Tension is mounting in the minds of parents as yet another academic year is fast approaching. Parenting has become a much complex issue now than ever before. Our people get sufficient training in every profession except in better parenting. The best gift the parents can give their children is good education. We are concerned most often about the parents who are worried about their children, but we do not bother about children who are worried of their parents.
Here are 10 commandments for better schooling and better parenting.
1. Express your love
The most precious gift the parents can give their children is their time. The "most expensive school" or the rare toys that the children are provided with are no match for the time you spend with them. As victor Hugo put it, "the supreme happiness of life is in the conviction that we are loved." The tiny tot, the growing child, the teenager all need affection and expressions of love. Unless it is provided at home, they will go after it wherever they get it. Let our homes be the power house of love.
2. No child is useless but "used less"
Every child is a bundle of possibilities. The success of parenting is exploring the possibilities in the child. Every child cannot be a dancer, singer or actor. Respect the uniqueness in each child and find the unexplored area in him/her. The parents must respect the child's individuality.
3. Entrust them with responsibilities
When young birds are ready to fly, let them out of the nest, let them fly by themselves. Give your child opportunities like learning to pick up food, brush teeth, dress up by themselves and so on. Give the kids a chance to find their own solutions that will help them face the difficulties in life.
4. Set a positive example
Children master what they see, not what they listen. The biggest responsibility and challenge for a parent is to be a role model. Children are born imitators. Most often they do not differentiate between good and bad. So set a positive example always.
5. Maintain a positive attitude towards teachers
Teachers are second parents. Never degrade their teachers in front of children. Otherwise, they will lose their respect towards their teachers which may affect their studies.
6. Visit the school often
School is the second home for the children. Frequent visits to the school and meeting with teachers play a big role in moulding the children. It will keep students to be alert and vigilant.
7. Enable your child to face failures as opportunities
Let our students realise that failure is not the end of everything. Failures should not crush them. Wise parenting involves making children humble enough to accept the failures and proceed proactively in a creative mode.
8. Use of internet
Children should be made aware of the use and misuse of internet. It can be both constructive and destructive.
9. Access all the parenting resources you can
Read books, magazines and websites about parenting. You can subscribe to magazines such as 'Parents or Parenting' for monthly parenting tips, or sign up for an e-newsletter from your favourite parenting website. Browse the child development section of your local bookstore for resources.
10. Accept your kid anyway
When your kid grows, he/she will have a certain personality trait. Never compare them with anyone. Let them grow as they are.
(The writer is principal, Chavara International Academy, Vazhakkulam)