Release The Pressure
“CHILDREN MOSTLY LIVE IN THE PRESENT. TRYING TO PUSH THEM HARD FOR A BETTER FUTURE GOES AGAINST THE GRAIN OF CHILDHOOD”
Any philosopher and guide would advise to live in the present as the past is history and future is a distant dream. Kids are the master practitioners of this basic philosophy. Look around and you would find enough examples in parents who rob kids of all this in the name of cut throat competition, future fitness, coping with stress, high cut offs, limited opportunities, and above all Living their dreams and aspirations through them.
WHAT IS IT DOING TO OUR KIDS AND TO US? A world of irreversible damage!!!
It is fast forwarding their entry into the world of adulthood and its related stressors like anxiety, depressions, peer-pressures, low self esteem issues and uni-dimensional personalities. Their blanking out in exams, forgetting the answers, extreme to mild discomfort (both mental and physical) before or during exams, disliking the testing approach to learning, obsessive compulsive disorders, escaping schedules and avoiding studies, daydreaming etc are clear warning signs to a more receptive parent to revisit how they are approaching studies/ performance and a call to release the pressure.
The damage it brings to us as parents by way of additional stress apart from our day to day struggles-be it driving to work , meeting deadlines, managing home and work, planning and implementing schedules for self, kids and more, is equally unpleasant. Internally it manifests in psychological issues and overtly it puts us in bad light with little or no control on our day to day interactions, language and behaviors.
WHERE DOES IT LEADING TO? No point in guessing that it will lead to an individual who grows up with no imagination, and crippled problem solving & adaptability issues.
An average child’s life today is so regimented and regulated by the rigidity in school systems with its extreme pressures of year round assessments, examinations, excessive homework, too many tuitions and multiple other structured activities. It leads to an environment where informal play by themselves or with peer groups outside school has totally vanished. The end result is a level of stress of KIND THAT WOULD BREAK AN ADULT N LEAVE ALONE CHILDREN.
Let’s not forget that despite it all a highly focused child is a rarity and more often a less interesting and enthusiastic as an individual.
HOW CAN BE GAIN A BALANCED PERSPECTIVE INTO ALL THIS THAT IS A TICKING TIME BOMB?
According to Randy Pausch, the author of ‘THE LAST LECTURE’,…A lot of parents don’t realize the power of their words. Depending on the age of the child and a sense of self, an off hand comment from the parents can feel like a shove from a bulldozer’ and more so during exam times.
Children do not even know that they are failing, we make them feel so. Hence, we need to do some work too :
- Give yourselves some goals to achieve and behaviours to mould, and you are bound to be empathetic about the effort that your kids make in achieving theirs and failing at times.
- If competition worries you, arm yourself with information on the ten fold increase in the opportunities in the last few years particularly;
- Question your limiting beliefs about education, learning, intelligence, motivation and achievement more often.
- Renew them, communicate them to your kids and take a long sighted view of education. Life-long learning will guarantee success to your child and not strict obedience, rankings, rote learning, examinations or so called “good starts”
- Identify the uniqueness of your child and nudge them in the right direction, tell them to compete against SELF and not others, and be competitive enough not to settle for safe “academic performance, give them your time, space & unconditional support .
- Teach them that adversity, stress or pressures bring out the best in a person and accepting challenges would come naturally to them in the long run. Failure should not necessarily be a bad word!
Having said all that and more on #RELEASINGTHEPRESSURE, its highly recommended to:
- Feedbacks needs to be given in a positive and motivating tone with a future pacing and acknowledgement of their positives and efforts, are always well received.
- Give them supervised, guided and graded strategies to studies before you expect them to fight their wars and be on their own.
- Let them develop into a well rounded individuals and prod them to a life beyond books. Gift them love for sports , arts , reading, music, and more based on their interests to be more self centered and self assured.
- Indulge them in value building and life skills building on an early age. Whether you choose yourself as a role model or seek outside intervention is absolutely your call.
- Let them value the three B’s: taking BREAKS, deep BREATHING and a BALANCED DIET.
I am pretty convinced that once the basics are in place the parent child interaction is a delight to watch and the relationship is more open, honest and two way.
Today we need more kids who develop into a person of substance rather than rich. Clearly then, let’s let our children follow their passion and areas of interest rather than channel them in tandem with formal education.