Excerpt from the Guest Column! Kill the Stress, Not the Kid! by Mrs. Rashmi Kumar, In January this year, Rashmi Kumar launched her third book 'Goliath and I'. The book testifies her spiritual catharsis in Canada. She has worked as a journalist for The Indian Express, Deccan Herald and Business India. In 2012, she moved to Canada and did her post graduate program in Radio & TV. In 2013, she was chosen as the Indian “Writer-in-Exile” in Canada. She’s also the author of 'Stilettos in the Newsroom' and 'Hooked, Lined & Single'. Currently, she’s working on her fourth book. Blub World March 2019
Parents hold on! There are ways to deal with your child’s exam related anxiety. And your too! I must confess that this topic is quite naturally close to my heart. Not because I love stress just the way my five-year-old loves the idea of a pet hamster, but because I exactly know what stress means and especially when it starts spreading its vicious tentacles, at a very young age. Let me start by telling you why I claim to have an expertise in stress and stress-related matters… besides of course, giving people stress from time to time! You can blame me for being a tressed-stressed queen. But that’s for later. The story is plain and simple. When I was a school going child, I wasn’t allergic to studies but I was definitely loggerheads with some subjects. And I had wished that whoever invented these subjects should have been phased out from the face of this planet. My parents and teachers tried every possible trick in their kitty to help me understand the nuances of algebra, theorem and chemical formulae and equations that only someone with an IQ of Einstein and Hawking could solve. But we all know we’re not them. Most of us are not. And neither are most of our children. So why force us and them into submission? Just because the education system demands it! But my point goes down to the basics. Are we for the education or is the education for us?
“Are we for the education or is the education for us?” Today, I am a mother and I wish as a parent that my parents had not done some mistakes which their parents had done. So, in a nutshell, I wouldn’t stress my child to “learn” and “grasp” something just because he needs to pass an exam. How many of those theorems and equations am I using in my present-day life? Did it help me buy groceries? Change diapers? Shovel snow? Caress my li’l one?
I could give you some handy tips that you and your child can use not just during the exams but for life in general. Because let’s face it. Life can be stressful. And we may not always have the best choices. And I’m in no way saying that these are Bible verses which need to be memorised, for I am no expert in anything other than my own self, but as a co parent and a co child in this global society, I am aware that parenting is not easy and so is being a child! So here are my ready pointers:
1.Know your child’s mental make up. Almost 99 per cent of the times, the child will let you know through their actions – what they’re inclined towards and – what they’re not. Once you know their preferences and passions it’s easier to deal with their (or rather your) ambition or the lack of it. This will help you know exactly where and how much emphasis should be given to a certain subject etc. For instance, if your child shows interest in languages, don’t brush that aside as a hobby. Take that seriously. This seriousness will ensure that even if your child doesn’t do that well in Maths or Sciences, they still can look up to a brighter future being a linguistic or translator! You just need to find that spark 2.Pause. Stop. Breathe before you label your child as ‘stupid, dumb, weak or loser’. These words can have a detrimental effect to their personality. They will grow up thinking that they ACTUALLY are one – because it comes from someone, they trust the most! So, make sure you tone down your vocab and replace harsh words with encouraging statements like, “I know we’re struggling with so and so subject, how about we try such and such method to ensure that we at least don’t fail.” Make it about ‘WE’ not you and I! 3.Late night studies are great if you’re a night bird, however, even if you’re a night bird… try not to study till wee hours of the morning. This will tire out the brains faster than you can imagine. According to David Earnest, PhD, a professor with the Texas A&M College of Medicine who studies circadian rhythms, ‘Sleep deprivation’s effect on working memory is staggering.’ He says, ‘Your brain loses efficiency with each hour of sleep deprivation.’ Most people need at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night for the body and brain to function normally. So, if you and/or your child stay up all night, missing out on the recommended amount of sleep, your brain will be equally as weary -rendering a sharp decrease in performance for specific learning and memory tasks
4.If a child doesn’t perform as per your or their expectation, IT’S FINE. Yes, repeat this to yourself at least 10 times every day. It is hardly a secret that education is not the benchmark of success. I can give you my own example. Because I was poor with numbers, my teachers (or parents) didn`t see my worth in anything beyond that. Life came full circle with a successful career in journalism and three published books. Did my poor Math score stop me from achieving my dreams…? Never!
“Pause. Stop. Breathe before you label your child as ‘stupid, dumb, weak or loser’. These words can have a detrimental effect to their personality. They will grow up thinking that they ACTUALLY are one – because it comes from someone, they trust the most!”
5.This might sound bizarre and you might want to turn around and say, ‘It is easier said than done, especially since you don’t stay in India.’ It’s true that I don’t stay in India, but my roots are Indian and I was educated in Indian schools and colleges. So yeah, what might sound bizarre is that I urge you to have some fun with your child. Please take out at least an hour to completely chill out with them. Just do something that doesn’t involve studies. Adding a little bit of nature and fresh air to this deliberate exercise might make it more exciting. This will not only produce some happy hormones but also help you and your child bond better Most importantly, just remember: You and your child are most important. Not some entrance exam where the cut off is sky rocketing. But so is your low self confidence and lack of happiness that comes with it. #blubworld #blubworldquoteboard #teenmagazine #india #childrenofblubworld #indianchildren #teenagers #goodread #interestingcontent #teenagelife #millennials #inspiringcontent #inspiration #peertopeerinspiration #wordsofwisdom #excerpts #blubworldguestcolumn #blubworldexclusive