- Dr. Sapna Sharma
- 31 July 2019
In continuation of my series of blogs on parents’ concerns about teenagers’ problems, let us consider the common parental complaint of “Not studying”. Let us see how some of these questions can help us. I am sharing with you some of the commonest answers that I get from parents in my counseling albeit after paraphrasing and rephrasing many times:
1. What exactly is your concern about the child not studying enough?
He is intelligent and can do better: Certainly he can do better, we all can. But does that better have to be in the area of high academic scores alone? If he is not able to score very high marks then does that mean that he will not be able to do good ever?
Her cousins are all high rankers: Unfortunately I hear this more often than I would want to. And then I ask the parents that do you want to help the child do better in life or you want him to do better to help you keep up your image or reputation?
Everyone keeps blaming me that I am not a good mother: (Ouch that hurts) Well, as unreasonable as it may sound, the Indian society and many others do hold the mother solely responsible for any wrongdoings and underperformances of the child. And yet the concern of the mother shifting from helping the child to clear some of her image is to be put under the scanner.
2. What are your expectations?
Interestingly most parents fumble at this question. They give vague answers like- “he should do better”, “I know he can score more” etc. However even when I press for them to define how much exactly they believe the child should be scoring, they seem to go around the bushes. My question is that if you cannot quantify your expectations then it is certain that you do not know your child or his capacities well. Your discontent is arising from the definitions of the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ given by the society. Do we really believe we can help our children without knowing them well?
3. Why according to you is the child not studying?
a. He is just not interested
b. He does not care about studies
c. He is too distracted by friends
d. He is more interested in gadgets and television
Well, in some cases some of these reasons might be correct, but in the majority number there are other not so obvious reasons behind his/her seeming disinterest in the studies. In the next blog of the series, we will discuss about the possible reasons for disinterest of teenagers in the studies.