Class 10th and 12th exam results have started to come out and parents are sharing their children’s marks and achievements on social media. These kids have scored more than an average child or the topper of their class or more than their parent’s expectations.
But I have not read any single post by a parent whose kid did not score great in exams.
Coming back to the topic, “how can we consider our kid’s achievement by his/her academic marks or performance only?”
I am not against any kind of sharing of your child’s achievements, score, and grades. I can understand, it is a moment of joy and pride for parents when their kid scores 10 CGPA.
I remember last year’s incident in Bihar, where the topper of the exam was found to have cheated. In my view, she was an innocent girl who got into trouble because of the glorification of class grades. Her parents did wrong things to make her the topper of an exam. Why? Because society respect students who have big grades on their certificates.
Everyone wants acknowledgment and validation of society. In this race, a lot of students are committing suicide when they fail to meet the expectations of parents, teachers, and society.
These things are disturbing to me because I am also a parent.
Have we ever realized that we are putting mental and emotional pressure on our kids to be special in each and every subject whether he/she loves it or not? Do we ever take some time to see where the inner happiness of our kid is? Do you know which activity is giving real pleasure to your kid? If no, then you should ask this question to yourself instead of screaming at your child.
We, the parents, try to impose our unfulfilled desires on our kids by emotionally blackmailing them, which may be offensive for so many parents. And it’s very hard for some parents to accept that they are actually doing it intentionally or unintentionally.
I have heard so many lines relating to this thought, ”mera sapna mera bacha pura karega”, “ main chahta hu mera bacha doctor bane” from parents without even giving a second thought to this matter.
When kids hear such lines from their parents since their childhood, they start thinking that it’s their dream which parents have seen for them. On the basic or the root level, we can say that a kid doesn’t have such dreams or wishes. It’s only the kid’s way to get recognition or appreciation from parents, to achieve or fulfill his parent’s unfulfilled dreams.
On another note, do we actually want that our child’s life agenda should be to complete our unfulfilled dreams? A child has the freedom to see his own dreams and make his own efforts to achieve them.
A mom wanted to be a pilot in her childhood, but somehow she couldn’t do that. Now she explains her dream to her child so many times, that at some point of time the child starts thinking of becoming a pilot himself.
Then, parents casually start saying that our child’s dream is to be a pilot but actually it was his mom’s unfulfilled dream. The child starts making up his mind like that, he feels that this is his only dream, to be a pilot, and he starts putting all of his efforts into that direction to achieve his goal when it’s actually his mother’s unfulfilled dream.
If we are doing this with our children then we are not giving them an opportunity to look for their own passion.
Such things are hurting me because I am a real victim of an achievement-driven social life. My aim in life was to do whatever my parents wanted me to do as their daughter. I never thought about what I actually wanted in life.
The sense of thinking and reasoning was missing in me. Even after marriage, whenever my husband asked me as to what I wanted to achieve in life, I never had any concrete answer. I always gave him answers like “still thinking”, “ don’t know”, “ no clarity” but the actual point was that I had never given a thought to this subject. Because from childhood, I was running on a pre-set path. The path which was either set by my parents, teachers or society as a whole.
Since childhood I really hated Maths. And you know what? I scored 100 out of 100 in my 10th board exams, which was a huge surprise for me. How can a person score 100 marks when she takes the time to do simple calculations (plus, minus) in her daily life? I just scored 100 marks by memorizing some formulas and equations. My parents were proud and my teachers were super happy, but this achievement has never played any role in my life, to make me excel at Maths.
After 16 years, I have accepted that I am not at all good at Maths and whatever I scored in 10th class has zero value for me. I am feeling bad too that I had never got an opportunity to learn Maths the way it should be learned.
We as a society have prepared a set of frameworks that every child has to perform within. The ones who perform superbly within that framework are considered to be the star kids or the achievers. While, one the other hand, all the other children are considered average or below average.
But has anybody ever thought that a child who could not score well in exams could excel in other fields of life like sports, arts, cooking, music, etc? They just need their parent’s love, acceptance and encouragement to excel in the fields they want to. Every child is unique, so we should not measure the quality of all children by the same scale.
Today, we have a number of successful people like Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom, Azim Premji and many more who are actually college/school dropouts. But all of them are unique in their own way. Today, they are famous not because of their grades or the marks they scored, but for the excellency, they achieved in their respective fields.
We actually need to build a sense of community and teamwork in our children so that there is no competition. Every kid should compete with himself only.
It must have happened because we told our kid from childhood, that all his classmates are his competitors. He needs to run fast so that all others can be left behind. Why can’t a kid do his best to make his teammates perform superbly along with him?
Somehow one question always arises inside me “how will you and your child deal with failure or no achievement”, when someone from our family or friends shares their children’s achievements?
Why do we need tags like star performers and achievers from our kids to make ourselves happy and proud of our children?
We never liked the idea of competition and achievements so we decided to keep our son away from mainstream schools. I feel great when I pack his school bag every morning, and it’s not full with school books and notepads. Rather, it’s full of clothes which he needs to change during his stay at his second home, coVeda.
Whenever we describe such kind of world to people, they just raise their brows and ask “what fun will be left in their life if there is no competition?”. We all are trapped in this rat race and feel that the world is actually like this only. But it’s always more beautiful than our imagination.
My last request to all the parents whose children always perform the best in their class is this: Please imagine what will be your and your child’s state of mind, if he does not perform well in his class due to any reason.
How difficult will it be for your child to behave normally when he falls down from the achiever’s tag to an average child tag or may be a below average child one?
Do you think that you have a strong bond with your child that his failure will not affect him and us mentally?
Are we sure that our child will not be in the depression if he/she faces an academic failure in his/her life?
Please don’t make your child’s achievements so great that he might harm himself when there is no achievement.
Let your child excel in the field which he/she likes or desires. That will be the best parenting gift for your child.