How much pressure do you put on your child to do well at school? And how much is too much?
34-year-old Shivrao Singh is a successful lawyer. He fared exceptionally badly in school, would only just managing a passing grade. Instead of pressurizing him to do better, his parents helped him focus on a career option, and helped him build the skills he would need by enrolling him in public speaking courses, and even in a theatre course. They spoke to friends and other parents who were lawyers or whose children planned to go to law school, and the children would discuss their future plans. This helped build Shivrao's passion for his chosen career. After graduating from law school, Shivrao started work in a law firm, and worked extremely hard and passionately. From then on there was no looking back. He recently presented his mother with a Mercedes car on her 60th birthday.
How important are marks?
First of all, understand that great marks are not all it takes to succeed. True, you can get admission into a good college on the basis of your school performance, but not everyone that has passed out of the best college has the best career.
Don't cover up
Don't cover up for your child if he has fared poorly. Many parents tend to be too embarrassed to admit that their child has done badly in school, and take it almost as a personal failure. Parents often feel that if their child fails in a particular subject, it reflects badly on them. As a result, they try to cover up for their child's poor grades by lying to others. When Bashir got a 58% in his tenth standard board exams, his parents were furious with him. After giving him a sound yelling, they instructed him to tell everyone that he got a 65% in his exams. Bashir did as his parents said, but each time he repeated the lies, his self-confidence took a further beating, and he constantly had the fear in his head that he would be found out. Instead, he should have been encouraged to admit that he had fared badly and would try and do better the next time around.
Don't blame the system
Very often parents try and cover up their child's poor grades by blaming the system. They talk about how it is so shocking their child scored badly, that the examiners are at fault, that they plan to give the papers for rechecking, that their tution teacher said their child should have scored an 85%… and so on. However, unless your child has consistently secured very good marks in a particular subject at school, and onceout of the blue he does very badly, you can try and find out what went wrong. But if this is not the case, admit that your child just didn't work as hard as he should have, and don't obsess about his marks.
Understand that having a perfect marksheet doesn't mean a secure future. If you keep pressurizing your child to fare better, your child may get a 78 percent instead of a 71, but this really will not go a long way in ensuring his success. Instead of laying so much emphasis on his marks, try and shift the emphasis towards areas where you see your child's potential lies. 20 years down the line his score on a particular test will not matter at all, but the foundation of self-worth you have laid down, will.