November is infamously considered a gloomy month for students of all ages, as it is the onset of their end-of-term examinations. With winter months being associated with depression and inactivity, it makes it even harder for students to focus on their studies, often getting caught up in the procrastination spiral. 


Many parents, as a means of support, push their children to study. However, what they fail to perceive is the fine line between support and pressure. In India, a child’s academic performance is considered a “matter of pride” for the family. This stigma drives parents to push their children to build a bright future. However, many parents are unaware of their child’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This leads to the parents putting unsolicited pressure on the child to study subjects they are not interested in or need help with, without understanding their point of view. Parental pressure is the leading cause of student suicide in India. 


According to a 2017 study (Stress and Suicidal Ideation Among Adolescents, Priti Arun et al.), excessive parental pressure drives students to depression, which leads to suicidal tendencies. Does this mean that parents should not interfere in the child’s academic journey? No, not at all! Psychiatrists argue that parents can help dissipate the mental stress a child is experiencing due to the exams and support them constructively to improve their academic performance. Engaging in stress-relieving activities with your child can help them navigate their academic pressure. 


A few activities that may help the child are meditation, exercise, music, and muscle relaxation. Keep in mind that getting 30 mins of rest for every 90 mins of focusing is pivotal in helping the child retain what they’re revising and relax their mind. Getting a good night’s sleep will further improve cognitive function which will help your child learn better. On a more academic front, you can help your child score better by talking to them and their teachers. Understand the areas that the child is struggling in and then reassure the child that you would support them and make them understand that it is okay for them to tell you if they feel under pressure. With this knowledge, you can work on looking for suitable resources to help your child fortify their weaknesses. 


Clear and honest communication is the key to making sure that your child is studying healthily and comfortably. Therefore, to help the child progress, parents need to distinguish between support and pressure. This can be done by becoming aware and involved in your child’s academic journey rather than blindly putting pressure on them during the exams. Your support can and will go a long way in ensuring that your child has a bright future!