Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Parenting Tips During Exams

“When I did my Exams, I always used to score the highest. My parents never had to badger me for studying…”
“How did your friends score so well…?”
“So what if your teacher scolded you…its exams time and she wants you to stand up to our expectations…”

You can hear these lines from almost every student’s home these days. The over ambitious parents, who don’t understand any word less than “best”, constantly bully their kids till the time they see him/her actually confined. They are rather happy on seeing their child studying overnight sans play and fun such as watching TV etc., as this is vital for them to conquer the top and be termed as a “Topper”.
But in the long run, they can see the same lot yearning for the lost childhood brutally snatched away by ruthless parents when young.

…Give me some sunshine

Give me some rain
Give me another chance
I wanna grow up once again…

It is true that a kid’s all-round development gets adversely affected due to peer pressure of performance and achievement. Instead of pampering and supporting during such stressful periods, parents rather believe in nagging them incessantly. Infact, the mounting stress restrains a child from indulging in any other activity which otherwise functions as an imperative contribution to his holistic growth. Worst of all, if by any chance the child fails to fetch the desired score, fear grips him which forces him to take an extreme step such as committing suicide.
Who is responsible for such an act? Not the child obviously, but it is the score crazy parents!

It’s high time for parents to understand that if they really aspire to sign a star-studded report card, then they need to wisely support their children persistently.
“Nagging doesn’t help,” says Childline counselor, Maggie Turner. “Keep your expectations out of it; kids have enough of their own. And stay calm. No comparisons with others. Demonstrate that you value their efforts - reward them for trying, even if they didn't succeed.”

According to experts, even if parents have no understanding of some concepts like trigonometric formulae and chemical reactions, it is advisable that they should still help their kids as in check if he is comfortable with the coaching classes he has been attending. Many a times, children suffer from an immense low self-esteem when scolded in front of others or are burdened with the tuition and coaching classes. In such a case, parents should try interacting with the child; and if required, should change his coaching center. Parents’ support is always appreciable, even if they help them in revising. But simultaneously should also be ready to get scorned faces and ignorant looks at times – something which adds spice to parenthood.

As parents, one best thing that they can do is to take care of their child’s diet and logistics. They must ensure that he is having a healthy breakfast. A dish of flakes and hot milk would be great! Other healthy options include – instant oatmeal with raisins and milk; vegetable upma or poha; mixed vegetable porridge with boiled egg or missi roti/stuffed parantha with buttermilk to name a few. Equally important is hydration which can be ensured through his sufficient intake of liquid throughout the day. While sugary, heavy food or caffeinated liquids are a strict no-no.

Parents should pay attention to minutest details such as providing a quiet, well lighted area with little distractions to help the child study efficiently. They should create a study-ritual to aid them study systematically, and should encourage them to use the same place to study everyday. Apart from this, small goals as one or two chapters or even topics can be set. If at all, they are studying for long durations, then schedule breaks say after every one or two hours. A child should get at least one evening a week off from tiresome studies. Certain amount of freedom too should be given as allowing them to go for a walk, meditate or solve brain tickling puzzle. Parents can even try essential aromatherapy oils to help child beat stress with a relaxing massage or bath.

If needed or if the child is too stressed, then parents shouldn’t hesitate to consult a child psychologist. Constant reassurance to the child becomes mandatory which should highlight that their welfare is more valuable than their result. Infact, children should be kept away from all domestic issues and turbulences, while at the same time parents should maintain their cool.

Parents should be calm and positive on the day of the exam. The child should be properly taken care of as waking him up on time, making him eat light breakfast, not letting him drink too much liquid to avoid frequent visits to the bathroom etc. Cross-check the essential equipment required in the paper (calculators, rulers etc). In short, they should make him feel at ease and not lonely which is a typical syndrome during exams. They can discuss the paper later on without pointing too much mistakes which can easily depress the kid.

So in nutshell they should remember, “Good Marks are not everything and bad marks doesn’t mean end of the World.” Its upto them now how they would like to see their child in future – a talented geek or a knowledgeable all-rounder.

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