Academic pressure: Time to draw the line?

Very few things give more joy than watching our children succeed at school. It is blissful to know that we are proud parents of the child who scored straight A grades in his final exams.
These little moments of pleasure drive us into setting insane standards for our kids and hoping they achieve them no matter what. Is academic pressure worth it? Let’s find out.

The real reason why we pressure our kids

Is it just that we want our kids to do well or is there a deep-rooted reason why they must perform well in every test?
It’s a one-word answer: Culture.
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We have grown up in a culture that gives utmost importance to academics. A child’s future and intelligence are measured by the number of marks he/she secures during examinations. We grew up like that and sadly, most of us still have the same perspective.
More than our grades in school, we remember that art class we attended, the basketball lessons we took, and the science experiment in which we made a potato clock.
Yet, we want our kids to ace every test. Our perspective and the out-of-the-world feeling of being proud parents are the major culprits.

The consequences of academic pressure

Extreme pressure has often resulted in breakdown and dire consequences. From anxiety to sore feelings, we have had reports of kids suffering due to the academic pressure they feel from their parents.

The medical problems:

Sleep deprivation, excessive worrying, fear, eating disorders, and anxiety are common when kids find themselves unable to cope up with the expectations of their parents.
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The behavioral problems:

Withdrawal, loss of interest, isolation, anger outbursts, and sore feelings have also been attributed to the growing “need” of scoring well in exams.

Treading the wrong path:

Here, we must understand that for kids, our word is carved in stone. They want us to be proud of them and would go to any lengths to prove themselves to us. Kids have been known to start cheating in tests to meet their parents’ expectations.
Older kids also turn to alcohol and/or drugs because they see it as a coping mechanism.

What we must really do

We often get carried away when it comes to our kids and do not realize that it is affecting them at many different levels. May be we could just take a step back and change our priorities a little.
It is absolutely okay for your child to score B grade sometimes or show no interest in a particular subject. We are all different and cannot ace every aspect of our lives. As parents, we must embrace this fact and encourage our kids to be themselves.
Let them discover their own talents, interests, and future plans. Let them get into art if they like it better than social studies. Engage them in music lessons if that’s what they really love.
Our goal as parents must be to ensure overall growth of our kids, giving them the freedom to express how they feel.
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How do we do this, though?

1. We start by changing the culture at home. We give everything equal importance.
2. We focus on good habits, happiness, and creativity more than grades.
3. We encourage our kids to study so that they learn about the world, not so that they get good marks. – This major shift in standpoint can make a lot of difference and will automatically help improve grades as well.
4. We look for international schools in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad which are in sync with our perspective.
Remember, it is our job as parents to reduce the stress that our kids feel at school. Let’s not attain the opposite role and make it worse for them in this already competitive world.

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