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De-Stress Your Child

As exams draw near, we know that the anxiety level of children rises, but what we may not know is that some parents too tend to get overtly anxious, and convey this to the child, who gets further stressed as a consequence. He not only has to perform well to satisfy himself, but also to satisfy his parents. The competitive spirit of the parents leads them to force the child to perform more than he may be able. Often we see that such children perform poorly in their exams.

The best way to make the child perform at his optimum level is to encourage regular study habits and give him proper guidance if he is weak in any subject. Once he starts performing well in class tests, his self esteem rises, confidence builds up and the desire to do well motivates him to study hard and to perform even better the next time around. By the time the final exams approach, your child is a picture of confidence and gives his best.

Don't discourage extra-curricular activities

The key to getting a child to perform well is undoubtedly regularity and discipline. However, you should not just stress on the academics. Extra curricular activities too should be given due importance as they help in shaping a complete personality. It is possible that the child excels in sports but not so in studies. It is important that parents do not discourage him from pursuing the sport to concentrate on his studies. Playing a sport distresses a person and brings about a change in the personality for the positive. It also builds focus, with the result that your child's academic performance too may improve.

Mrs. Manisha Chopra, who taught at Campion for fifteen years, says, "10-year-old Rahul was academically very weak. We teachers could barely coax him to write a sentence. However, he did excel in drawing and other aspects of art such as sculpture. Once I realized his potential, I encouraged him to make a drawing with every composition. Before long, he was writing a page and a half, much to the amazement of his mother. Rahul, who had never received a grade above D before this, soon started showing improvement and securing B's, C+'s and an occasional A."

Besides, you may not realise it now, but when your child is applying for admission to college abroad, they lay as much stress on extra curricular activities as they do on academics. Similarly, colleges in India too have a sports quota, wherein your child can gain admission solely on the basis of his sports performance, and the board exam marks are not taken into consideration. However, your child does need to excel in a sport for this quota to be applicable.

Stop comparisons

Parents, as a rule of thumb, should stop comparing their child to that of Mrs. Topiwala or Mrs. Shah, or to their brother or sister, as this creates a feeling of inadequacy. The message you are sending your child is that he or she is not as good as the other child.

Talk about things other than school matters Parents could discuss other activities at the dining table like a musical competition, a movie or even politics, rather than focusing the topic of conversation on your child's performance at school or on homework all the time.  

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