All my schooling years, there was a classmate of mine who has haunted my academic life. He would score a perfect 100/100 in mathematics and I would miss it by 3-4 marks but those three to four marks would make me feel as if I have failed. Obviously, he was better in all other subjects as well and he used to stand first in the class. So here was an example for all the teachers and parents to give to other kids. He would never miss a submission nor project. Everything was just perfect! I was not like that at all, I dragged myself to complete the work as well as I scored average in most of the subjects. So all in all envied that topper all my schooling years.
Time passed and we shifted to a bigger City. I faced newer competitions now but the rat race was just there, only the location and magnitude of the rat race changed. However, with few positive teachers and parents’ supportive attitude I survived the race and became a homoeopathic doctor. I have progressed satisfactorily and have been able to create my niche in my 18 years of work experience.
But why am I writing this today? Well! Let me explain. I happen to visit the village where I grew up and can you guess whom I met? Yes! You are right! I met the topper of my class. I was very curious to know what profession he has gotten into. I bet you are curious too. Well, if a child is a topper in the class one would generally expect him to do well in life, isn’t it? Don’t we usually ask our kids to score well in the exams so that one gets in a better college? Don’t we always say that do well now so that you don’t have to struggle later in life? But can you believe the topper of my class is just a shop owner. Yes! Just a small shop owner. Well he couldn’t clear his 12th grade. Surprised? I would have also been surprised had I not studied developmental psychology in depth. Let me explain what happened, he went on studying hard and reproducing results but as one grows in life academics play a very small part of one’s performance. Your life skills, coping mechanisms and depth of Thinking capacity with emotional balance plays a major role in taking you forward towards success.
This topper friend of mine succumbed to the pressures earlier in life and couldn’t rise up to his capacity. So dear parents please focus on building up a strong personality of your kids, once you give them strong wings, they will fly without our support. I see a lot of parents nowadays concentrating on the child performance than building up their character. If our goals are superficial, results will also be superficial.
Teach your kids to be patient, to accept failures gracefully and learn out of the failures and emerge wiser from those stressful situations and not broken. Teach them that when a door is closed even better opportunities are waiting for them. Help them to deal with their disappointments. Most importantly as a parent just be there for them unconditionally. This reminds me that there is a full battalion in Australian army wherein the soldier is eligible only if he has failed once in his life, reason being the one who has survived failure has maximum resilience and resilience is the quintessential gem of one’s personality.
So I urge you to focus your parenting in such a way that you
Give them an ability to choose,
Not impose your choices!
Give them support of your love,
Not push of your own unfulfilled ambition!
Child’s life and happiness is more important than any exam of their academic life!
So this exam season I urge all the parents to ponder over the following:
“If you want them to fly, give strength to their wings,
Don’t push them off the cliff!!!!”