Almanac message 2016 – 2017


 Good Parenting: A Big Responsibility of Parents 

The foundation of a child’s character is laid in his formative years.  In a day, a child spends one fourth of his time in school and three fourths of his time with his parents. Understanding this fact, parents should never think that by sending their ward to a good school, they have got rid of their responsibilities and that the school will take care of everything. The parents and the teachers should jointly work for the all-round development of a child.

Both the parents should work in cooperation and define their distinct roles. If one is strict and scolds the child, the other should not become liberal or show leniency.  As and when required, both the parents should show strict or liberal behaviour.  It is an art which can be learnt from other parents and by reading good books on parenting.

Parents should spend quality time with their children.  They should sacrifice their leisure hours if they want to see their wards fulfill their dreams.  Criticism of the school, the principal and the teachers should be avoided in front of children.  Such criticism builds disrespect for the school and the child may find himself in a state of confusion regarding following the rules and code of conduct laid down by the school.

The school rules should first be followed by the parents, such as paying fee on time, attending all PTMs, coming to school on calls from the teachers, the Wing Head or the Principal. Seeing the parents’ positive response, the children will readily accept their teachers’ instructions.

Don’t be impulsive in pleading your ward’s case if a teacher of the school has punished him/her.  Try to know the reason by first talking to your child and then talking to the concerned teacher or the wing head.

Never say, “We are earning / doing hard work for you; what we have belongs to you” 

Parents should regularly check the bags and belongings of their children at least once a week.  A few children sometimes bring unwanted material to school and so parents should not mind if the bags/ pockets/ bottles are checked by the school authorities.

Parents should never allow unchecked, uncontrolled, unsupervised access to the internet and social networking websites, especially Facebook, to their children.  If the children feel bad about it, let them feel so.  Parents should be firm on their decision as it is a question of their ward’s future. Such websites invite distraction as there is an abundance of objectionable material available on the internet.  Bad is always bad, and bad will make the child worse if he is not monitored and guided at the right time and the right age.

Mobile culture should not be encouraged during school life. My years of experience have witnessed more harm than good due to mobile addiction.  It is a device which distracts most of the children from their studies. Physical activities such as sports should be encouraged, for the healthy development of the child.  If the children are too young to go alone, their parents should take them to the playground.  After playing for 45 to 60 minutes, children feel energized and fresh, and are able to increase their concentration in studies.

Involve your sons as well as daughters in household chores such as washing, cleaning, dusting, ironing clothes, cooking and gardening, which may be taken up for half an hour twice a week.  This channelizes their energy in constructive work and also teaches them dignity of labour, apart from reducing the aggression in them

A single parent needs to be more concerned about his/her child.  A careful combination of toughness and leniency should be used.  Excess of pampering will be problematic in later stages of school and college.  Over-pleading the cases of their wards will bear poisonous fruits in life ahead. They might become sympathy seekers.  Single parents should never play with the emotions of their child by hammering the fact that all the responsibilities lie only with them.

As far as possible, parents should take the responsibility of their child’s upbringing. Thrusting the responsibility solely on grandparents will create a chasm between parents and children, which paves the way for tensions in the near future.

In the wake of deteriorating moral standards in the society, parents should keep a close watch on their child’s friend circle, including tuition friends. They should frequently visit tuition classes to check if there is a noticeable change in his/her behaviour.

The parents must keep track of the expenditure of the pocket money of the child and also help him to develop a habit of saving money.  They should refrain from giving excess money to their child.  School doesn’t demand money from parents and SMS is always sent to the parents if money is required for competitions / charity.

Healthy interaction with the child is a must. Develop such a rapport with the child that he/she confides in you. Start reading stories (at bed time) to your young child. This not only develops the child’s reading habit but also helps to establish a bond between the child and the parent.

Be patient with your child; never show paroxysms of anger, give off-the-cuff remarks or jump to conclusions without listening to him.  Give your child time, advice and love and see how beautifully you can wade off all the negative thoughts of your child.  

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop a positive vision”. Dalai Lama