Exams and Parental Responsibilities
Asif Jahanzayb ‘Attari Madani
In this article, we share some words of wisdom from a school principal during his meeting with parents:
Dear parents! Exam results will be released soon. I know each of you will be anxious about your child’s performance. From the pupils who sat these exams, many will go on to become doctors who do not need to understand detailed mathematic intricacies, while others will become owners of multi-national companies and will have little need of understanding the complexities of biology. Others are future IT specialists who do not need exceptional grades in chemistry. Therefore, although it would be delightful if your child achieves strong grades across all subjects, do not damage the child’s self-confidence if he or she achieves lower grades in certain areas. Instead, give them hope by reminding them of other opportunities that they will have to succeed and achieve their dreams. Make them understand that despite achieving lower grades, you still love them, and you do not judge them or their abilities based on the results of an exam. Do not think that only doctors and engineers live happily in this world.
These words should prompt us to rethink the approach that we take when dealing with our children. Perhaps you also judge a child’s ability based on exam results? If this is the case, then you are, in all honesty, gravely mistaken. Rectify yourself and transform your way of thinking. Although low grades should concern you, it does not in any way allow you to deem the child as incapable or a failure. All too often, parents subject their child to unrealistic expectations and push the child to pursue a career of their choice, completely disregarding the child’s preference and suffocating his desires.
Each child is unique and has unique capabilities which allow them to excel in different areas. It is the responsibility of parents to understand the abilities of their child and provide him or her with a suitable upbringing, harnessing the child’s unique skill-set and guiding them to success. Use exam results to learn about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and dislikes. Then, use this knowledge to support them along a path of their choice that suits their strengths.
For example, from the exam results, you may learn that your child is weak in all subjects but excels in Islamic Studies. So, guide him to advance in this field by providing opportunities for him to attain knowledge according to his own preferences.
Dear parents! Instead of being stubborn about your own wants and preferences, educate and nurture your children per their abilities. Plan the future of your children based on their interests.