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DEAR CHRISTINE: Academics not only route to success

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE: Academics not only route to success

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Dear Christine,
After reading about the incident which took place in Trinidad last week, where a little boy took his life days before the examination which would determine which secondary school he would attend, I felt compelled to share the following with you.
My husband and I have two boys, aged eight and ten, and my husband is constantly at them to work and study hard so they can be successful.
The older boy’s teacher sent home a note intimating that our son was cheating because he was “afraid to fail”.
I am afraid part of our son’s nervousness is due to his father’s determination that they are going to be millionaires.
Our boys are bright but I don’t know if they are going to get into the “best schools” and I honestly do not care. To me, that’s not the most important thing in life. I want them to be spiritually sound, responsible, polite young men and to stay away from criminal activity and drugs.
What are your thoughts?
– V.G.
Dear V.G.,
I totally agree with you and I think you could help your sons if you convince your husband that the best route to “success”, in the larger meaning of the term, is to let youngsters develop their own potential and follow their own talents. Leading them along the road of spiritual development and establishing a relationship with their Creator is also extremely vital.
Too many parents place emphasis on the Common Entrance Examination only for the season.
After the child has been successful, and especially if the child passes for an older secondary school, he or she, in some cases, now has to fend for himself or herself, while the parents walk around with big egos.
The child who may not enter the school of the parents’ choice is also under pressure of some sort.
Too much pressure on any child to succeed destroys incentive and dynamites any possibility for creativity. The child who is afraid to fail won’t be able to develop to the fullest and be his or her own person. He or she would not be able to take the risks that are necessary in any creative project. The original, creative thinker has to be free to fail.
It sounds to me as though your husband is trying to relive his own life through his children. This is both dangerous and unfair.
The child who will cheat to get approval from parents or teachers is in serious trouble since cheating prevents his learning. It also indicates that something is wrong in the value system of the parents.
Talk with your husband and try to get him to analyse his own problems and challenges so he won’t pass them on to his children.
Get to understand as well, that many of today’s millionaires are not academics, were not academics, but individuals with creative, innovative minds, in-born skill and talent.