Updated: Jun 21, 2020
This is summer vacation time for school going students though not not for the ones in Standard 10 (SSC, ICSE, CBSE, IG) students. Their parents are already beginning to worry about their child’s success at the exams.
The buzz word has not lost its sheen over so many years. Generation X tends to demonstrate the similar pressure and criticality as their parents did! I wonder if there will be any change once Millennial makes it as a parent. Students of standard X are merely getting Sundays off and the rest of the days they are busy shuttling between Maths to English classes. In fact, I am told that some of the schools have portions of 10th std from 9th std on wards.
I really wonder where this will end. In fact, I just finished doing a session with a bunch of 10th Std students where I was invited. At the beginning of the session, I asked them what they expect to take away. Most of them said I will motivate them and help them manage stress. I was quite taken aback that these young kids are using such words. In fact, I could clearly feel the anxiety in them and this was not in them but seemed it was put in them and the levels were really building up.
I wanted to make this session interactive so I asked them what are their challenges and all of them said – Pressure, stress, peer pressure, competition. First I thought am I speaking to leaders from the corporate office as I was surprised to hear words like this from students who are transitioning from 9th std to 10th std. In corporate we talk a lot about transitioning from an individual contributor to people leader and I could feel the same amount of ambiguity, stress and tension in the eyes of these students. I didn’t stop there I went further to inquire what message they want to give to their parents. It was surprising to hear what they told me. It seemed that they were yearning for their voice to be heard.
They said - Don’t compare, do not taunt at me, have some hope in me, give me some space, understand my world, stop pressurizing me. Sound of their voice really bothered me and made me think how to secure this young kids. People who have crossed this milestone know it is not The Milestone. How do we make sure that this year is given enough emphasis but not to the extent that it paralyses the students.
Parents and the school play a big role in setting the right momentum for the students. School and home should act as a foundation of building intellect and emotion respectively. Focus should be given to developing intellectual capability and making students feel emotionally healthy and that’s what will help in living a healthy balanced lifestyle. In fact, 10th std is a transition from school to college and the focus should be given on how a child will transition from dependence to independence and how s/he should not misuse the freedom. Educate them on the distractions that may give them false and temporary notion of excitement rather than just focusing on studies.
What can Parents and School do about it.
Parents must avoid quarrels/conflicts among each other. Strictly avoid open fights, taunts, insulting & sarcastic remarks, ridiculing each other, dirty/angry looks etc
Parents should reinforce focusing on the right efforts than the results.
Parents should avoid discussing about their kids in the 10th std with friends, relatives or colleagues
Allow regular breaks from study routine.
Strictly avoid comparison with siblings, neighbors, friends or with anyone.
Praise/acknowledge every positive behavior/effort.
Spend quality time. Keep yourself available. Take turns in keeping yourself available.
Seek help for yourself if you are anxious. School
Change the title of school counselor to Emotional coach or guide
Dedicate one session every month on Emotional well being
Every quarter everyone in the school should go through a 30 minute emotional well being diagnosis
Just like corporate has an engagement score, school should have emotional health/well being ratings
Teachers should learn how to diagnose kids who feel low, stressed or depressed