If there is a fear of examinations inculcated in the students, it is not because of the examinations themselves, but due to the pressure applied by parents and teachers, said Rameela Shekhar, Professor and Dean, the Post Graduate Department, Roshni Nilaya.

Elucidating on the “four ingredients” of good parenting (love and discipline, validation, being good role models and communication) during the parent orientation organised by The Manipal School and The Hindu here on Saturday, Ms. Shekhar said parents and teachers, often inadvertently, only praised children when good marks were obtained. This, she said, created an impression in the child that he or she would be “loved” only if academic excellence was reached.

“Teachers and parents need to be conscious that not all children are alike. Every improvement in marks needs to be acknowledged,” she said.

“Elders tend to criticise the child, and not their action. There is a need to make the child understand that what he or she did was wrong, and not just to insult the child. After a point, the child will just switch off during a spell of scolding,” she said.

Recounting anecdotes of children’s confessions to her, she advised the teachers to give equal attention to students in class. “If a child is hyperactive, it is only because the child is seeking attention and will not get it otherwise,” she said.

Ms. Shekhar said that as children tend to imitate their parents, it was of prime importance that the parents conform to the rules they set for children. “Even white lies said by parents have a big impact on the child,” she said.

Finally, she said, it was important to maintain communication during the primary school years. “Do not chastise the child for confessing something. The child will clam up then,” she said.

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