Well, it’s the month of March, and this marks the arrival of the beautiful spring. And the bright sunny days. With the trees flowering. And a sweet aroma all around.
But wait! With all these happy things in the casket, there is also the presence of something that March has always been known for – the CBSE board exams! Yes, that dreadful thing that catabolises all our mojo and churns it into a malaise. No matter how hard you have studied all around the year, you can’t escape the board exam-phobia, courtesy the neighbourhood aunty who keeps bragging how her daughter hasn’t slept in the past two months and that distant uncle who proudly proclaims how his son eats physics formulae and chemical reactions for breakfast and lunch.
And then there are pamphlets all around. On roads, in shops, in buses – everywhere! “90% in four weeks. Guaranteed. Or triple fee return.” or “We turn the donkeys into horses. We feed ‘smart’ not ‘hard’.”
All these things add up synergistically to build up fear in the students, but often, parents are the one who gets more panicked. You won’t have too much trouble finding families where the TV cable connections are cut before the arrival of the storms, a.k.a the boards. Some even stop taking calls to prevent the intrusion of the unwanted ‘guests’ in the L.O.C. And there are strict diet plans for the warriors of the boards. The pizza and the Dairy Milk eventually get replaced by green pastures and dairy ‘milk’.
But it is also a time when students need the help of their parents. The pressure is far too much, and sometimes the overt care of the parents take the form of exaggeration and children find it really strange. A few days are left for the board exams to start. Students will eventually sit for the exam. But as a parent, it’s your exam too. You put equal efforts from your side. But, how will you know whether you passed it or not?
Here is a small model paper prepared exclusively for you. Give yourself grades on the basis of the activities listed below.
The first activity is for securing a D in your boards. You have to secretly put chocolates in your child’s books, while they are napping or have gone out for a while. It’s easy, isn’t it? In this world full of expectations and cut-throat competition, your child may have it tough. Making them smile through this tough phase will work wonders.
The second one is for securing a C grade. Choose a proper time when your child is relaxing and watch a movie together. The movie could be an inspirational one like “Nil Battey Sannata” (which is based on the theme of board exams too), or it could be from any genre your child likes. This will really make your child feel at ease. Remember, the less the pressure the more efficient they will be.
To proudly give yourself a B grade, go to your child and share one of your board exam stories. Tell them that getting scared is natural, but one should not let fear overpower oneself. You can also make up a story on how you were scared too, but then the questions that came were really easy. Tell them to just give their best and not to worry about anything else.
The last task is to secure an A grade, and it is very important – be with your child! Not just during this board exam but also after that. Be with them even if they score poorly. Be with them even if they say they need to be left alone. Board exams are not the end of their life. There may be a budding scientist who is having problems memorising the historical dates. There may be a great mathematician who finds it difficult to understand the lines of “Animal Farm”. Or there may be an author who just cannot analyse the difference between a real image and a virtual one.
Nothing is more beautiful than watching your children smile. Don’t crush those smiles under any pressure. Let the board exams be just exams.