Saturday, February 2, 2008

I sympathise!!

It's so desparate that many parents are having over expectations regarding the future of their children. This might disturb the easy going life of many students. It's true that parents' expectations have powerful effects on children's academic performance. I agree with that. But some of them are pressurizing their children with over burden.

Today, what triggered me to write this, is the conversation, I had in the morning with my music teacher. She's so much worried about her son's future. The boy is now studying in 10th standard. It's a fact that he is not so bright in his acads, but not that bad, I guess.

That boy is a very good violinist and a good singer too, who has done many violin concerts on many stages. He participated in State Youth festival. The parents' main intention was to make him get an A-Grade in any one of the items, so that he'll be getting 30 marks additional in Board exam. And he managed to fulfill their dream.

That mother always tells him - 'study, study and study' and complains others about his studies, that too infront of him. How much he would get pricked!!! Another funny thing is that she asks me to advice him to study :)

Just now one more related instance came to my mind. It's about one among my cousin sisters, who is now studying in 9th standard. She was an energetic girl, who has now became a dispirited, calm and quiet girl.

Her parents are injecting her with those stuffs containing in quiz books and GK books. She's winning prizes too. It's some kind of spoonfeeding. Taking her to leadership development courses, abc quiz, xyz quiz, I dont know what kind of pleasure they are getting!!

She doesn't know how to mingle with others, totally in a socially inept condition. Always sitting inside the home, reading, studying or watching TV. I pity her. No... I pity her parents and feel sympathy for her. She doesn't know what she is missing/loosing. She's happy with her life inside that 4 walls. Parents have succeeded in convincing her - the whole student life is like 'this'

Many parents are like this. The whole happiness lies in their kid getting good marks and becoming school/class topper. And nothing more than that. It's good, I agree. But should try to find happiness in other matters too. They are not trying to know the potential of their children. They're not bothered about the strain taken by their dear ones. I agree that they're giving enough input. But it's something like pouring water in to a bottle, not knowing it's capacity, atleast in a few cases.

They are ready to do anything for the academical progress of their son/daughter. Not at all bothered about the growth of mind. Unknowingly, they are spoiling children's most enjoyable season of life, during which they should get enough freedom to play and run around like butterflies. And thus spoiling their future in one way or other.

Attention from parents' side is good, provided they realise children's abilities and potential . But beyond a limit, it wont do good.

I know, this is not a case with many families. Just thought of it and felt like writing.

Anyway, Thank God for giving me and my brother such wonderful parents.

Signing off,

PS.1: Sorry, that I made you read a little lenghty post (meant for only those who read completely).
PS.2: No hard feelings.. Didn't want to criticise/blame anyone.


The Lonely Backpacker said...

well said :)..

Sandeep Sadanandan said...

cool! Are you specializing only in "heavy-weight" stuff?

I am actually a little surprised that you really had the courage to be *this* explicit.


Devidas said...

read through the post.
it describes what a third person, if more, how the student feels about the task he/she has to undertake for his/her parents' satisfaction. but why not look at it from the parents side of view.. the only reason they are enforcing such regularity and strictness in the life of the kid is to make sure he stands up straight in the long run.
even the parents feel that they are letting too much pressure land upon the kids but they express their helplessness in this regard. the kids these days cannot enjoy the freedom and colours of childhood because of the sheer workload they are piled with. in cities where i had my larger share of schooling the situation is far worse. tuitions in the morning, school and then back again to tuitions in the evening till 9pm. the young buds don't see the vibrancy of world around them, no opportunity to socialise save that with their tutors and thus miss a lion's share of natural personality development classes :).
the guilt, hence, in my opinion, lies not on the parents but on our stagnant educational system that explicitly promotes spoon feeding and severe competition.
remember what darwin said" survival of the fittest!". what we see in this case is nothing but the real life example of the same.

Sandeep Sadanandan said...

What a derivation! I have to agree that it must feel pretty good to blame the system! (most people do)

Even in the case the where the system is wrong, the parents who realize it and don't force their offsprings must be better parents than the fools who don't realize it and put pressure on children. Makes sense?


PS1: From personal experience - most of the ones I know, who were specially trained "to make sure he stands up straight in the long run" are already fallen without being able to face the real world.

PS2: Big clue - "Lack of creativity and originality". (how can that happen to a kid?)

Hiran said...

I personally feel that there should be some flexibility given to kids, from their parents, but I will not blame parents and/or the system, or call them fools, and I guess no one should. One never knows the viewpoint a parent holds. There can be many points to be argued upon on either case, but to be true, most of the actions taken by parents are aimed for good to happen to their children and not for self satisfaction/pleasure.

One should feel lucky for having parents, who have realized the flawed system concerning career, education, profession and by far freedom.

Priya kutti

`Parents have succeeded in convincing her - the whole student life is like 'this'` is your view point, what if this is interpreted by the kid and/or Parent as `survival of the fittest`?

The Lonely Backpacker said...


Bang on target...

( Now - don't you see the need why these guys need European exposure ? that will bust their myths... )

Anonymous said...

O, father and mother, if buds are nipped
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care's dismay,

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?


primofacto said...

Went through the post, nice one.
But I can't solidly agree with your views, I think, what Devi said is more factual. I think it's not the case of over expectation of the parents but they are really worried about their children's future in this competing world.
Though the pressure from the parents afflict the smooth going life(may not be that smooth) of children, it will help them to frame their future life.
Just think from that Mother's side, she may be more worried about her ward's future without a job, so he compels him to study. You know, the present condition of our society, unemployment is really a big problem, many educated youth wasting considerable part of their life searching for a job.(Though the bhoom in IT industry clear up the crisis to some extend) it'll be a great trouble to make up life in this expensive world without a job.
The present situation of our education system is, after completing tenth, more than 80% students go for entrance coaching, and about 70% students joins the coaching classes without any kind of pressures from their parents and with a clear plan about their future life.
The students are very much aware of the present situation, what they 've to face in our society.
So don't blame the pavam parents, it's just meant to be like that.(to a certain extend). They are just helping their children to trace their path...
Any way me too thank god for giving me 'My parents as My parents'.

I dont think it's all the problem of our educational system, but as you said it's just 'the survival of the fittest' in this competing world...

Hailstone said...

Ya.. I do agree that parents are worried abt children's future. But they should atleast try to think from children's point of view..
It's not only the case of over expectation. Sometimes they are over pressurising children. A sort of rebel nature grows inside many teenage students, because of the repeated advice and strain given by parents.

And I said - this is not a case with many families. But atleast in a few families, this is happening...I'm sure. Many are loosing the chance for enjoying their childhood to the fullest. That's what i said and not meant for blaming parents.

primofacto said...

"But they should atleast try to think from children's point of view.."
It's not practical to view 'all' facts from the side of a child because his thoughts may be narrow and may be he don't know the importance of studying at his age. But I too agree with you, not to over pressurize children, they should enjoy all the beauties of childhood and that age should be a memorable era of their life. They should be given time to enjoy the colors of nature, view and understand his surroundings, so that his genuine talents can be developed. Each and every parent should try to understand children's interests and talents, so that they get proper support from their family to develop their talents...

Rohith alias Rayappan said...

good entry..
Well, each and everyone's comment is true in some context.. Sandeep chettan absolutely right...
This is Indian middle n higher class education system we are talking about, primofacto, and everything can be linked to the flaws of our education system ( wud love to hear frm sandeepchtn,the difference in Europe)
1) Many parents have not yet realised what is over-pressure and burn out, because they didnt experience anything of this sort during their highschool
2) Darwin's survival of fittest theory applies here. Many students are struggling to cope with our present demands (entrance exam phobia) and they are opting for early morning n late night tuitions
3) Following up the previous point, it has reached a condition where if there is no entrance coaching, you cant find a seat in a good college, so no job(over population). This puts an added dose of pressure , desperation and a state of dilemma.
4) In lower classes, children basically don't think by themselves and a good percentage seek their parents, which goes to the first point.
5) schools competing among themselves, so the authorities feel more assignments, more homework means a better result for their school. A better % of admissions next year. Education has become a business

And the scapegoat? an ordinary school going child , who is made a beast of burden amidst this confusion. He/she lose his self confidence, his morale and gets confined to the four walls, as hailstone has suggested

Rohith alias Rayappan said...

So would also suggest some possible solutions
1) Giving a clear view (counselling)to all students and parents about the variety of courses and possibilities after high school, so that they arent much worried about their wards and dont also need to do " naadu odunnathu kondu naduve odaam "
2) maybe Education ministry should impose stricter rules and regulate the work-load given to students , and give prime importance to CCA activities ( this process has started in the near past already I suppose)
3) Start more no. of colleges with better faculty so that the demand for colleges via entrance exam and thus the exam phobia disappears

primofacto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
primofacto said...


Marvelous comment...:)

The counseling process is going on at different levels, but just a proper knowledge of different courses available won't construe the problems. Still students 've to work hard to get in to it. To some extend it clears up the crisis. And making laws to regulate work load to children won't actually work because hard work could not be regulated by laws, it just depends on the person and his/her ambitions.

And it's totally asinine to start more colleges because just giving more seats for courses actually impair the quality of students and still there'll be competition. If our gov is to provide more seats to solve this problem, then they'll 've to give seats to each and every student who have the qualification.

Sujith H said...

I had discussed these issues with my friends who got married as well as bachelors :) I could tell you one interesting thing that had happened with my 6 year old cousin. He is basically a left hander. But his parents enforced him to use his right hand for writing. I don't know how would it make the difference if he would write with a left/right hand. The figures in the paper matter.... Now poor child uses his right hand to catch the pencil!!! So we cannot change the parents as such. But if our generation thinks this as a matter to be paid more attention to then they could become good parents. That doesn't mean others are not good.

I might have missed out some points because of lets say "something-else". If then I am really sorry for it.

ej said...

Nicely written.Topic apt and the demand of the time.

Everybody expressed their views and as someone mentioned, everybody's got a point.

As a matter of fact, i do firmly belive that unless one feels the need to study, no matter how hard anyone compell, it's not going to work right. And just scoring marks wont do any good in this world, where mere bookworms are sidestreamed. As mentioned by previous writers, children these days are socially incapable, unable to mingle in a large group.

I'd always opposed unwanted pressurisation of students, urging time and again to study. May be not jus time and again, but most of the time, besides utilizing every available hour of the day for tutions. Everybody wants their child to be first in class. That's ok. But hoping is one thing, and taking up arms(intented pun) for same never goes right.

And these children, living in a world of their own-books,tv,computer and classes, go moe and more inward. With the parents at their back, they can do nothing else, but study. There's no healthy conversation between parents and children, and parents never do realise what their children wants. Or what they can. They just want their kid to be like the best in the class, like the neighbours son, who secured high rank in jee, the doctor uncle,practicing in the states. What good does that do?

I've come across many, who wanted to do something other than engineering or medicine, but ended up right there because their parents wouldn't let them anywhere else. Some want to do photography, some wants direction, some wants commerce, some wants to do history and all ends up in science, as a stepping stone to engineering and medicine. Why?

Why don't these parents let their child choose what he want to become? The answer is thet care too much for them. They are the only kid, or at the most the duo the parents have. They don't want the society to jeer at them, saying, 'look, his son is a flop'. Another matter is as children themselves, their parents choose what his ward should be. So naturally, when it is their turn, they need that previlage. And also, the guilt feeling from the past, or in another words, the mistake what happened to me as a student, should not happen to my child because he didn't tell him.

Anonymous said...

so what you going to do with such cases ?

Ramakrishnan said...

the post is good and demands attention.

firstly,the parents should know what their child is interested in,accordingly they must plan his studies keeping in mind that the child is not covered by books 24X7 (this may reduce the pressure to an extent).secondly,they must make the point clear in the child's mind that the consequences will be harsh if he takes things lightly.

and the child should cooperate with parents,understand them and respect their views.

in short there should be an equilibrium.this will also strengthen the bond between them.

life is never easy but when people start enjoying such equilibriums, life is always easy .

Rohith alias Rayappan said...

see we have discussed both technical as well as the social aspects of this problem. ie the way parents and children(students) should go on with each other as well how the education system can be helpful towards it..

This is an issue which has never had a perfect solution because its in its beginning and its new. Our parents' generation didnt worry or needed to, as there wuz no sheer competition then... So what shall we do?

Hailstone said...

"There's no healthy conversation between parents and children, and parents never do realise what their children wants." -- Nivil, I do agree with you.
In many families, the communication between parents an children acts as a villain.

After all children are CHILDREN. Parents have to take care of this over burdening and all.They should be able to convince the children the need of good acads nowadays, instead of compelling them to study always. There lies the success of parents. The rest is with children. They too have to co-operate.

Devidas said...

Parents do take care of the over burden by finishing the child's homework at times:).
Its just not justifiable for parents to let their kids do what the latter wish because ultimately if the kid takes up a wrong track its the parents who are put to let blame, iSn't it so?
And as some others said earlier exposure to european or american educational system is not gonna be appropriate in our nation with comparitively larger population and lesser resources. So the bottom line is' survival of the fittest'.

ej said...

devi is absolutely right.. children can't be left to whatever they wishes to be. there must be certain guidelines.

so the bottom line is, there should be a fine balance to the taste of the child and what is right.

Anonymous said...

You could put the next post!

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