A piece of advice for exam-stressed parents
Come exam season, anxious days and sleepless nights take the better of students. It is quite normal for students to feel on the edge. Parents too cannot remain immune to the exam related stress.
Here is a piece of advice for parents from a person whose mission it is to lighten the burden of the parents under these trying circumstances. It is George Turnbull. With years of experience George Turnbull, who is the ‘exam doctor’ at Ofqual, has some tips for mom and dad to cope with the exam stress of their children.
His mantra which could prove stress buster is that parents “should be seen and not heard.”
History is replete with men and women who did badly academically, yet turned out to be successful in life. Failure now could be seen as the beginning of hope for future rather than the end.
Churchill and Einstein had a poor academic record. Shakespeare, the great English dramatist, had written his name in three different spellings in one document. Nearer home, RK Narayan was a failure academically and could not obtain a degree after several attempts. He went on to become a celebrated author in English.
Success or failure in academic pursuits is not the yardstick to judge a person’s inherent talents. Bear in mind, there are many successful men and women without a sound academic background than there are with.
However, at this late stage when exam fever is on its peak, there is little the parents can do to help their wards overcome the trauma. If they go overboard there are chances they end up alienating themselves from their wards.
Nonetheless with a little discretion they can successfully handle the anxieties of their children. Sympathizing and lending an ear to their grievances go hand in hand in creating an atmosphere of congeniality and peace at home. Demarcate a place for study without disturbance and distraction especially from younger siblings.
Refrain from nagging or sermonizing at this hour. It’s time the parents needed to be seen and not heard. Try and divert attention where working towards exams is no longer the issue.
Contrary to general assumption, incentives don’t matter much. Promise of a bike or a car or exotic holiday often adds to the anxiety. Yet parents can try this at their own risk.
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