February 17th, 2017
The exam season is approaching soon. Students and parents are undergoing high levels of stress. Parents more so than the students, in many cases. With high expectations come high levels of stress & depression. The idea of failing in exams is unacceptable because it will mean a loss of one academic year for the students. Though it is said in the absolute best interest of their children, parents sometimes forget that teenagers are already feeling the heat of impending exams and are quite distressed as it is.
It has been found that one of the leading causes of depression in teenagers is the added pressure to perform well in the exams. In many cases, they commit suicide, unable to cope up with the invisible baggage of expectations on their shoulders. In 2014 alone, 8,032 student suicides were reported, out of which in 30% of the cases, failure in exams was the cause.
Another aspect is the comparison. Parents routinely compare their children with others. They enforce rigorous discipline in the house for them to study, withdraw them from other co-curricular activities, etc. to get the same, if not more marks than others. Maybe the intention is to motivate the kids to do better. But, far from motivating, these comparisons cause them to be more distressed due to the feeling of inadequacy.
To help teenagers start a conversation with their parents, Mirinda, as a brand, gave them a platform to express their feelings through letters.
What to do
- Create an environment of comfort and ease for the students.
- Keep the channels of communication open and be more approachable. This will help them reach out when they are stressed. It will also help you address any behavioural issues you may notice.
- It is not the end of the world if they do not top their class or fail in a subject. What is important is that they understand and remember what they are studying, rather than just memorise it for the sake of the exam. Every child has a talent and not everyone is the best at academics. While encouraging them to do well in studies, also try and find their other strengths and work on them together.
- Talk to your parents openly about the issues troubling you.
- If you are not able to speak directly, write a letter to them – without blaming and being offensive. Explain how you want them to support you through this period. Tell them how you understand your responsibility to perform well in the exams. Remember, they love you and want the best for you at all times.
Open communication is what will help bridge the gap between parents and teenagers. During this exam season, let us #ReleaseThePressure and join the pledge to make the journey ahead as supported as possible.
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