood. So, parents should be the ones who need to understand them, support them, love them, and encourage them.
I have a son who is now 14, soon going to be promoted to class 10. I can see how much worried he is about his future. But both me and my husband have decided not to pressurize him at all. For me nothing is more precious than my son. I don’t want him to be emotionally disturbed or think of taking any drastic step if he doesn’t meet his own expectations. I know he is at an age where he is going through physical, hormonal, behavioural changes. I don’t want him to lose his innocence and laughter. I want him to laugh like he did 10 years back as a toddler. I want him to enjoy life. Right now, he is preparing for his 9th final exams. I ensure that he studies daily but at the same time I don’t stop him from playing football, occasional outings with his friends, some gadget time. This relaxes him and reenergizes him again for the exam preparation. There is no point in asking a child to study for 18 hours. Humanly, it is impossible for anyone to concentrate for so long without any break or recreation.
Of course, I want him to have a career. There are loads of options available out there. I know he will shine in life in whatever he does but he should enjoy it rather than detesting his career and job. Every child has his/her own capacity, capability and the parents must learn to accept and embrace the child as he/she is with his/her limitations.
India leads in the number of student suicides every year. No loss is greater than the loss of a child. No use pushing him/her to that brink of desperation and frustration. As parents, we just need to see them happy in life. Few marks won’t take away his/her own distinct personality but too much pressure might take away our child.
As my son gears up for 10th next year, I have decided that I will encourage him but not push or pressurize. I will keep on talking to him the way I do now to understand his anxieties, fears, restlessness, challenges instead of just lecturing him or rebuking him all the time. I will try and motivate him, encourage him.
Life will be as such full of challenges in the later stages of life. Let’s pledge as parents to give our children wings and not clip the. Let them at least be free of pressure in their childhood. We should always remember the pledge that we had taken when our child was born, to love him/her unconditionally, to protect him/her (then physically and now emotionally).
To take a pledge, give a missed call on 8866288662 or visit www.releasethepressure.in