Your child does this whenever the exams are a month away.
1. Get into a fight or quarrel with his or her other siblings at the slightest irritation
2. Get into a fight or quarrel in school and the discipline teacher calls you to inform you about it.
3. Stop handing in homework or worst, scribble like a ball of thread had fallen onto the pages of worksheets.
4. Argue with you just because you gently inform him or her to pack their bags for the next day’s lessons.
5. Kick the door to their rooms.
6. Study table becomes a jungle of papers and books and stationery.
7. Anything equivalent (or worst) than the above points.
And you notice these things happen ONLY when the exams are one month away. Otherwise, they are your little sweet darlings who listen to you even when you nag at them.
“What if I can’t solve it?” their cries ring in your mind when you encourage them to solve difficult questions in their homework.
“What if (fill in the blanks)?”
Translated: Your child is frightened of exams. They show such behaviour as a way of protecting themselves from the danger of exams.
In other words, they are showing the ‘fight or flight’ symptoms. Because they can’t ‘flight’ away from exams, they therefore have to ‘fight’.
Be aggressive. Show strength via their anger, whining, irritation or any form of negative emotions. Cold war is also counted.
At this stage, how do you calm your child down?
The answer: You discipline them and also counsel them.
Discipline them, because there are some boundaries in the house you have set and once crossed, they pay the consequences for their actions. I once heard a mother cane her son in a room after he gave excuses for not doing homework from his tutors and teachers.
That was uncomfortable to hear. That was also the time he woke up and began to hand in work on time.
Counsel them, because after disciplining them, you want to understand why they are behaving the way they are behaving. “You are not usually like this. What is on your mind?” is one simple question you can ask to understand them.
So, here are two simple (and probably uncomfortable) things you can do for your child.
1. Discipline them.
2. Then, counsel them.
Love is not about molly coddling. It’s about doing what is right because you want your children to have the right values to grow up with. It will be hard on you now but it will easy on you and your children later on in their lives.
As the saying goes, “parents are the first teachers to their children”.