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Taming the exam monster

Delhi, March 2:

Too many good wishes pouring in from different quarters can sometimes be detrimental to your peace.

I learnt this the other night.

As the sonshine geared up to write his first ever Board exams, wishes and blessings came pouring in from extended family -- relatives, friends and acquaintances -- all slowly building up a sense of unease in my generally cool-headed teen.

For the first time, the enormity of the exam started to sink in.

With every text message and phone call by enthusiastic friends & relatives on the exam eve, his confidence seemed to go down a notch lower.

That’s when I realised it was time to have a heart-to-heart chat with our young man who was rather unwilling to come out of the world of poetic devices, analytical paragraphs and letters to the editor (even though most newspapers have discontinued this column now) to sit with me.

It was only once we both worked on putting his exams and the well wishes in the right perspective that his mounting tension started to blow over.

Unfortunately, exams and results have become monsters that often threaten to devour the peace of our young ones, as well as the adults around them. Even as we emphasise the importance of exams in taking us forward, we have to be cautious not to make it the final judgement of a student’s calibre.

An analogy that I think explains this beautifully is video games.

Just like in the games that give us a dopamine kick as we keep clearing levels to move on to the next, exams are meant to take us to the next stage in life. That's all they're meant to be -- NOT a reflection on whether the student is a success or a failure.

So, even though the pressure to perform well during exams is natural and goads us to work harder, think faster and perform better, parents need to convert this tension into an energy force by infusing adequate doses of confidence and conviction.

One of the best ways to convert this exam stress into constructive energy is through frequent pep talks. Try the following with your child:

-Make sure to highlight their strengths

-Remind them to be positive and believe in themselves like you do

-Reassure them that these exam results are not what defines their worth in life.

Let's make sure we're doing our best so our children can do the same#

If you want more tips on handling exam stress, drop a 👍 in the comments!




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