‘I got my son a dog when he entered Class 10’
Jacinta Pereira, 53
Pereira got her first dog, Simba, a playful nine-month-old Labrador, a month after her son Warren entered Class 10 last year. Far from looking at Simba as a distraction, Pereira found that pet therapy - a concept that involves the participation of animals for educational and motivational effectiveness - works in her son’s favour. Research shows that having a pet can act as a de-stressor for children and adolescents because animals such as dogs and cats provide unconditional love and affection.
Warren, a student of St Anne’s Orlem, is not allowed to study for more than four or five hours a day. “After we got the dog, my son plays with him and takes him for walks when he takes a break from studies. I notice that this relaxes him and he is refreshed enough to start studying again,” says Pereira, a public relations executive.
As most of his friends are busy with their own revision schedules, Warren has come up with innovative games that also involve Simba. “Indoor activities and outdoor play are as important during the exams because these make the child less stressed, and having a dog helps my son to remain active,” says Pereira.
‘I timed my work leave with my son’s study leave’
Farida Deboo, 46
Deboo is a part-time teacher who also makes chocolates at home. But when her son Hoshedar got study leave for his Class 12 exams, Farida also took an extended leave of absence from her career and her hobby.
Hoshedar is a student from SM Choksey Junior College. “While I think it’s important for me to be around to talk to and motivate my son, another reason I stay at home is just so that I can answer the telephone and the doorbell so that he is not distracted,” she says. “I did the same thing when my daughter was giving her boards.
Besides this, I insist on a good night’s sleep, eating dry fruits and not allowing the exams to become larger-than-life by creating a hype in the house as the boards draw closer.”
‘I supported my son when he switched from science to commerce in Class 12’
Megha Sarashetty, 38
Sarashetty, a single mother, considers her son Om to be more of a friend, and so she makes it a point to understand and support his decisions especially it involves his career.
“Om was the one who wanted to take up science after Class 10. However, he is weak in math and was not able to cope with the subject in Class 11 itself. Even though he started HSC in science, he decided that he is not interested in the stream after a few months,” says Sarashetty.
Instead of convincing Om to make the switch after the boards, Sarashetty helped Om, a student a Vedant School Mira Road, with the necessary paperwork to move to commerce because she believes that parents should not promote the rat race or make their children feel guilty during exam time because this leads to the high number of drop outs from “parent-favoured fields like engineering and medical each year”.