We parents live in a transition phase of changing paradigms of parenting styles…more confused than an adolescent and more enthusiastic than a curious child…Gone are the days when we religiously followed our elders’ words verbatim. Kids these days dare to try and test anything under the sky and they are right most of the times. Thanks to knowledge explosion and the technology boom…
We are actually ardent learners who try to keep up with the pace of razor sharp minds of our kids, desperately updating ourselves to be tech-savvy. Schools too have undergone a sea change where teachers have become facilitators and the ambience of the school makes the children call it ‘second home’. Rightly put! School has understood its changing role and has transformed itself into a home away from home where not only knowledge is imparted but also holistic growth is ensured.
The point in question is whether the first school i.e. the home, has evolved concomitantly with the school? Do the parents second the policies or principles set by the school and make it a continuum at home? It is a point to ponder…Education does not stop with school but is reflected and fulfilled at home where the parents are the first teachers. Satisfaction of needs and interests alone does not fulfill one’s role as a parent. The changing times demand active parenting where one is expected to work in tandem with the school in which he/she has entrusted his/her child with. “Authoritarian” parenting is obsolete and “Authoritative” parenting is in. Needless to say, it is literally offensive to practise “indulgent” parenting style.
Sometimes, we are at loggerheads when opinion differences surface and this gives room for doubt and uncertainty in the child’s mind. When the rapport between the school and the home is at stake, I am sorry to register my conviction that nothing productive or substantial could be expected from a child. So, let us gear up to refresh our mindsets and hone our skills to take up new age parenting where we work hand in hand with policy makers at school. We must know where to draw a line, raise the bar and push the limits of our kids and for our kids!
The seeds of conscientiousness are sown in childhood. Though a known fact, how many of us take it seriously?
To cite a small real life example, Dr. Anupam Sibal, a pediatrician was attending to his four year old patient Aadil. After the consultation, when he was about to bid goodbye to his patient, he heard the child whisper something into his mother’s ear, “Injection”. The doctor was surprised because he was not due for any injection. The doctor asked the mother for the reason. The mother said that Aadil has become very fussy about eating. Hence, she had warned him if he did not start eating better, he would get an injection. So, when the child realized his examination was over and his mother had forgotten about the injection, the little boy reminded her. It was a rare act of pure honesty.
What comes to your mind reading this?
As kids they don’t make any deliberate effort to lie. Some parents might believe that it is the child’s nature and it is necessary to punish dishonesty to prevent it from taking over. Actually parents often set their kids to lie. They confront the kids with anger or threat and the kids are afraid to speak the truth. If you make it safe for them, they will be honest. As parents when we cannot always prevent exposure to dishonesty outside our home, we need to model honesty at home not only in words but also in our life style.
Asking for a medical leave from school so that a child can go for a family tour is dishonesty as is getting someone else to do the child’s homework. Neither can happen without the support of the parents. What platform are we setting for the child to practise honesty?
While we should lead by example we should also share examples of honesty with children.
There are living examples of communities which adhere to integrity in a world where virtue is rare. When we see our kids display honesty; we should be lavish in praise. It is a positive reinforcement which makes the child repeat the behavior and slowly it becomes a habit.
James E. Faust says, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” Let us ask ourselves, “Are we giving enough opportunities for our children to be honest?