Look out for the PRESENT

“Education in our time was not what it is today, we were never this stressed!”

If Google could run a survey about the one line that is probably the most repeated in any conversation, I would assume this would win hands down. The cycles of examinations lends popularity to this infamous line and probably makes it the CROWNED WINNER. While some parents defend and find justifiable causes for the same, SOME whine and complain (the latter is found almost everywhere and the former category is a rare almost extinct species).

The statements and discussions are usually heated and almost violent which might give you an idea that the participants are ready to march and protest with hunger strike (do not be fooled, its only a decoy ,they may not necessary want to leave the comfort of their homes). Sometimes these discussions are complete with facts and figures of what the government is doing and more importantly NOT DOING, and sometimes these are just second-hand discussions (discussions done before and the punch lines picked and repeated for effect). These are usually followed by the epilogue:-

What can we do about it? The Children will have to learn to deal with it.

I don’t believe in pressuring the children so I do not EVER tell on marks and grades, they are meaningless.

So where are you going for the summer break this year?”

I have been part of many such discussion and I am quite certain so have you all. You may have been an active member or perhaps just a silent observer (in my case that is an impossible situation – being silent). Each of these discussions has usually left me with a certain sense of shortcomings – Both as a parent and as an Education Consultants. I have seen the parents turn to me for Miraculous Solution to the highlighted problems. Finding solutions, however, seem similar to looking for a Tiger in a Tiger reserve. We know it is around somewhere, the guide promises – it is sitting round the corner or hiding in the bushes right ahead, after all we saw the PUG MARKS. We are asked to sit quietly without a sound to hear the CALL. Meanwhile we drive across the sanctuary in an open Jeep braving the ROUGH TERRAIN and the BUMPS, hoping to experience the deliverance of finding what we are looking for – THE TIGER, or in our case an Education system that works. Sometimes when you catch a glimpse of the majestic beast you feel like you have somehow won a battle and also invoke a sense of achievement that says “We have managed to save you”

My point here, well there really is just one – keep the battle on. The solutions that we all think is round the corner,may not well be. It is a long road ahead and a longer wait for sure. The road is going to be difficult for our children, but it is only as difficult as we make it for them. Love and Support are the only tools that will help the children brave the ride and can also reintroduce the excitement during the difficult drive

We condemn the education system and make it sound like a monster. This indeed makes education an UNFRIENDLY AND DANGEROUS MONSTER in the eyes of our children. A Monster they have to face, and they are not even armed with the magical SWORD. The children turn to us to form opinions, even when they will not agree, we do shape their beliefs.When we highlight our disgruntled opinion, our children are imbibing these. While we can end the discussion with a heavy sigh, the children have to experience it.They are impressionable – what we think about someone or something, in this case the Exams, Education etc, will form their fears and opinions. There is no doubt that Fearing something is not the best way to combat it and our negative opinions are doing just that – Invoking a sense of fear “If my mother and father do not like it and think it is harmful it must indeed be dangerous”

Just as an experiment, try the other route, try Encouragement for a change – Just one more step and you would be there. Try Acceptance – grades matter but not so much that everything else dilute in comparison. Empathy – after all you all have experienced it too and all you wanted was reassurance as well.

We all know what is best for the children – it really is no rocket science but we do get caught up between what WE WANT to say and convey and what we THINK should be said and conveyed.

If we let go and slack today, my child will not be prepared for tomorrow – what about college and what about the job?

These are the years that will be instrumental in formatting the rest of their lives so let them work hard now.

If I let the grades slip now, they will never come back up. Even though I don’t want to be hard on my child, I will have to be. I just cannot accept these grades!!

I am betting that most of us face these dilemmas and somehow we lose the battle of the heart to reason. I completely understand that and know that it holds true BUT…..

There is a huge BUT,

But I don’t want my children to live their lives dominated by FEAR. We need to asses our own child and watch out for when anxiety is overtaken by PANIC, when hard work is overtaken by BURDEN and when excitement is overtaken by EXHAUSTION. We love our children and we look out for their FUTURE. It is time, however, to look out for their PRESENT AS WELL.

Author: pratimamittal

I am an education consultant since 2004. I have worked with top ranked universities from across the world. A Mother of two , I understand most concerns that parents have. I counsel and help students and parents to chose a direction that is in their interest. I read anything that catches my attention. I write about things that matter to me. Music keeps me going.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: