The way I see it, these are tense times in Nevis and I am not speaking to the crime situation as yet…that too and who knows? Maybe everything is interconnected…….
Instead, I am speaking to the fact that this is the term of examinations at our schools across the island.
The older children at the secondary schools are involved in their life changing overseas exams; the younger children are committing to their promotional exams.
At the primary school level, the children from grades three to six are engaged in the infamous ‘test of standards’ and the lower level children will soon be doing their promotional exams.
Now, let me tell you a funny thing about exams. For most persons, it is a stressful time. Some people get ‘clammy sweat’ and forget everything they would have studied because of panic attacks. It is not that they do not know the stuff, but that fear of failure seizes them and they flunk the course.
I remember that a certain young man went to try out for his driver’s license, some years ago. He drove exceptionally well in practice but on the day of the road test, he could not get the car move.
Why? He got so nervous that his foot just kept trembling on the clutch and the vehicle was just cutting out. The kind Police Officer told him to go home and come back another time.
I remember the many times I had sweaty palms, while writing exams. Exams are stressful!
However, as parents, I believe that we fail our children with the tremendous pressure that we place on them.
Most parents want their children to come first in all of their exams and it is a ‘treat or beat’ situation: You do well and you get a treat. That could be your favourite electronic gadget; or even a cruise with the family, but if you fail and more especially if the neighbour’s child did better than you, woe be onto your behind!
Well I newa!
Some parents are too competitive. Instead of allowing the children to strive at their own pace, they try to impose standards on them that they themselves did not even dream of, when they were going to school.
Of course nothing is wrong in wanting your child to achieve more than what you did, when you had the opportunity, but it is not everyone who will develop into a doctor, Lawyer or Bank manager. There are smart mechanics, Masons and plumbers out there and some make more money than the aforementioned professionals.
So, if your child seems to be attracted to a more ‘hands on’ line of work, help him to choose the relevant subjects for that specific career path and don’t force him into areas that he is not comfortable with and just cannot handle.
When Curtis Jr was at the JLPS, probably grade two, there was this woman who kept hegging me, as to what my son placed in his exams or was it tests?
(They say small people do TESTS and big people do EXAMS)!
Only to find out that her son had secured fourth spot and she wanted to make sure that JR was more lowly placed than him.
Now, here is where I will make the link with CRIME.
With this ‘win at all cost’ concept and if you fail, you would be punished attitude and if you pass, you will be rewarded, small wonder that some of our young men and women have developed the same attitude.
Then when they cannot GET what they want, they TAKE what they want and nowadays, generally leave somebody for Blackie or Thelma to take up, in their wake.
I believe that we should teach our children the ways of Jesus; encourage them as much as possible and let them know that FAILURE AND SUCCESS are all part of life’s complex make up and it is how we deal with them which would make the difference between our highs and our lows; making and sharing and saving money or not and the big one:
Heaven or Hell.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?