Changing paradigms…

Dear All,

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 “Authoritarian” parenting is obsolete and “Authoritative” parenting is in.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!

Happy Parenting!!!img_0325

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The seeds of conscientiousness…

 

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?

 

CAN VALUES BE TAUGHT?

CAN VALUES BE TAUGHT? –  Ms.Meenakshi Vaidyanathan, Vice Principal

Analysis of literature by psychologists and philosophers reveals that individual responsibility (and values) cannot be taught – it must be acquired indirectly and through the learners’ own experience.

The role of a parent entails a multitude of high expectations. It is in the power of parents to spur children to become conscious of their values and give them skills to reflect on them. In order to urge children to reflect on and discuss their values, we adults must first acquire the same skills.

There is also a fundamental doubt especially popular among philosophers how can values be taught? Their implicit belief is that the values cannot and should not be taught. They are picked up from the family and society (the school being part of it) by observing the role models – be it parents, teachers or the political leaders. Any attempt to ‘teach’ values is tantamount to becoming self – styled moral masters and this itself defeats the very purpose of education.

It needs to be appreciated that classroom teaching can only provide an intellectual framework like why to be honest…. However, how to be honest has to be imbibed only from living role models. It is very important to appreciate that there is a difference between knowledge of human values and actually imbibing them, between knowing about virtues and actually becoming virtuous.

Through an experiment, psychologist Mr. J. Phillipe Rushton, demonstrated that role modeling was the most effective way of helping our children internalize values. Often adults are not aware of the impact of our actions.If a parent curses other drivers on the road, the child is led to believe that it is acceptable and does likewise. We need to be more conscious of our own behaviour, even when it is not directed at our children.

Building character must be the work of both parents and the school. We must work hand in hand to impart the same values. For instance, a teacher was teaching students to care for the elderly in the public transport by giving up one’s seat. A student pledged to practise this on his way home. However, the next day the student was downcast and refused to share his experience in the class. Later, he explained to the teacher that his parent had told him off for giving up the seat. The poor child was perplexed.

It’s been estimated that over 80% of our choices in life, while they have definite consequences, do not have rules to regulate our behaviour. If we only expend energy on rules, our children will not know how to handle ambiguity and situations where rules do not exist.

Effective parents help their children learn that the rules come from ethics, not ethics from rules. A values based home fosters personal responsibility and initiative in each child.

There is no need to run outside

For better seeing

Nor to peer from a window. Rather abide

At the centre of your being;

For the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart and see

If he is wise who takes each turn.

The way to do is to be

– Lao – Tzu (6th century BC)

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Media and Children

Media takes a definite part in a student’s life. Media affects the children and directs the society in different ways. The child’s exposure should be guided by the age appropriate use of medias like television, Internet, Music and video games. Exposure to violence through media considerably improves the violent behavior of the children. Watching television curbs many physical activities of children like playing, spending time with family members, reading, learning some practical skills. Prolonged viewing television results in children imagining the television world as the real one and makes their intelligence passive.   

 
   It takes much of their precious time and pushes them into a trap of laziness along with physical problems like obesity and impaired sight. Internet contains a worldwide web of information which is both good and bad. Students should be trained about the right usage of internet and experts advice that internet connections at home should be in a central location instead of private place like bedrooms for common access.     
 
Yuvbharathi Public School conducts workshops from time to time to make awareness about the use of media. Take a look at cyber workshop with the theme of social media evils at http://bit.ly/1s14zbs
 

Books are boon

School Libraries are usually the initial step towards the reading habit that would last till our later ages in life. Reading is considered to foster communication skills and become learners all time. They get an exposure to variety of texts and thereby triggered to the habit of reading. If adequate time is not spent in Library, the acquisition of knowledge would be limited to classroom and textbooks alone.

School days are the right time and age for any student to inculcate the habit of wide reading. Gradually the habit would make you read variety of books that would update you with knowledge and maturity. As an initial step, go on search of variety of subjects in the Library and find out what subject particularly retains your attention. Get to read more and more books in that area. Get a membership from your local public library and go ahead extracting your interests.

Once you get to know the feeling of pleasure that a new book could give you and then you are in the right path. Books are boons which wouldn’t desert us at any critical stage of our life.  Yuvabharathi Public School has an efficient library that could hold hundred children at a time. There are varied type of books appropriate to age. Take a look at Infrastructure – Yuvabharathi to know more

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