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Is your child forced to study for extended hours?

  • 3m guru
  • Oct 17, 2021
  • 0 comment(s)

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter got a job in a timber merchant.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss’s words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. His boss instructed that if he did not chop down more trees each day, he would lose his job.

He worked during his lunch breaks and tea breaks, but still he could not cut down enough trees. “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

 “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

The above story is a reflection of what blind sighted insistence on working hard towards studies could ultimately lead to. There’s nothing wrong in working hard. But overworking on any aspect should always be approached with caution.

Most of us do not give our bodies and minds enough sleep, don’t eat enough nutritional food and don’t drink enough water. We exercise too little and don’t take proper breaks. We don’t relax and we don’t enrich ourselves with learning, creativity and beauty. In short, we don’t sharpen our axe!

Likewise, if children have to do well in academics, spending hours together with books and in tuitions alone won’t work. Activities that they love to do, that revitalize their mind, relax their overworked brain should all be given their due importance. Pushing the limits of a child’s capacity beyond his/her threshold will always lead to diminishing returns.

Parents, apart from being tough taskmasters should also remember that words of encouragement and loving concern alone will go a long way in keeping the child motivated towards studies and exams.

Someone very famous once said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

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