Thinking back to your own childhood years, one of the most frustrating memories you might have had, was that of doing your homework. What made things even worse, was when you were reprimanded for not adhering to your studies. This is most often the case, with many students finding themselves on the receiving end of their parents constant “reminders” that they have a test the following day, or if that’s not even the case, a book in hand at all times, is a major prerequisite to succeed in life.
To a point, it is true that many accomplishments in life, are to be had only through meticulous and thorough study. Occupations in the field of Medicine or Law, are without a doubt, highly demanding when it comes to studying and succeeding in exams. However, these are mere examples of everyday reality, as not all students have the capacity, patience, or desire to excel in their studies.
One would wonder… “Is this a bad thing?” In most cases, definitely not. Many a time, we adults would observe younger individuals as they might shine in other fields such as the arts or physical activities. As most of you know, if we were to define an individual by his ability to learn a ‘history chapter’ by heart, or by his skills in solving a ‘math problem’ then not only are we deluding ourselves into adhering to a faulty educational system, but we ourselves are turning a blind eye to our own griefs during our school years and in turn, exerting the same pressure on our children to study.
Of course, as a responsible and caring parent, one would only want the best for his child, and setting a ‘study schedule’ is a good idea. Before putting such a plan into effect, it would be in the best interest of all parties concerned, to evaluate the ‘academic’ potential of the student in question. Close collaboration between parents and teachers is essential, but what if both parties fail to recognize a child’s true potential?
If that is the case, a talent just waiting to blossom could go to waste. The potential a child might have to prosper and contribute to society could be lost and the emotional impact it could have on the student in question could be detrimental. Feelings of inadequacy or ineptitude become prevalent, which further leads to low self-esteem and disregard for any creativity or passion in life. Shouldn’t we, therefore, reassess our own approach to the matter and look into things from a different perspective?
If we cease to reprimand our children for not studying or for an aversion from it, we could be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. A hidden talent might emerge but most of all, it is the potential happiness and serenity which will instill the individual throughout his life, leading to a much more balanced career or path of his choosing.
As Albert Einstein once famously said: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Never cease to praise, love, inspire and encourage our children. Studying is not always the key to unlocking their true potential.
Ms. Katherine Reilly