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save children from Stress ( and some from suicide)

For Parents -
Beat the stress

Exam and stress go hand-in-hand, and the number of students taking to extreme measures to evade this stress is alarming! However, as a parent, you can help your child strike the right balance.

Parental expectations are on a constant rise. In an urge to fulfill their own dreams, parents often choose to ignore the aptitude of the child, and force them to attain academic excellence, thus leaving them with unreasonable stress.

Exploring other options

According to Varkha Chulani, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Lilavati Hospital - Mumbai, “Distress is a result of faulty attitudes that parents and children have about success. In a highly competitive atmosphere, the need for certain number of marks is inevitable. But what parents need to realise is that unlike what it was earlier, a whole new world of career options has opened up. While earlier the options were limited to a few fields like medicine and law, today there are plenty of options ranging from VJ to a hairstylist, to an RJ - all these are equally fulfilling and successful careers.”

The safety net

According to Sudeshna Chatterjee, Principal, Jamnabai Narsee School, “Parental expectations and their attempt to achieve their dreams through their children is one of the greatest source of tension. It’s important to provide children with a congenial environment that encourages them to speak up frankly. Set the example of a positive attitude yourself. Family must provide the strong assurance of the ‘safety net’, irrespective of any failure or poor performance. There has to be a way to come back home at the end of the day.”

Accept your child

There has to be a way to come back home at the end of the day
Jeevan D’Cunha, Head of Counselling Department, Jamnabai Narsee School and Snehalaya Family Service Centre, advises against comparing children: “Your child is your child - unique and special. Just accept him/her as s/he is and not as some mark churning machine!”

Realistic expectations

One of the most important ways to prepare is having realistic expectations. Parents should know their child’s abilities. Remember if your child consistently secures 70 per cent, then that is a 100 per cent for him/her. Realistic expectations should also extend to study time. Very often it is difficult to concentrate for more than an hour or hour-and-a half without a break.

Stay calm

Children see how their parents react to setbacks and disappointments. If they see the parent getting wound up, unable to cope, exaggerating horrors of a failure, then there is a high likelihood that children also react in a similar fashion.

It is important to make children realise that career is only a part of life, and does not constitute your entire life. When the child sees that you as a parent mean what you say, the likelihood of him/him remaining calm during exams increases.

Take help if need be

Always talk calmly and gently to the child. Do not blame or condemn the child for his/her nervousness. Reassure the child that you are with him/him no matter what. Make the child understand that failing to achieve what s/he has set to achieve is not the end of the world. If there is persistent anxiety which does not ebb in spite of your reassurance, seek professional help.

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