It is said that winning and losing are two sides of the same coin. Of course, everyone wants their coin to fall on the winning side always; but there are going to be numerous times that doesn’t happen. That’s life! What is important though is not the winning or the losing, but how we deal with it. We can get dejected and go into a shell thinking we’re no good that we lost, or we can realise that failure is the greatest teacher and it can teach you far more than success ever can.
Celebrate what your children are good at
What then do we, as a society, do to our children when they don’t perform well, or even fail in exams? The bitter truth is that we, as a society, castigate them and make them feel even worse. By setting up the examination as the be-all end-all of their young lives, society has only set most of them up for failure, who don’t excel in such high-pressure situations. Our children weren’t meant to be cooked in pressure cookers, so let’s start by celebrating what they’re good at!
Each child is unique, and has an inherent potential. For some that might be facing a memory retention test, but for most others, it is something else. Why then are we, in 2021, still trying to cookie-cut children, into moulds of our pre-conceived notions of what makes the “Good Indian child”? The top 10 most in demand jobs of 2021 did not exist in 2015! The skill sets the children of today are going to require in their lives will be vastly different from what any of us have needed in our lives. Today when every information is on Google, the children doesn’t need to memorize the information rather they should know how to apply it.
Failure does leads to success
It is critical that we help build and encourage children to have a Plan B. Just because they didn’t get the marks to get into the top colleges doesn’t, by any means, mean they’re doomed. Most of the biggest successes in life today, have encountered failure at every step in their struggle. The key is grit, persistence and perseverance.
Ignore the third party
The problem though isn’t the children; it’s the parents and all the nosy uncle – aunties who love showering unsolicited advice, painting a grim picture of the child’s future. First and foremost, get rid of all the negativity, and focus instead on what the child is good at, and has an aptitude for. Seek career counselling from a professional, and stay miles away from the advice of the neighbourhood Pammi aunty or gimmicky biometric tests that claim to foretell your child’s aptitude. The average undergrad in the US changes their major at least once during their 4-year course, many change it 2 to 3 times. Stop fretting if your child is confused about what they want to do.
Be a friend to your child
At 18, did you know what you wanted to do? And how many times has that changed till now? It’s absolutely normal for children to be figuring out their paths, or be confused about what they want to do, or become. Try becoming your child’s friend first, rather than their instructor. Does communication only revolve around you giving them instructions anymore? Why then, do you expect them to come and share what they truly feel, with you?
Children are raw uncut diamonds. They need good jewellers to allow them to shine at their brightest. It is the adults, and society that needs the teaching, not the children. The sufferer may end up being the child, but the failure is that of the adults around him!
Authored article by Raghav Podar – Chairman – Podar Education