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30 May 2024

CBSE board exams stress: How UAE parents can deal with it

By Sneha May Francis and Bindu Suresh Rai

It’s not just students who undergo stress during the mighty Indian board exams – even their parents share that burden.

As students of grade 10 and 12 start writing the board exams, we check how their parents are coping with the stress.

Subrata Ravinder Singh, mother of a grade 12 student, admits she’s a nervous wreck.

“I find it tough to sleep, or do anything. I’m constantly worried about my son and his exams.”

Whether it’s waking up at 4.30am with the urge to get her son to start his revisions, or closely watching his daytime nap, Subrata is genuinely nervous about how her son will fare in the exams.

A student of commerce, Shivin, she says, is confident he has done his revisions and will do well.

“I often step out of the house for a walk, or chat with friends who aren’t judgmental,” she reveals. “My son often asks me why I go out every evening, and I explain to him that I need to so that I can de-stress.”

Her son, who is now looking to go overseas for an undergrad course in business, manages to unwind when he’s in the gym, or reading online.

Dubai-resident Rekha Ramesh Khiara, whose son Akshay is currently studying for his grade 10 board exams, agrees. “More helplines, online avenues and school counselors should be made available for these children. If they feel closed in, depressed or believe ending it all is their only option, then we need to find them avenues of help.

“To parents, all I can say is, these are our children. Our children. Have the confidence in them; teach them to have self-confidence.

“Not everyone can score 90 per cent or more. Recognise that and guide your children accordingly. Don’t push them to the extent where they stop believing in themselves.”

Father of two and GM of India Club, Bharat Chachara has one advice for parents: “Don’t push your children to such an extent that they start hating themselves.”

He continues: “I have two sons, one who has already passed through grades 10 and 12 boards, while a younger one who is a year away from sitting for his first set of board exams.

“As parents, my wife and I have always adhered to guiding our children and no bullying them into submission.

Chachara says parents need to curb their competitiveness, “which begins when the child starts going to nursery and only accelerates from then onwards.”

For those who are studying for their exams currently, the father of two says: “Children should remain focused, realising these exams will prove a game changer in their future lives, but not to the degree that destroys their present.

“If you are in over your head, seek advice; be it a parent, a friend or a counselor. But talk to someone. You will not appear weak if you do so.”