So exams are done and dusted almost (the elder son finishes tomorrow). But for me, they were over last week when the younger son finished his. Why? Because the elder son studies on his own. And apart from regular reminders to go and study, I hardly do much. In this post, I have already written about how the younger son and I have very different ways in which we approach studies. And that has always created a lot of heartburn for me when I taught him.

chlldren exams

Things came to a showdown last FA when I realised that both of us were ending up in distress. Then I let go. I told him that I will no longer do revisions with him. He will study himself and will take responsibility for his grades. Of course, I still help him out when he comes to me for help and we both sat together and made his study time table but the control has passed on from my hands to his now.

He had his final exams coming up and the hyper self that I am was screaming inside but very calm externally. We went through the entire exams without a single tantrum. It was so easy on our nerves. Really, it was a relief as well. I don’t know how he has fared and currently, I am not too concerned. He may get poorer grades than what he usually gets but he owns them now. I think that is always so much better than getting pushed into doing something and feeling miserable at it.

Considering that he is moving to 5th grade, he has a lot of time to polish his approach and learn from his mistakes. Most importantly, he will not hate me for constantly being on his head. This is not to say that it was all smooth sailing. We moms, are stricken with guilt of not doing enough, of shirking our responsibilities. I faced those as well, but I got through that period. I am feeling so much more confident now.

I will continue to push him to achieve the best of his potential. That is what I’ve always told him and the elder son. My only disappointment is when they fail at something only because of lack of trying.

The elder son is moving to 10th grade next month. He has already got a taste of heavy duty studying in 9th and attempting papers that came directly from the Board. Trying as we might, we can’t shield them from the pressure of Board exams. But, I also witnessed a huge change in him in 9th and that is how he is competing so well to be the best of what he is capable of. A casual attitude is fast replaced by a determined one.

My way of parenting may be tough as nails but compassionate. Tough on both myself and them but always with kindness and firmness to drive home the message. Considering the amount of affection they have for me, I feel that something is going right somewhere.

How did the exams go for your kids?

Pic courtesy: Chinnapong on Shutterstock



24 Thoughts on “Of Exams and Frayed Nerves

  1. Great approach towards guiding your kids during exams and in life. I remember my kids studying for their exams and me panicking on their behalf 🙂 . Now my daughter is an Advocate at 27 and my son who is turns 25 next month, has completed his studies and is working in Canada. Miss the school exams and holidays thereafter.

  2. After a point, a cursory check and review is any day more helpful than towering over and micro managing! This makes children more confident too!

  3. Something I wholeheartedly agree with-the approach to letting kids learn from their own mistakes. I began to do it with Gy this year, grade 5. You’re right, the grades will falter, but no better way for them to learn than from their own mistakes. I remember owning responsibility for my grades only from grade 7. After that I was self-driven and motivated enough to study hard. So I guess we have to let the kids be and learn. Without failure, kids won’t learn so I’m glad we are on the same page on this subject. So glad the kid’s exams are over and I know you’re waiting for tomorrow too 🙂
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Theme Reveal for the #AtoZChallenge 2017: The Moving QuillMy Profile

    • Thank you, Shailaja. I guess the easiest lessons in life are sometimes so difficult to implement. We are pulled in different directions, wondering whether we are doing enough. But I am glad that this worked out so far. Next year, let’s see. 🙂

      Now both are footloose and fancy free. Since they are doing so much stuff together, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. 😛
      Rachna recently posted…A New Avid Reader #GratitudeMy Profile

  4. I don’t know what I’ll do when it comes to M. I don’t have the patience so as of now, I have told S that he has to take care of her studies. Let’s see how that pans out. I hope G enjoys his vacations. And all the very best to Sid for the next year is going to be an important one.
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…I Want To Be HerMy Profile

  5. You know what it’s like with me and the twins. One of them is more than ready to manage on his own but he happens to be the more clingy one and that complicates matters. I must try it out next year though. I’m already preparing him for it. Letting go of even one of them will be wonderful for my peace of mind. As of now we’re just half way through and I’m already tired of the quizzing.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Plan, prepare, performMy Profile

  6. I don’t remember my Mom and Dad ever teaching me. Yes, of course, they used to help me when I approached them. But I guess that gave me the sole responsibility of owning the grades/results. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Rachna 🙂
    Shalini R recently posted…Lakshman Jhula, RishikeshMy Profile

  7. I completely agree with you Rachna and I think we r in the same boat. My elder one also studies on her own but younger one needs my help. Their exams are still going on and it is still a struggle with younger ones. The habit of self study is going to help them in the long run. I am glad my elder one is independent that way and I am sure my tween will be too. Good read 🙂
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  8. That sounds so good to the ears. 🙂 Mine has his English tomorrow and again Math, Science, and History in May. Not sure what is going on with him. This year I didn’t make him practice even one test at home. Bhagwan jaane kya hone wala hain. If he gets lower grades, I want him to realize what putting in effort means. You should see his attitude. Tera tho, BP blast hoga. :D. She doesn’t have any annual tests yet. They will start next year 🙂 God spared me for another year. LOL

  9. Looks like the younger ones are always tough to deal… It was the same with my brother… My mom must have lost half her hair worrying about his future. I am glad that your elder one is so responsible and determined. And don’t worry… I am sure your younger one will fare well too. I like your approach of making him responsible for his grades ?
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…15 Books I read this yearMy Profile

  10. My mum used to be on my back with studying till the 7th — she’d revise etc with me. Finally I lost it and asked her to back off and let me do it on my own. To her credit, she did that. I’d occasionally get comments from both parents until my 10th though about why I was wasting time etc etc but after my 10th, they completely eased off. Sadly, after that, it was my inner monologue that continued to put pressure and till date, it will bother me. I do think the Indian education system is flawed with the emphasis on exams. We never really learnt anything except that we were not good enough or those who were just had amazing memories.

  11. I was always laid back and often felt guilty about not being pushy with Vidur, Rachna. But he was pretty self-motivated, thanks to his habit of covering daily lessons, which we inculcated from a very early stage. Also, he also had the desire to do well and that helped. I generally made sure he ate well, slept well, played and was a happy child. Of course we discussed lessons, but it all seemed like play until he was in middle school, sailing through his tests and exams. In high school the sense of seriousness was automatic and we always assured him we were there if he needed anything. I am sure your younger son’s results will be good and make you proud. As for the older, it is a reflection of what a wonderful mom you are! Hugs!

    And by the way, for as long as kids are studying…even if it is their PhD, as parents we will always be involved in how they feel, whether something went as expected, or not–long after we very well know that interim grades do not count, and long term learning is what really matters.
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  12. That’s really a big battle won indeed ! My son too started studying in his own, so I don’t have to run behind him, though regular reminders are needed.
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  13. Oh I understand. My kid is still in the Pre-K phase, and even then, at times I am worried about whether I am doing enough (which I am sure I am not, because as of now, I am doing nothing) considering that so many parents are so hands on from so early on.

    But I guess, the rat race will begin soon enough anyway, so I choose to enjoy this time while it lasts. 🙂

    You have a wonderful summer! 🙂
    Shantala recently posted…Quarterly Goals Update (Jan – Mar 2017)My Profile

    • And you know how the system is in India. Parents are crazily over involved and that always makes you wonder about whether you are doing enough.

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