What parents can do
Urvashi Dewan had sleepless nights when her daughter Neha was preparing for her Class 10 boards a few years ago.
"It was a big test for me too," says the mother. From ensuring that Neha's study hours were well planned to taking time off from work to make her daughter feel at ease, she did it all.
As lakhs of students get set to take the board exams next month, there are many parents like Dewan who are devising ways and means to keep their children stress free. Vinod Rawal, a chartered accountant, whose son Tushar scored 94% in Class 12, says, "As parents, we have an equally significant role to play in their performance during the board exams. I spent a few hours every day with my son to keep track of his performance, and helped him define his daily revision targets."
This exercise takes a little burden off the students as there is someone to help them efficiently plan their revision schedules. "It is equally important to not pressure the child by embedding a certain percentage expectation in his mind. It is more important for us to explain to our children that they should put in their best efforts and not ponder much about the results. Another important aspect is physical exercise. Encourage your child to go for a jog or play a sport for an hour every day. This helps the student to break away from the monotony of his study table and books, and return with a much more relaxed and focused mindset," he adds.
A number of parents believe that the run-up to the board exams is crucial as it determines a student's career choice and admission to a professional course. "This period is especially important as the child is expected to do well not only in the board exams, but also prepare for the various entrance exams for professional courses. With my daughter Nishita, we were not much worried about her doing well in the boards as she had been regular in her studies. It was important to counsel her so that she could balance her preparations for the boards and the entrance exams," says Anup Mohta, a paediatric surgeon in New Delhi.
When it came to restricting his daughter's social activities, Mohta took a soft yet a firm stand. "We did advise her to restrict her social activities both in person as well as on the internet. We tried to be with her most of the time so that she did not feel stressed. In fact, my wife took time off from her job for a few days so that she could give moral support to Nishita, as well as cater to her other needs while she was studying. We made sure she got enough sleep and did not miss her meals," he says.