Saturday, February 11, 2017

Leading children through the turning point of their life

In the BCSE and BHSEC results for the academic year 2016 declared recently, the Bhutanese students who had appeared for the exams have seen the harvest of their year-long hard work and struggle. But as usual, not everybody is lucky. While those who have qualified for higher studies are busy celebrating their achievements with their families and friends, others are going through a terrible time. Many anxious parents are seen rushing for admission in the private schools or exploring other viable options for their children. It is a crucial turning point for the students and everybody is deeply concerned. But I don’t believe that the failure of the present should ruin your aspirations for the future. You may not be good in academic studies, but you may be excellent at something else. Just turn around, focus on what you believe you are good at and start working on it. Someday, you will have the future as promising as that of anybody else. Academic excellence is not the only secret of success. Many successful people in the world do not have even a degree. So just keep your head high and always stay positive. Sitting down and crying over the spilled milk won’t get you anywhere. It would only destroy your dreams.

As parents, I think it's important to support our children as they cope with this major transition in their life. When our children fail to perform as per our expectations, I think we should be able to remain at their side both physically and emotionally. The scolding and yelling at them cannot undo what has already happened. Whatever that could be done could have been done until before they had sat for the exams. Now that the results have come, scolding or punishing them won’t do any good to them. It is important for the parents to give them the assurance that if they continue to work hard, everything will be fine.

This is the time when they need motivation to move forward and focus on the positive side of life. I think most of the parents fail to recognize the emotional sensitivity of their children during such situations. For instance, we don’t usually hesitate to make negative remarks about our children in front of visitors and that too, in their own presence. I just wonder how many of us actually realize that such a behavior could potentially cause so much embarrassment for children and that it would demoralize them further. They need to be treated with equal love and respect as they transition from one stage of their life to another. The ability to share their pain during difficult times is what actually can give them the extra thrust needed to push themselves to success.

But as children, you should also respect the concerns of your parents and do not overreact when they tend to show their frustrations during your failures. Your parents have the right to worry about your future and any advice they give you should be taken with love and respect. No matter how worse the situation seems to get, never think of killing yourself. That would never solve any problem. To get the things right, both children and parents must sail in the same boat, sharing and understanding their concerns and needs. An open communication always adds value to any relationship. But the most important point to remember is that we should never expect more than what our children can achieve. In most of the cases, a high expectation is the root cause of anger and frustration in life. I have been trying to practice this principle myself. I don’t expect my children to bring excellent results in their exams and hence, I feel happy even when they get average score. Even then, I and my wife praise them and encourage them to try harder next time. That way, we believe they don’t get demotivated by what they have achieved.

To those students who have not made it through the BCSE and BHSEC exams this year, please do not lose hope. Life has so many big plans for you. Just wake up and keep chasing your dreams. One day, you would look back to this day and say “Wow, I have been lucky!”

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