Pressure does not equal excellence
- 01 Apr 2016
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Someone once said that if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Though mostly people think it was Einstein that said it, there isn’t much proof to support the fact. But that in no way changes the depth and meaning of what has been said. Not every child is the same and not everyone has the same inclinations or capabilities.
As a parent, you would of course want only the best for your child – good grades, top colleges, and lucrative careers; and it is obviously true that the base of knowledge that they form at school will be what helps influence their future. What does this then entail? Many parents end up putting intense pressure on the children, telling them to earn great grades irrespective of the toil it might take on them. Mostly, the result of this is an adverse effect on the performance that can often lead to physical, social, and emotional stress.
Why Parents Use Pressure
Wanting their kids to do well in school is only normal and such pressures from the parents are at many times unintentional. But when you see that we live in a world where a child would take the easy way out of copying in the exams, we see a system in front of ourselves that values grades much more than learning. Academic intensity along with the looming fears that surround college admissions makes the parents ramp up academic pressure.
Social withdrawal, loss of interest in hobbies, burnout, cheating, eating disorders and sleep deprivation are just a few of the ailments that have increased in evidence these days. Unfortunately, these symptoms of stress and anxiety stem mainly from the unending parental pressure that kids are under these days.
As iterated above, not every child is the same and not every child can be expected to excel at some standardized tests that are designed to test knowledge and not skills. Another important thing to remember is that academic success is not the only thing that can determine a child’s future. These days there are a number of career fields available for children.
It is very important that you as a parent are aware of the possibilities. This is where good career counseling can actually help you in determining the aptitude of your child. Career counseling in India has been picking up steam ever since parents have started realizing that there are a host of new and rewarding career options on offer.
What Can Parents Do
Consider this without bias – are you putting undue pressure on you children? If you are, then it’s time that you ease off. It is your job to help keep their stress levels under check, and not add to them.
Talk: If they at any point seem overwhelmed, talk to them or talk to their counselors. Get to the bottom of their problem and help solve it.
Support: Nurture your child’s interests. If they find science and mathematics to be dull but love to draw, encourage that, and enroll them for an art class.
Understand: Remember that everyone’s interest can lie in different fields and that is completely okay!
Be Realistic: Make sure that the expectations that you set are realistic, and unless you have a child who miraculously loves each and every subject, expecting A’s all across the board is definitely not realistic.
Time out: Most importantly, give your child a chance to relax. Like adults, children too need some time off, and unlike adults, children are not that good when it comes to dealing with anxiety.
A little pressure might work well, but there is a thin line between optimum and too much pressure; learn your child’s strength and support them in their decisions. Being there for them is the best that one can do today.
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