“What’s up babe? Just waking up?”
“Your voice sounds low. What’s cooking?”
“My exams are starting next tomorrow and I’m not done reading. For the past few weeks I have just not been reading. I set a time to read and when that time comes, I add five more minutes and then another five and before I know it, the whole time slips by. So I resolve to start tomorrow but tomorrow just never came. I hear my classmates saying they are done reading three or four different books and I haven’t read all those books now I’m just scared. I’ve never been this scared in my life,” Ajoke poured out, amidst tears.
Shade’s first instinct was to scream, curse and blast her daughter from the other end of the phone. ‘‘Like seriously? You’ve been in school all these weeks and just two days to your exams, an external one for that matter, you come up with this bull sh*** story of not reading and being so scared?’’However, this wasn’t the right time to play the blame game – she was all aware of how going down that lane would be counterproductive at the moment. So putting on her positive parent hat, she carefully and calmly spoke to her daughter: “I know how that can really make you feel. Let’s start with the paper you have on Monday. You will need to identify the topics you are conversant with and those that you find a bit challenging. Approach any of your classmates you know understands them. Ask them to revise with you. It will be a revision for them but it would be learning for you. That way, you both win. Do you have anybody in mind?’’
“I do,” Ajoke responded.
“Okay, cool. If you decide to head in straight to start reading all by yourself now, you may feel more overwhelmed. Discussing will shorten the work and you can use the time after to go over the main ideas on your own.” That was the advice from the super mum.
‘‘Now, let’s take a look at your time table. After Monday, when are your next exams?’’
“I have JAMB on Thursday and English WAEC two weeks after.”
“Sounds perfect,” continued mum. ‘‘From now, schedule at least four hours of sleep. After your Monday paper, go head long into preparing for JAMB. Take it one subject per day. Work hard on them. Pray too, because, frankly, we serve an All-wise, All-knowing God. He already knows what you are going to be asked. So pray for a share of His wisdom and knowledge so that the task is easy for you and He personally directs your energy to those places He knows the questions are coming from.
‘‘Once your JAMB is over, first, get an accountability partner or study buddy. Someone who is self-driven, studious, doing great and has the same subject combination as you. Sit together and plan your schedule in such a way that you maximise the time each day to cover the grounds. You see, it’s a good thing that you have ample time between each paper. Make the best of it. The truth is that the decision is only in your hands. You only have to give yourself the permission to put in the extra work now. You know that as they say, you can force the horse to the river, but hey, you can’t force it to drink water. Decide the grade you envision for yourself in each subject and then, go for it. I know you. And I know that once you put your mind and decide on a thing, you do the work and you get it. So envision your result slip now. See, feel and hear the kind of result you want and then dive right into doing all it takes to get it. Do we have a plan you are willing to put to work?
“Yes mum,” came Anike’s answer from the other end of the phone.
“Okay girl. Go for it! Remember the best time you have right now is now!”
These kids! Indeed, we are the parent, the coach, the teacher, the counselor, the guide, the motivator, the inspiration and all the things in between. We can’t help but stay positive, always and the times we need to be that positive parent most are the same time being it is tough!
As they write their JAMB and WAEC exams, we put them in the capable hands of the master planner. May they be guided to do the work and may their efforts be met with an outstanding success.
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