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Saturday, September 18, 2021

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Pressure is killing innate abilities in kids

-Dr. Shayama Chona

Similarly, Priya, a class ten student shudders when she thinks of marks. A brilliant student who is among the top three in her class has a peculiar problem. Just the thought that her mother would scold her for not topping the class leaves her sad and also scared.“I don’t hate examinations but when it is time to know the marks. I get a little scared. My mother will scold me for not topping the class.” Priya is not alone; surmounting pressure from parents to score high marks has been causing tension, stress and fear among many students.

Today, the pressure to do well starts at an early age and there are scores of students whose parents are not happy with even the best. Every day, the children are living under stress to prove themselves, not just in studies, but also in extracurricular activities. Anything less than the best is an unsatisfactory outcome but this is not fair!

Too much, too early

There is a sea change in our lifestyles which is affecting the thought process of parents. The world all over, parents have become very ambitious not just for their kids but also about themselves. A young guy at 30 wants to be the CEO of a company and he wishes the same for his children.

If Sania Mirza’s mom can take her from one tennis court to another, from one country to another then why not me? `Let me also start early’ is the common refrain. The parental expectation for the child is rising in this world of competition and parents are forcing their ideas and expectations on their kids. It’s not just a child or a parent undergoing this change in attitude but the whole society.

Whether this thought process and attitude are good or bad is debatable.

Nobody is talking about spirituality, good manners, good conduct, and soft skills. I won’t say this is wrong but in this pursuit kids are losing patience, becoming more aggressive, more prone to diseases like obesity, hypertension, stress and that too at such an early age. This is alarming.

Competitiveness is not bad but parents need to draw a line between encouragement and pressure and not control everything. See the suicidal cases, running away from homes. We never heard about the child psychologists earlier but now, kids are being taken to counsellors and are even under medication.

Your child is exceptional ‘My mother used to tell me you are a genius’ but these days, parents don’t make their kids feel special. They compare them with other kids. You are putting in your child the feelings of inferiority and actually giving them the complex.

Respect your child’s individuality. “We need our parents to be little more realistic. Every child is different. Every child has a specific interest by birth. You won’t believe but I have seen kids of the same family brought up in the same environment with the same nourishment yet the kids have two different types of personalities. One may be more inclined towards academics, the other towards sport.

Comparison with other kids, desire to make them iconic figures, forcing one’s own ideas and having unrealistic expectations is resulting in pressure that kids are unable to take. Trust them and see miracles are very important for every child – Exposure, Experience and Education though each child will absorb these according to his interest and aptitude.

A child at birth has a very mouldable entity but we want to put our own mould on the child. We want to sculpt him according to our ambition but a child has a voice, an entity and nature which needs to be understood. According to each child’s need, a parent has to work. It’s the push that resists the child and he gets scared. Trust your child and then see the miracle.


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