Bringing up a child is a huge responsibility for a parent. While no parent is perfect – we all learn through trial and error – there are some who appear to waltz their way through parenthood. However, those nerve wrecking months before children appear for their public exams cause sleepless nights to all types of parents. What changes happen in the life of a parent when a child is preparing for his/her board exams? How does the family cope with these changes?
Kalpana, a primary school teacher, says that her daughter, Sravani, is in grade 10 and will appear for her board exams next year. The family has had to make adjustments to their lifestyle and habits already. They have cut down on their outings during the week and even the weekends. Kalpana and her husband regularly turn down invitations to functions and social gatherings. She says that she wants to make the home atmosphere conducive to studying and if she and her husband were to go out with their son leaving Sravani behind, the latter would feel abandoned. Kalpana wants to ensure that her daughter feels supported and loved and so this is a small sacrifice she is ready to make.
This year Kalpana has another responsibility. Every day after work, she has to drop and pick her daughter up to and from tuitions classes. This is something that has interfered with Kalpana’s daily routine as she barely gets rest after a full day at work. However, she realizes that these classes help Sravani prepare for her board exams and so she takes her new job as her daughter’s chauffeur seriously.
Sharmila, a businesswoman says there were a lot of changes in her life from the time her daughter was in grade 9. Since her child’s teachers were not covering all the portions at school, Sharmila had to take her daughter for tuition classes almost every day. The classes were held far from her house and Sharmila had other chores to accomplish. So Sharmila found a smart solution: She planned her meetings, household shopping and other errands during the time that her daughter was at tuition classes. She was thus able to juggle several tasks when she was out to drop her daughter. However, the commute to the tuition classes took a toll on Sharmila’s work although it was her own business. She could no longer devote as much time to her work as she required and so her business was affected by this.
Mahua, a nursery school teacher has something different to say. She says she was not particularly worried when her daughter was in her pre-university final year. What she told me was surprising. Her daughter managed to watch some tv and play with friends while also spending time studying every day. The secret, she told me, was that she had built the habit in her daughter at an early age of coming home after school and studying the day’s lessons. By the time she reached grade 12, Mahua’s daughter was thorough in her basics and required no tuition classes to cope with the advanced levels. However, Mahua says that her daughter always needed her to be around her while studying. Apparently she felt secure and while Mahua would continue with her chores, she always had to check on her daughter now and then.
While it is not helpful to pressurize your children at any age, shifting your routine around to provide optimum conditions for them to study would help them realize the importance of studying. They will probably not realize it now but at a later stage they will be grateful to you for the sacrifices you make during these crucial years of their academic lives.