By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 6 May: Exams and Exams Results contribute a major share to increasing suicidal rates amongst teenagers, says Educationist and Academic Counsellor Ravi Singh Negi. Students preparing for exams often experience great pressure. The pressure may result in feelings of anxiety or nervousness, and this exam stress can interfere with the individual’s daily life. Many students feel pressured because of expectations of family members or teachers, peers and siblings. They want to do their best work so that they do not let anyone down with their performance. This pressure to do well can heighten exam stress. Students may perceive themselves to be in competition with others, and the competition may heighten their anxiety levels. Due to this external pressure, students apply the pressure on themselves by spending too much time thinking about the difficulty and outcome of the result, this negative approach increases exam stress. Inadequate preparation for exams and rushed last minute preparation also increases exam stress which many times causes students to commit suicide
Ravi Singh Negi suggests that parents and guardians have to look after the children so that they are able to concentrate more on their studies. Parents should not exert pressure on their children. Every child has his or her limitations. Parents must understand these and should not expect too much out of them. Parents and Guardians should offer their help to the child, but should not insist on helping. They should monitor the children’s schedule but not spy on them. They must take proper care of the health and nutrition of the child. They must be guides and friends to the children and not a dictator. A child is an individual; no child should be compared with another. Remember that very high marks or grades are not the guarantee to success.
If parents observe any type of behavioural change in the child like loneliness, expressing a death wishe, being uncharacteristically silent, or spending most of their time in their rooms, appetite changes: eating too much, too little; being uncharacteristically moody; getting angry or upset for minor reasons, throwing temper tantrums or venting their anger on parents or siblings, being unusually anxious, losing interest in activities they enjoyed earlier, insisting on visiting friends and relatives as if they would not get an opportunity to meet them again, they should become aware. If they see such symptoms in the child they should immediately consult a counsellor or expert.
Counsellor Ravi Singh Negi’s tips on managing this issue:
• Keep a close watch on the child.
• Observe any change in behaviour or eating habits.
• See if the child is avoiding friends or relatives. If so, encourage him or her to meet friends or relatives.
• See if the child is worried about the result. If so, tell him or her the results are not the end of world.
• Don’t compare your child with other children, even with your own child.
• If you feel that the result is likely to be less than expectations, convince the child that he or she has other talents to succeed in life.
• Don’t always preach to the child and do not keep on rebuking him or her.
• As a parent, teacher or a friend, one should act as a gatekeeper to a student who is vulnerable.
• Give time to the children and make them busy in activities the interest them. Let them know that you are interested in them and their activities.
• If the result is below expectations, take the child on some vacation. If not possible, organise a local outing, like dinner in hotel or a movie, etc.
• Better communication between you and your child can lower anxiety levels for the both of you. By enquiring why they are moody or irritable, teenagers may be inclined to discuss their worries and thereby alleviate some of their stress, and yours.
• Understand that children have their own strengths and talents – whether they lie in academia or not.
• Do not displace your anxiety on the child. Be light and humorous with the child.
• Do not mix academic issues with family conflicts.
• Lastly, if you cannot handle the situation, consult a counsellor or some expert.