Sometime ago, we reinterpreted the story of the tortoise
and the hare and we were thrilled at your response. So we decided
try our hand at another old favourite - the Ugly Duckling. Now this
is one of my all time favourites and I suspect most people would
agree. It touches a chord in all of us as we have all felt like
ugly ducklings in some way or the other at some time or the other.
It's a very good feeling to believe that despite our shortcomings
we can still emerge at the top, confounding all our ill wishers
and winning the admiration and respect of all concerned! But satisfying
as this may be, lets take a closer look at the message we send our
children through this fable.
of all, our triumphs and our failures are defined by other people's
opinions. The poor old duckling realises that he is beautiful only
after seeing the response of others. While this is not all bad because
none of us live in isolation, the fact remains that public opinion
is not a good indicator of the value of our lives. Overstressed,
this factor leads to depression and teen suicides as well as a life
lived according to external
pressures rather than internal convictions.
time and circumstance are the deciding factors in this tale - the
ugly duckling becomes a swan only after a certain physical elapse
of time. For us maybe this shouldn't mean that it is only when you
grow up (or become whatever it is that you are going to become)
that you will automatically be recognized as a swan. Instead the
message seems to be that the external recognition of your inherent
virtues/talents are a factor of time and circumstances and should
not determine your happiness or self-worth. After all the same qualities
in another time and place would be valuable - so how can those qualities
be bad at this time?
the ugly duckling probably never outgrew his complexes from the
early years. So as parents whenever we are too hard on our children,
we should perhaps remember that it's not enough for the ugly duckling
to become a swan externally - he must feel beautiful from inside
How can you help a child cope with depression because of poor marks?
This question assumes that there will be depression if there are
poor marks. Some of the following will help-
Examination results should not be equated with knowing things.
If the child is reasonably good at learning and understanding
things, relax and help the child to become more effective in remembering
and handling questions rather than just advising him or her to
marks should not be the end of the world for you. Communicate
to the child that you love him or her no matter what happens.
a regular discussion with your child about work at school with
regard to understanding the content and strategies for studying
and answering questions, rather than just nagging the child to
in regular touch with school and the teachers for feedback.
not criticize the child; be constructive in your suggestions.
not be depressed yourself, your tension will show and transfer
itself to the child.
things about your child that you can praise. All children have
children who are emotionally stronger are more likely to be a
success in life than children who are just good in academics are."
Child Development Specialist