I recently stumbled upon an interesting article entitled: When success leads to failure! It was an eye opener in more ways than one. Th article is about a parent and a teacher discussing a well performing child. The words that caught my eyes were: Above all else, we taught her to fear failure. That fear is what has destroyed her love of learning. In fearing failure and thus pushing herself harder the child had to sacrifice natural curiosity and love of learning.
Do read the article. It fits like a glove to what education has become in India: a made race for marks where children aspire to a perfect 10 no matter what the cost. The very valid point the article makes is how this fear of failure takes away from the child any desire to learn new things as it may lead to failure. No one gives marks for trying, diligence, perseverance and the learning to get from ‘failing’ and trying again. Better to stick to the minimum and the charted course. Forget uncharted ones.
I was aghast when I heard a child say on TV that she had learnt by heart every single text book and was wondering why she fell short of the perfect 10. You guessed right: she was the year’s topper in high school. My heart went out to this child who had spent a year with her nose in her book. When was he time for playing, laughing, walking in the rain, feeling the warmth of the winter sun, hearing the morning bird sing: simply being a child.
Is this what we want for our kids. To make them well performing robots and killing their creativity and uniqueness.
Sadly that is what all of us are doing to our beautiful and unique children.