Burden of expectations: Let children enjoy their studies

  • Aanchal Bedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 07, 2015 18:22 IST

During the Board exams stress is at an unprecedented high for ­students and their parents. While experts feel that a little amount of stress is good for children as it helps them stay focused, it can be a cause of ­concern when stress levels escalate beyond manageable limits.

“Parents who equate the ­performance of their children with their own standing and prestige in society need guidance and counselling. Such parents often tend to satisfy their unfulfilled dreams through their children. If the latter fails it causes unnecessary frustration. Parents should refrain from this attitude and instead adopt a ‘we-are-with-you’ approach (with respect to the child),” says Dr Jitendra Nagpal, a senior psychiatrist at Moolchand Medcity.

During an interactive session organised by HT Education at Gyanshree School, Noida, we came across parents who were trying out different methods to help their child cope with exam stress. Neha who is working as an HR professional says, “My son will be appearing for grade 10 exams this year. I tell him that low marks is not a ­problem but being unduly stressed is. Instead of making a timetable for him, I let him study at his own ­convenience, be it in the day or at night.”

Emphasising on the importance of breaks, Ritu Singh, a teacher by profession, says, “It is important to enjoy the ­experience of studying. And this can happen if ­children take short breaks within study ­sessions and maintain a ­balance between studies and other ­activities. My son is autistic. So I allow him to study at his own pace. Parents also need to explore career opportunities as per their child’s calibre.”

While the focus is always on high performance, it is ­important that parents let the children fail at times. Sharing her experience, Kashyapi Puri, says, “My ­daughter failed in Hindi when she was in Class 12 and somehow managed to scrape through in the Math paper. But because I was supportive, instead of ­getting disheartened she ­started focusing on subjects that she liked. She was with Google two years back and now is a ­make-up artist. She learnt from her ­academic failures to adopt a healthy approach to life.”

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