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Encouragement goes a long way

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Exam boardRecently a viral wave caught my eyes and that is a Delhi mom praising her son for securing 60 per cent marks in CBSE Class 10 exams. Her social post attracted many likes and was massively shared; netizens were surprised and happy to see a mother who understands her son so well. While I was genuinely admiring the women, a parallel thought struck my mind and that is so many people being surprised and happy with her post suggests that those people are surrounded by so many parents who are poles opposite. That further brings a thought around those millions of students who are pressurised for higher exam marks beyond their comfort zones.

The past week was and the entire month of May will be all about board exam results. As per reports available, of the 17.6 lakh students who appeared in the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) Class 10 examinations, 91.1 per cent have passed. This is 4.4 percentage points higher than last year’s pass percentage of 86.7 per cent. Moreover, the news that caught the attention was that 13 students sharing the first rank, all scoring 499 marks out of 500, with eight of them from Uttar Pradesh schools.

Moreover, 12.05 lakh students appeared for the CBSE Class 12 examination, out of which 10.05 lakh have passed. The overall pass percentage is 83.4, compared to last year’s 83.01. Hansika Shukla and Karishma Arora, both from Uttar Pradesh, have topped the exam with 499 marks each and the trail continues.

New Delhi based Vandana Sufia Katoch is the virally applauded parent who has proudly shared the news of her son securing an average 60 per cent marks in his 10th Board exam. The usual trend of parents sharing and showing off high scores made Vandana’s post an unusual and thus, a noticeable one. Her post was all about her son, Aamer’s struggle ‘with certain subjects almost to the point of giving up’. The post that was liked by 12,000 and was shared more than 6,000 times was filled with inspiring words. The mother addressed her son and others like him as the fishes who are asked to climb trees which against the course of nature. The proud mother has inspirited Aamer to follow his own course in the ‘big, wide ocean’ keeping his goodness, curiosity, and wisdom alive.

Has she been successful to teach us anything? My question is for every parent out there who found Vandana a ‘careless’ and ‘aimless’ mother and believed that ‘her easy-going attitude will lead her son to be a failure’!!!

Yes, all the quoted verses are from another parent, a father in my neighbourhood, with whom I had a casual chat on the results and the viral post of Vandana. I want to tell Mr. whatsoever, encouragement indeed goes a long way, and when it’s from your most near ones, parents, the ones with whom you feel the comfort, there’s no substitute. While it’s a proven reality that your child’s academic scores are not an indication of their potential, capability, and strengths, inflexible and harsh parenting won’t lend a hand to them either.

While education is considered the most critical responsibility to groom someone, educational institutions that impart knowledge to the students, stresses on their physical well-being, and prepare them for social challenges, fail to interpret the mental health issues.

The complicated emotion eco-systems of the children and young adults are fragile and easily troubled by depression, anxiety, insecurity, behavioural abnormality, and academic pressure holds a major part leading to these. Racial, sexual or religious discrimination, body-shaming, hormonal changes, family or financial problems too play a significant part in influencing the mental health of young adults.

Dear Parents, your love for your children is irreplaceable but don’t get me wrong, that’s not enough. Trust and mutual respect too are utmost necessary. Recognise your children’s individuality and let them free to use their intellect and practice their critical thinking capabilities. Guide them but don’t command your decisions in their every step. Let them run, let them fall, help them stand up and strong, and boost them to run again.

Another thought that I have heard much time from many parents — “We are investing so much for your education, and look at your performance! Waste of money!” Why is giving education being named as a favour? Let’s just be fair to both the sides now. In today’s costly market, a child’s education indeed requires a parent’s hard work and a big amount of money. However, that’s also the basic right of your children!

Educate your smaller ones and teach them to face life being independent, firm, smart, and strong. Putting the fire to only get a job and earn more money doesn’t seem to be fruitful. Wash off the idea of considering your children as a wealthy return scheme of your lifelong investment. Be proud of your children when they perform well in their life but in case if they fail to match your idea of performing well, remember there are many other ways to show your little ones how proud you are to have them.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)
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