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Exam fever Avoid adding to your child’s confusion
Exam fever Avoid adding to your child’s confusion

PARENTING Don’t add to your child’s examination stress

My parents have been advising me day in and day out on how to fare better in exams,” says Renuka, a class 10 student. “And the badgering has only increased now,” rues the harried girl.

Children are told any number of times that exams are, especially for those preparing for the Secondary School Certificate exam, life-changers, career-builders and what not.

With the onset of the exam season, parents get extra solicitous about their children’s performance in exams. “At school we put in extra hours besides listening to teachers’ exhortations. And when I come home, it’s the turn of parents. I am fed up of it,” she says. Parents’ concern is nothing new.

Children bombarded with advice from parents, teachers and well-wishers end up stressed before the exams. Their parents’ worry gets transferred to them. “I have never worried about exams before,” says Sivarama Krishna and adds: “But, looking at my parents worry about me makes me worried.”

No doubt, children feel they are forced to perform for their parents’ sake rather than for their own.

With the parents’ worry on one side, and the schools egging them on to score more marks, children feel they’ve got to put in twice the effort to remain ahead of the others. Added to this is peer pressure.

Measuring up

Exams, most parents and teachers believe, are the measure of a student’s intelligence and self-esteem. Turning a child’s exam performance into an end-of-the-world scenario hurts children who may not be good at all subjects.

“I don’t like to spend more time to read Social Studies,” says Tarun. “I don’t feel like studying it and so may not score good marks in it,” he says, knowing it will affect his overall score. What this conveys is children get more talked-to or talked-at rather than listened-to. “Nobody, neither my teachers nor my parents told me how to get interested in Social Studies,” he adds: “All they simply want is I must study.”

Don’t expect too much

Parents, on their part, love to see their children performing well in exams. “What’s wrong in being concerned about my daughter faring well in exams, after all, she is my daughter,” says Renuka’s mother, Kamala Devi. “As parents, we have the right to expect our wards to perform well in exams.”

At school, teachers expect their students to measure up to their expectations. Sandwiched between the two, the task of faring well in the exam becomes cumbersome for children.


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