Thank you for the comprehensive cover story ‘Enabling children to beat exam stress’ (PW February). An exams veteran, when I look back at my time as a student, I can say confidently that a little stress around exam time is good as it motivates and pushes you to put in that extra effort. It’s only when stress levels get out of hand and affect children’s physical and mental health that parents need to start worrying.
I’ve read that when an individual experiences stress, the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system releases adrenaline. This hormone stimulates us to get going and increases concentration and performance. However when periods of stress become prolonged, the body releases excess adrenaline which results in anxiety, sleeplessness etc. Therefore it’s important for children not to over-stress during exam time. A balanced diet, well-planned study schedule and optimal exercise regimen are necessary to keep adrenaline levels from crossing the danger mark.
Eastern parenting the best
Your Middle Years feature on Eastern vs. Western parenting made interesting reading (PW February).
I am a great believer in eastern, in particular Indian style, parenting. Indian parents are way more caring and affectionate than their Western counterparts. Our age-old traditions and customs highlight love, care and complete devotion to raising children.
Unfortunately the new generation of Indian parents is veering towards Western parenting styles. As their working and social lives become busier, parents are not giving children sufficient time, love, attention and care. They believe that this will help raise highly individualistic and decisive children. This is not true.
Children whether Eastern or Western, need the love, attention and most importantly, complete devotion, of their parents. Also with the rise of nuclear families, Indian children are becoming alienated from their grandparents. This is a sad development. I grew up in a joint family, and have learnt my best life lessons from my grandparents and extended family members.
Every time I’ve read a story on exam stress, I’ve observed that only success stories are highlighted with students boasting of overcoming hardships and passing exams with flying colours.
We read of students who scored centums, topped the country, the state, or their school. We never hear success stories of the other 95 percent who are average scorers. Therefore it was so refreshing to read your latest cover story on exam stress and the story of Tushar Ravi, a promising State Bank of India officer, who did not fare well in his class X boards, but went on to successfully clear several bank probationary officers exams.
These are the success stories that children need to read. Every child can’t be a topper, but has her own strengths and talents. Tushar scored only 52 percent in his class XII board exams but went on to do well in the banking qualification exams. Kudos to you for telling us a real and relatable success story.
Informative & useful
Congratulations on publishing an excellent parenting magazine, especially a very informative Health & Nutrition section. The column by pediatrician Dr. Gita Mathai on assessing and addressing pain in infants was specially useful and revealing (PW February). Most parents of new-borns are their wits ends about ways and means to diagnose and address the pain of infants.
Moderation key to parenting
Your interview with well-known children’s author Roopa Pai was interesting and insightful (PW February). I agree with her that parents need to trust children and not hover over them, micro-managing and policing their lives. Balance and moderation is key to successful parenting.
My own children are entering their teen years, and I am trying my best to ensure that I strike a balance between their free playtime with friends and tuitions and study.