With board examinations around the corner, it seems to be a stressful time for both children and their parents! It has become almost a norm for working parents to take leave to be with their children as they prepare for the exams and Technopark also feels the heat. Many parents take leave— half-day to one week to even one month— or opt to work from home.
Many parents insist that they want to be with the children to give them support and “not to keep an eye” on them. Parvathy Sadasivan Pillai of SunTec Business Solutions has taken a two-week leave because she wants to give moral support to her son Vysakh S Nair writing his class 12 [ISE] exam.
“He doesn’t go for any private tuition because I am not convinced about such classes. I want to be at home because I know he wants me around. Although, initially, he said that he would manage on his own, later, he asked whether I could opt to work from home. I help him in whatever way I can,” says Parvathy.
Indu C Nair, another SunTec employee, also plans to be at home whenever her daughter, Parvathy R Panicker, a class 10 [ICSE] student, wants it. “I don’t get to spend much time with her. So I want to be with her when she needs me at a time like this. She has this unique way of learning – she teaches me whatever she wants to study to remember it herself. That’s very effective,” feels Parvathy.
In the case of Manu H and Smitha Devaraj of IBS, they have decided to take turns to be with their son Arjun Manu, who is appearing for ICSE class 10 exams. “With people around you going on reminding you that your son is writing his board exams one just can’t shake off the pressure. My husband is quite chilled out about the whole thing and plans to take leave when Arjun has his mathematics paper in case he needs any help,” says Smitha. They help Arjun with time management tips.
Keeping them happy
Several parents try to alleviate their children’s stress by going out of the way to keep them happy. Bipin Kumar KR takes leave when his son Nitin B has his class 10 ICSE exams to take him to school and pick him up. “We are more like friends and even though he has never asked me to be at home, I feel good to be around him at this time,” he says.
This support is what makes Jamal Anvar sit late at night with his son Adil Jamal, appearing for his class 12 CBSE exams. “I am not staying away from work. But I keep him company, mostly with my laptop, sometimes into the wee hours of the day. I know he likes having me around,” Jamal says. Meanwhile, Smitha ensures that her son’s favourite food is on the table and the family cuts down on their regular outings.
However, there are also parents who have chosen not to change their daily routine. Sumeetha M, working with an MNC, says that even though she is entitled to a one-month leave, she isn’t availing herself of it. “I don’t want my daughter to feel that I am babysitting her. She does not like that,” she says about her child, Rajeswari S Nair, a class 10 CBSE student. Instead, she takes leaves in between her daughter’s exams to give her emotional support. “In fact, we had a nice time when I helped her with her paper on Information Technology,” she adds.
Durga P plans to take one day’s leave for daughter Nidhi R, a class 10 CBSE student. “She has been doing well in her studies and I don’t want to put any extra pressure on her. One of the reasons why parents want to be at home is to ensure that their children does not feel alone or get distracted. Also, I want to see that she has something she likes to eat,” Durga avers.
Pradeep Narayan of Navigant believes that his daughter Poornima Narayan, a student of class 10, can manage on her own. “My job is to keep her stress-free, what with family members and others making a big issue out of the whole thing. I am planning to go with her to school on the first day of her exam,” he says.
Meanwhile, most companies on their part are considerate towards parents who take leave during this period. An official statement from SunTec says that the company offers all possible support to its employees working in its Indian offices during the exam season. ‘Employees can choose to take long leave, take part-time leave (half-day each), opt to work from home or even work on flexible timing based on the schedule of the exam’, reads the statement. A reminder to this effect is sent to all employees from the HR department. Several other companies in the IT hub too, albeit unofficially, support the parents when exams are around. UST Global has a “flexi work policy”, which enable parents to take care of any personal needs. According to Shilpa Menon, centre head: “Employees can take time off or opt for flexi work time at any point in time.”
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