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It was morning of the February 13th. I had butterflies in the stomach. Though I tried to hide my anxiety from Neha, my 11- year old daughter, but I terribly failed in it. It was her Maths Mock exam that day.
Neha was unusually quiet to see me like this, and I too didn’t have much conversation with her about anything, and she left soon after having her breakfast.
The week went by, and Neha got the scores for all the subjects. My worst fear came true, and she scored less in Maths again. My heart broke as we did prepare for it well. I didn’t know whom to console, myself or Neha who was in tears and was repeatedly saying,” mum,I did try hard this time.” The mother in me wanted to hug my baby tight, but the angry woman gave Neha a stern look. She went to her room quietly.
She knew all the concepts, and we had practiced from all the possible exercise books.
To light up the dull environment at home I switched on the T.V. After few minutes the Miranda Ad was aired, and I saw it for the first time.
Call it the mother’s guilt; tears started rolling down my cheeks after watching that ad. I went to her room and I saw her struggling with numbers. I couldn’t muster courage to speak and came back to the kitchen. I prepared her favourite Matar Paneer. I called her out for dinner. Hugged her tightly and whispered in her ear,” it’s okay, we will try harder next time.” She looked at me with moist eyes and soon started crying inconsolably. After she had sobered up, we had dinner and to cheer her up we decided to go out for ice-cream.
Later in that week I got an invitation by mycity4kids for the event sponsored by Mirinda to create awareness about its campaign #releasethepressure
I am glad that I accepted the invitation. I met so many mothers who were sailing in the same boat, swaying amidst the exam pressure.The expert talk by Dr. Mimansa Talwar was very encouraging and helped me to cope up with the stress, which I was inadvertently passing on to Neha to worsen the situation.
I realised my mistake. I understood that Neha lacks self-confidence for this subject. I also realised that how I ignored her performance in the other subjects. I never appreciated her when she topped the class in all the three languages throughout the year. My grave concerns with her “marks in maths” has put Neha in tremendous pressure and may be this has lowered down her performance in the subject.
I decided to give boost to her self-confidence. I practiced breathing techniques whenever the angry woman took charge of a mother in me. I started appreciating her more and praising her for her efforts in all the other subjects as well.
I stopped using the word “no” and learned to convey things in different manner to her.
I realised every child is as unique as a butterfly but one thing is common to them. They all have wings. They just need to realise their true potential, and once they recognise it, no one can hold them back. As a parent, it is my duty to help my child fly high in whatever direction her real potential lies.
We started setting more realistic goals rather than making wacky study plans. I saw a drastic change in Neha. Each accomplishment pushes her to try hard to achieve more.
I encouraged her to take outdoor breaks rather than watching T.V during a break. Now the break includes a brisk walk or a badminton match between us. Neha’ s concentration has improved after we have started the outdoor breaks.
We still have a long way to go, but these small changes have not only helped Neha to perform better but have also strengthened my relationship with her.
So, less nagging, more outdoor breaks, nutritious diet, breathing techniques, positive way of communication, no comparison and no reminders of past failure helped my daughter gained her self- confidence back, and now there is no looking back.
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make a turn.”
~ Hellen Keller
Dear Parents, come let’s pledge,”To let our children be what they are and not what we want them to be.”
To take a pledge, give missed call on 8866288662 or visit www.releasethepressure.in