Parents are urged to be supportive of their children during exam times and not add to the already existing stress that is there at that period.
Sandra Mokoena a social worker from Qhobosheane Primary School said parents often make the mistake of putting extra pressure on their children during exams by comparing them to others or shouting at them.
“The first mistake that is made by parents is comparing children. Trying to excel or be like other children adds a lot of stress on the child. Parents, should support and show love to their children when it's time to write exams,’’ said Mokoena.
Naledi Dladla (13) a who is doing grade seven at Qhobosheane school said her parents always told her they never failed a grade, so she must do better.
“My father he is always telling me that he never failed a grade, he was on number one or two, that is why he is a well-known mechanic at Soweto. My mother, she too is always shouting that God didn't give her 'slow children', even if she didn’t finish high school, she was a clever student,” said Dladla.
She said this stresses her.
“I can't be like them at school because even now I'm struggling with mathematics, but I cannot tell my father because he always says in his house we must do mathematics at school. Just imagine I'm struggling with grade seven maths, what will happen to me when I get to grade 12?’’ said Dladla
Lethabo Namane (14), a grade eight pupil from Madibane High School, said her mother is always telling them that they must work hard at school, get a proper jobs, and buy her a house.
She said her mother’s anxieties rub on to her.
”Sometimes she wakes us up in the middle of the night crying, telling us that if we're failing at school, she will be very disappointed, their friends will make jokes about our family,’’ said Namane.
She said her mother’s words, instead of pushing her to work hard, make it harder for her to concentrate on her school work.
Mokoena said parents could do simple things like being kind, helping with chores to help reduce stress. More pressure on children to succeed, may in fact make focusing on academics harder.