Parents have a number of expectations from their children and several times, find themselves comparing them with others. Hence, it would not be a flagrant exaggeration to say that a child in our society is equated with his/her academic performance. If a child does not get high marks in the exams, he is perceived to be weak. All other activities that the child takes part in somehow fades away in front of the report card and do not seem to add up. Quite possibly, they may be good in some of the other co-curricular or extra-curricular activities. We do acknowledge that, but that is where the appreciation ends, usually.
There is a strong reason for such a unidirectional behaviour by society at large, though education is perceived to be the transformational agent in most middle-class families. As long as meeting the basic needs of one’s family remains the most important challenge in one’s life, this indeed occupies the central space in our thought process and perhaps rightly so.
Time and again, however, two qualities stand out when we closely observe successful people ———– PASSION & DEDICATION. Perhaps one follows the other or perhaps not — if you have an active interest or passion in something, you may be willingly put in dedicated effort to master it. We actually observe this in our children ———- ask the child any “trivia” about sports, movies, music, etc., you will be showered with the right answers The same child seems clueless about what is taught in school. We never paused to tell them why they were being taught what they were being taught, what they were being taught, or why they were being sent to school in the first place.
Performing well and progressing from one level to the next were seen to be as normal as breathing and also as the only reasons for going to a school. Unfortunately, devoid of “active” interest or passion ——- our first ingredient—— for studies, the number of hours and days and years spent in school hardly matter.
Just as it takes two hands to clap, PASSION needs its twin ——— the second ingredient ——– to make a person genuinely progress in life. Doing well in any field requires considerable skills and extraordinary effort. Along with this, parents need to support their child as well. Parents need to identify a child’s special needs and provide for them. They need to be able to sustain a two-way communication with them so that we are both on the same page sharing and discussing their concerns in life. These, unfortunately, do not happen overnight ——- just around the time of examinations. These need to be nurtured and sustained from early childhood itself.
——– P Seshu.