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I don’t understand the Indian obsession with percentages and grades, everyone wants to know how much you got. Relatives who are never in touch, call to ask your childs grades and so do neighbors.
The Maharashtra Board’s SSC results will be declared today. It is a big day for thousands of parents and their children. It is a culmination of all their hard work and the efforts they put in throughout the year.
While it is normal for anyone to feel stressed and anxious, it is equally important to keep a good head on your shoulders and not let this affect you.
I hope as parents you remember that your child is looking up to you and looking at you. Make sure your stress isn’t transferred to your child and that you don’t add to their anxiety by discussing percentages and having unrealistic expectations.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your child feels as happy with a 50% and with a 95%. If he fear’s your reaction then you are indirectly pushing your child away from you. Remember you are your child’s comfort zone, not a place where he gets panic attacks.
My day started with reading multiple messages in the common WhatsApp building group. “All the best to all kids”, “I hope everyone scores well”, “Today is the result, hope the kids get a good percentage”
The highlight is on all the children and families whose results are going to be declared today. I don’t understand the Indian obsession with percentages and grades, everyone wants to know how much you got. Relatives who are never in touch, call to ask your childs grades and so do neighbors.
When you do tell them your child’s percentage then there are comparisons with random people who score more; some friend’s son, your colleague’s daughter, or your maid’s child.
All this just adds to the disappointment of the child and the family. Sometimes people are very competitive and they want their kids to be the best at everything. More than the kids it’s their exam, their expectations, and their failure.
Parents scare their children with statements like,” You should have studied more”, “ You wasted so much time, this is what happens”, “ We give you everything, all that you want and still you perform so badly “and the classic one “ Look at Sharmaji’s son’s marks and look at yours ”.
Children become quieter after the result, they question their capabilities, blame themselves and some of them indulge in self-harm. Mental health needs to be discussed, a gentle reminder that a child who scores less is better than a child who is dead. All your regrets later and the words you should have said won’t matter anymore.
Another thing that I would like to point out is that it is very wrong to count and mention a list of things that you are doing for the child. That is your responsibility as you brought the child into this world and not some favor you are doing.
Your children need you the most now, be a friend and help them relax. Be their safe place! Be calm and your child will be calm too. Let it be just another normal day, do your day-to-day activities or whatever makes your child comfortable and at ease.
I have seen people who scored 60% working at top positions in companies and the ones with 95% struggle for seats and jobs. In my career and so many interviews that I had, I don’t remember anyone asking me for my percentage.
Marks and percentages may not be that important but education is very important. The more you study the better, at times I feel masters should be made mandatory for all instead of just graduation but then again those are my views. Education broadens your mind, your perspective, and your opportunities.
We are a country of limited resources and opportunities, lakhs apply for colleges while thousands get selected. Everyone fights for a seat and sometimes for a position in the office. Having said that there is competition and pressure to be the best but let us be practical, not all kids can get a 90%. Some are good at arts and others at literature.
The digital era has opened up a plethora of opportunities and new-age jobs for kids, there is so much to explore and so much to learn. We need to start assessing our preferences and obsession with higher grades. Why is it so difficult to accept an average or weak child?
While parenting is not an easy task, the least that we can do is not burden our children and make them feel unwanted. They need to know that they will be loved no matter what. Please ask yourself “Are marks more important to you” or the “Well-being of your child?.”
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