You are anxious because
Your child’s academic record is not up to your expectations.
Academic competition is becoming tougher day by day, and parents
increase the children’s stress by imposing their own anxiety on them. Be
a supportive parent. Parents emotional support will give their children
the tremendous courage to perform to their utmost potential.
There is the case of an eleven-year girl, named Lisa, with her extreme
reaction after her poor performance which compelled her towards an attempt
to commit suicide, which I want to share with you.
Lisa, after getting her report card and finding she had got low marks
in some subjects, ran away from school. She broke down before me, crying
inconsolably. She told me she wanted to commit suicide and was at a loss
how to do it. Fortunately, a benevolent person was suspicious about her and
could understand her intention. He talked to her and found that his guess was
true and he consoled her and brought her home.
The worried parents contacted me. The surprising element to convey
is that her parents were absolutely unaware of the fact that their own
expectations led their child to take such a drastic step.
They admitted that they often wanted their child to achieve high marks
and she is capable as well. Lisa is popular among their friends’ circle owing
to her good results. They had to admit that their expectations may have had
a role which motivated her to secure good marks.
This is a clear-cut picture of the parent’s own anxious state, which is here
reflected in their child’s academic performance. The child develops a fear of
withdrawal of love if she doesn’t perform well. Moreover, she was quite
worried about her parents because they always talked to the relatives about
their daughter’s performance. This created profound anxiety in her mind.
She was feeling guilty as she could not come up to her parents’ expectation.
As a result, she wanted to finish herself off. This stressful situation kept her
always in a state of despondency.
There are several Lisas and their parents who are going through similar
tremendous inner conflicts. One (i.e., the child) is ashamed of facing her
parents and the others (the parents) fear disgrace ahead of them.
See how Julia used to comfort her daughter, Penny, who was about to
appear at her school final exams, saying things like,
“Don’t get panicky darling, relax! What a person needs are a beautiful
mind and a charming personality. And you possess both. After finishing your
exams you’ve to show your efficiency in every walk of life.”
She used to assert before her that the school final examination was as
easy and simple as the other school examinations. Penny was quite confident
and positive. She has now made a good career and secured a high post
in a prestigious multinational company. She is there not due to the high
achievement/or score in her school but her dynamic and determined attitude
towards life and its challenges. Education and the school marks are two
different dimensions. Education enriches one’s outlook whereas high score
limits one’s knowledge up to the book only.
Mark Twain may have rightly said, I never let my schooling interfere
with my education.
The “high scoring” culture is prevalent in our society to a great extent
as if this was a brownie point in one’s curriculum vitae. In fact, if you go
through the records of successful persons you will find that most of them
were average achievers in their class performance. There is a huge difference
between the class performance and a child’s ability to go ahead in life. So
academic achievements are no indicator of one’s ability to establish oneself
in a desired place. Education is a form of culture. It enriches a child’s
knowledge. Education helps inculcate discipline.
Study should be pleasurable. A child should be curious about the
subjects. Parents should serve up education as a delicacy. So, parents! Be logical!
A child needs emotional support. Every child is different and he
perceives his parents differently.
So the habit of study differs from one to another. But the technique
and mechanisms are universal. A child with stress is unable to receive
the information related to studies. He needs a stress-free environment so
that he can store the learnt items comfortably and easily in his memory-compartment
and can recall it without hassles. He just hates it if his parents
talk about his studies, performance etc., so he starts rebelling against the
parents’ expectations or their boasting of his performance. But this rebellion
takes many forms from depression to aggression. People with a lot of anxiety
often ignore the feelings and sensitivity of their children which arise as a
consequence of their own temperament. A child cannot have an omniscient
view. They cannot adjust themselves to their studies while simultaneously
facing such parental problems. If you perceive your child’s problems
by considering them from the viewpoint of a third person, you will find
it easier to identify the problems they encounter every day. Many parents
with successful children are very systematic, organized and understand the
values of education and its importance. The following example proves how
parents make studies easy and comfortable by proving that the “Education
is a culture.”
Neena was in class eight. It was her duty to sit for the studies at a
fixed time. Her parents made it a habit to make her sit for the studies at the
particular time from her very childhood.
“It was the system of my home to sit and practise anything related to
studies, like when she was three years old she had to sit exactly at 6’o clock
in the evening. Since she was very young we used to give her freedom to
learn rhymes and identify colours or use chalks or crayons for drawing
meaningless things. We (mother and father) divided this duty and made it
compulsory. When she was a kid we had to sacrifice some of our household
works. We didn’t have time to decorate our home, attend parties, get
involved in kitty parties, or cook a variety of things every day. But we used
to participate with her in her studies, extracurricular activities and school
functions. Now I’m feeling so good that she takes her own initiative and is
performing well in her class and even in extracurricular activities.” Thus if
you take care of your child from the beginning you need not worry about