Testing Times

Testing Times

A report on CNN.com says that when it comes to board results, "India is obsessed with the numbers, and some teenagers are so wracked by anxiety that they become ill, or worse." The report also quotes a study conducted by The Week in October last year which said that approximately 4000 students take their lives each year. The figures are hardly surprising as it is a known fact that taking exams is one of the most stressful times in a student’s life. The stress is a direct outcome of the psyche of students who tend to identify their self-worth with the marks they obtain. Fear of perfectionism, achieving success and unhealthy competitiveness has puts enormous pressure on our children.
Most teachers and psychologists opine that parents play an extremely important role in helping their children cope with the trauma of examination. Unfortunately, many parents are as nervous as, or even more so, than their children during exams. This sometimes causes them to make things worse by being too forceful.

According to Dr Rajan Bhosle (MD), a renowned counsellor, "Parents need to be as tolerant and supportive as they can at this difficult time. It is essential that parents repeatedly reassure their children that the love and treasure them and whatever their performance at the exams, this fact will not change."

There are countless examples of people without formal education who’ve achieved heights of success and parents must help heir children realise that doing poorly in a particular exam does not translate into doing poorly in life. They need to be reminded that just because someone else is better in their course, it does not mean that person is a superior being.

Another issue is that of forcing career choices onto children. Studies suggest that parents often view their children’s career accomplishments as a reflection on themselves and as a material for the construction of meaning in their own lives. This is often where conflict between parents and children may arise.  

Lighthouse Foundation is organizing free seminars for parents titled "You and Your Children" on November 15 and 16 in Thane and Mumbai. The seminars are an attempt to create an understanding between parents and their kids to help them deal with the exam pressures.

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