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My child scored 96% in last test, but is under pressure to sore 97%

We were approached with the above problem, by a the parents of a child in Std Xth who had just taken the CAP test.  Both the parents were doctors and wanted to be open minded about giving their child no pressure, " we want him to be whatever he wants no pressure about his career choice", yet the child was going through symptoms of mental stress resulting in physical ailments.

As the Counselling session proceeded it brought about the fact that the child's strength areas were in the field of food and hospitality. Many interesting careers were part of his CAP report ranging from Sommelier and Cheese Connoisseur .What surprised us was that the child did not seem excited even though he agreed with the report and was happy about the Careers.

On probing further,we could find from the mother that he was under pressure from the teacher to score 97% in the test which was in 15 days.. I inquired how can a school force the child to score such marks in their internal exams....the answer really shocked me.

"...It is not the school sir...they dont care, it is the Coaching Classes who are so sincere and committed to our childs good marks in the Xth Boards."

How do you explain the truth which is in plain sight, can be seen but not accepted ? The coaching classes are not interested in the child or his career, they are only interested in pushing the smart students to score more higher so that they can use those results in their posters banners and advertisements to trap more students and parents to join their Classes. 

I asked them a simple question, what happens if your child falls sick due to pressure and cannot give the Xth board, will it make any difference to the Coaching Class or its teachers. The fact of board exams today is that over 5000 students get more than the chances of more and more students scoring the same marks are high.In such a scenario if you have 1000 students at 97% are you really smart or average....and if you fall short by a few marks does that make you it not like saying I want my child to win an Olympic Gold...and the coaching classes convincing you that they would make your child into an expert who wins Olympic Gold. First of all can everyone win an Olympic Gold....and all those who fall short ...are they really inferior to the other students ?

The solution to this is not to fall into the trap of the standard marketing pitches created by the Coaching class industry which I see many parents parroting today :

•  If you dont get 90% and above the child has no future

•  The schools do not teach properly so Coaching class is the only option

•  I do not want my child to lose out because s/he did not join Classes

•  We have to give the best to the child so we have to put them in the most coveted Coaching Class with highest fees and high cut off

After the result if the child has scored low the parent justifies :

•  We tried our best, but the child could not give his best

•  The coaching classes put so many extra classes...while 10 students scored high our child did not have what it takes to make it to the top

•  Perhaps it was not mean to be, just our bad luck

Can you see the pattern here....we are creating the misery of our own child by first creating a feeling of insecurity, promoting fear in the child that board exam marks are the only way to secure a great future ( as if all children with 70% are doomed to fail in life) and then feeling disappointed in their result, injecting inferiority complex in them and scarring their self esteem for life, where they  grow up always feeling inadequate and incapable.

Is this not exactly opposite to what a Parent should give their child. You should make them feel strong and empowered, confident and bold  ,to set impossible dreams and follow them against all odds and even if the whole society is against them.

Is the purpose of our life to live and achieve or to only make more and more money. Are we creating strong valued humans or money making selfish robots.

Are the children failing us or are we failing as their parents !

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