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How Was Your Exam?

It was Vibhu's last exam today. I can't say about his happiness because he is still too young to express his worry or joy about this matter, but I am happy. It was Vibhu's first school year. Everything was new. New city, new school, and new people. On top of it, he joined school 2 months late. As it was a mid session admission, no as such joining test or interview happened. It was just one day his father took him to school. Back home I was so tensed that how would he behave there! As I always say, he is a blessed kid. He was all fine in school. Now his first school session is over. He did well in his class and I am so proud of him.

Being a working mother, I rarely go to drop or pick Vibhu from school. My husband is carrying this responsibility wonderfully. At days when it is a company holiday or when for some reason I am working from home and there are no meeting clashes, I also join my husband when he goes to pick Vibhu from school. The little chit chat with Vibhu's class and daycare teachers, give me the confidence that we, husband-wife, are rearing our kid right. We are not parents of any category defined so far. I believe there can be no classification of the way we raise our own souls. As today was Vibhu's final day of exams and a Saturday, I also went to pick Vibhu with my husband.

How Was Your Exam - Vibhu & Me
While I was talking to Vibhu's class teacher about our planned trip to Kolkata and that we will miss result distribution, I noticed there was a huge line of mothers waiting to get their turns with the class teacher. I realized that I had taken sufficient time, so I took a step back and allowed other mothers to have words with the class teacher. To my surprise, all of them asked how their kid performed in today's exam, how many questions they answered right and how many they couldn't. Now, I admit that I overheard them, but as I was standing near to them to get my turn back so that I can talk about summer camps, sports academy plans and next session's stationery collection, I got the moment to listen to those fellow mothers. The class teacher did tell them how many questions kids could not answer properly. And then the immediate action taken by few of the mothers was to scold poor kid. there only "yaad to kia tha na.. how you forgot?"

The clueless nursery guys and girls were more interested in enjoying rides and other fun activities than to listen to their mothers.. Back home, I talked to my husband about this, because I felt bad for those kids. Our post-exam conversation with Vibhu is limited to asking "How was your exam?" On which Vibhu's pet answer is "Very good". We believe in his reply. What much we can expect from a 4 and half-year-old kid who hardly cares about exams!

I know this is obvious in today's competitive time that parents get tensed about marks and grades. However, it makes more sense when the kid is able to understand the importance of grades and marks too. In my childhood, until I reached in 6th standard, I never cared about my marks. Many times, I was only a few numbers behind the student who secured the first rank. And I remember that my teachers used to say this "if you study little more, you will surely be at the top in the next exams." But I did not care then. That is why at times, I hardly got passing marks and my rank was no where in even top 10. When I myself realized that I should study harder, then only I really tried my best.

I feel rather than forcing the kid to get good marks/grades, parents should focus on giving them a reason to study. For a young kid, this can a fascinating goal; like my son is studying because he wants to become a scientist. His favorite avenger is a scientist, you see. Vibhu thinks he will be able to make those powerful machines after completing his studies. But I seeded this idea in his mind. When kids are little grown up and they understand the realities of this world, parents can give them a new reason to study.

If it is natural in the kid that he/she picks up things quickly, then there is no harm in encouraging him/her more. But if the kid takes time, let him/her go easy, at-least till 5th class.Worse is when parents expect kids below 5 to perform superbly well in exams and other school activities. It makes no sense when parents scold kids right in front of the teacher that how so and so question was wrong. There is nothing we can do at that moment. Retrospection is good but when done at the right time.

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