Most parents see education as one of the most important things in life for their kids. It is the pathway to success.

However, when these parents start to care a little too much about the grades, they often stress their child out. Some parents can be pushy, pressurizing their children to get better results, to study harder at home, or to sign up for extra activities, like sports. In some cases, even when the child gets a good or fairly good grade, the parents can be displeased and disappointed and can possibly get angry. Do they just want the best for their children or is their child’s performance a reflection on them?

The child, therefore, doesn’t feel supported.  For them, even if they are a high achiever, school is something to fear. They think, ‘If I don’t get an A+ in my history test, that’ll mean I’m stupid.’ In other words, if you’re not good at school, you’re not good at anything. This is not true: school is where children learn, and you can’t learn if you don’t make mistakes.

Not everyone is an academic. Not everyone can read a math formula just once and remember it, write an essay without batting an eyelid, or understand all the facts that science has to offer. Not everyone is a high -flyer. Does that mean that they are inferior or untalented?

Of course not! Just because they cannot find a place amongst the narrow tunnel of academia, it doesn’t mean they won’t anywhere else. They might be more of an artist, an adventurer, an inventor or a craftsman. Children that aren’t academic may well grow up and become something extraordinary, even an entrepreneur.

To all the children that are being pressured to be the best in their class, to get higher grades, even though they are giving 100 percent, there is no need to stress. Relax, meditate if it tickles your fancy (it is said that students who meditate are more focused and in turn their marks improve!) Don’t let stress get the better of you. Work hard, yes, listen in class, yes, but don’t beat yourself up if you’re not the next Einstein, you might be the next Bob Marley. Don’t worry, be happy!.

Poppy Nguyen Eastwood is a Grade 9 student at Lycée Français International Marguerite Duras