EXAMS… Bloody Hell…

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Exam-stress

Whole of my life I couldn’t fathom the intrinsic meaning of the prophetic lines of the father of English Literature Chaucer – “April is the cruellest month” till I found that bloody examinations, which happen in March-April are indeed the cruellest for children as well as for their parents.

The time has come to prove your worth. You little grown up monsters, it is the time to show what you did the whole last year. And by the way there is no escape route, if you are just planning to think one. We have laid a foolproof net around you; don’t even dare to run away. And don’t forget we have given you several helpline numbers too. What else do you want? This is what creators of our education system must have thought while creating a ruckus called EXAMS.

And they are right too! Apart from getting little setbacks, minor episodes of depression, nervous breakdown, higher anxiety levels and a few suicides aren’t exams indeed the best way to evaluate our capabilities in life? How much does it matter if our kids are going through mood swings and depression for few weeks in a year? After all, it’s the question of their future, else why do you think all the teachers, parents, uncles, aunts, peers, neighours and even far distant relatives would keep poking them after every few hours (if not minutes) asking them about their future plans? They keep on compressing their present since they can’t control their future.

Recently, while checking status messages of all my contact list (which by the way, is my favourite time pass after writing a column) I rolled my eyes while reading a status which read like this “When life is crueller than death!”

Anybody, at my place, would feel concerned as the message was coming from a teenager’s status box. The first thought which came to me was that he is going through a bad relationship or something wrong has turned out at his home. While I couldn’t hold my concern, I messaged him asking, All well Diven? You are happy na?”

Happy? Why would I be happy, my exams are going on 🙁  

This is the mental health of Diven (my friend’s son) who otherwise is a chirpy fellow. It’s painful to see that our children not only undergo this high voltage pressure but also, they are expected to bring their best side up during the stressful period of exams. How come this is even possible? Stress and Result can never sail in the same boat. Even grown-ups, when in pressure can’t give their best performance, then why on earth the little minds are expected to do so?

And when this whole goof up brings FRUSTRATION, ANGER and WORRY in children, then parents start labelling them with various other behaviour patterns and keep yelling at them

You are so disobedient,
You lack focus,
Why can’t you remember your syllabus?
Why you waste so much time with friends?
I will take back your mobile forever and so on…

Bravo! Once again you have proved your love and patience for your child.

Before a three-hour examination declares his competency, a child has to first prove his worth at his own home. It doesn’t matter how much creative, wise or intelligent he may be, his marks and grades will decide who he actually is. And if by chance, he is lucky enough to get good grades like, say 75 percent (though it may not be a good percentage at all for many) then I promise he has fallen into yet another grave of competition. “Kapoor ji ka beta agar 97% marks la sakta hai to tum iska opposite to la sakte the…”

This difference of four percent will tear him apart not only once or twice but may be for whole life, depending upon the intensity of your grilling.

Though parents play a knee-jerk role in this whole situation, but the solution to this pressure-mounting game does not begin and end at parents’ part only. The issue sets out even before children start their proper schooling. The idea that kids should be academically prepared from their early age is getting more and more popular. The whole society is eager to give them a head start in the race that education has now become. Then the curators of the whole education system play a very large role in giving a shape to effective policies, especially in a country like India. The whole paraphernalia of education system needs collective conscious efforts from society, parents and the system in whole.

But till the collective conscious efforts take a shape, we all can play a huge role at our individual capacities to distress children during their EXAM times, which become confusing for youngsters and a challenge for parents.

Let’s make it the most joyous, stable and healthy period of the child’s life.

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Exam- Let’s apply some balm

Understand these 7 things to help your child cope up with Exams in a better way:

1. Friends will be important to them before and during exams. They act like a cushion. Support them anyhow.

2. They might get emotionally distant from you. Don’t worry. They’ll come back. Try not to always talk about studies.

3. Most of the children get more argumentative during exam times. It’s your turn to raise your patience meter now.

4. Their sleep cycle may change. Don’t worry. Whenever possible, let them sleep to fill their sleep deficits.

5. They might stop listening to you. It’s time you stop lecturing and initiate some casual talk with them.

6. They will experiment more. You can’t stop them. Help them find the safest route to take risks.

7. While they keep on experimenting, it’s natural for them to get into some troubles. Assure them you always stand by them, however, bad circumstances may turn.

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Meanwhile, Yashica Jalhotra was found calling her nephew to ask how his exam preparation is going on and if thinks he can get more than 80 percent this time..

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