Principals Message Session 2017-18

The importance of being a parent
Bishop Westcott Girls School

The change in the relations among parents, teachers and students is a matter for reflection. The present social relation is one of intolerance, aggression and the reluctance to take responsibility of our actions. These traits are inculcated among children and parents are unsure of the cause of this. As someone who has interacted with many generations of students and parents, I would suggest parents to introspect and realize that they are also different from those who raised them. Instead of spending time with their children and ensuring values are passed on to the younger generation, they have become glorified wallets. Not spending quality time together has created a barrier between parents and their children. Children are unable to break through and reach out to their parents when they wish to share their thoughts. The need of the hour is for parents to be more conscious of raising their children with values that make for better individuals. The way to do it is measured interaction with the children.

Parents should be concerned about their wards. It is not surprising for children to commit mistakes (accidentally or intentionally) when they feel they are under no restrictions or monitoring. This leads the way for indiscipline and in a few years, your child will be moulded into indiscipline. The school has a limited role to play here and our effect is further eroded by parents' attitudes. When we notice traits of indiscipline and declining values, we convey it to the parents and invite them for an interaction in order to plan a better path for the child. There are a few ways parents respond to this.

Some parents refuse to come to school for consultation with teachers. This might be due to ego (of wealth, of high ranking jobs, etc) or due to discomfort (inability to make time due to work, laziness, shyness, etc). For the ones who aren't comfortable, I cannot stress the importance of taking a few days in a year to raise your child in a responsible manner. If the child is not high in the priority of parents, then he/she might not reach his/her maximum potential. For the ones with ego, there is no solution since the parents (in the delusion of their perfection) will never agree that their parenting methods might need to change. This is soon followed by blaming the teachers at home (often in front of kids) and indirectly instilling this idea in the child's head that it is always the school's fault. How can parents then expect children to respect anyone if his/her teachers are undermined at home? As parents, we need to be careful of what we say in front of our children since every casual conversation (the ones we have daily, and without thought) also frames the child's values and attitude.

Another way parents often respond is by saying he/she does not listen to us. In my view, the child listens to your actions, your behaviour, your attitude towards others, etc. What he doesn't listen to is your instruction. For example, you cannot expect your child not to raise his/her voice if you are always shouting at someone in front of him. You cannot expect them not to treat domestic help with kindness, if you are always disrespectful towards them. I would reiterate that it is from parents that the child learns the most.

Yet another way parents react is to say that the school and its teachers are not doing their jobs properly, therefore their ward is not doing well in school. Some parents say that they don’t have time for their ward, which is why they have put their wards in DPS. This is by far the most disappointing argument, and is often used by parents who belong to high profile jobs. If we are able to understand that children taught by the same teacher often produce different results, one of the many factors why results are different could also be parents' involvement in the teaching process. I don’t say that you teach them (as parents cannot teach all the subjects in higher classes). But we should interact with the child and should come to school, discuss this with subject teacher and, if need be, meet the Principal for guidance. A part of the teaching process involves feedback. This is where parent-teacher interaction becomes crucial and this interaction should be based in mutual respect and shared responsibility for the sake of the child.

Many parents don’t come to school to meet teachers even on Parents Teacher Meeting days. The parents who are called by school regarding the poor performance or bad behaviour of the child don’t turn up in spite of many reminders.

The recent trend I have observed is that of pampering the child in his/her early years by giving them everything that they ask for. By teenage years, the demands keep rising and the parents start getting troubled. By this stage, the parent would start saying that the kids don't listen to them. Instead of introspecting, they take the easier path to blame the child, his/her friends, their teachers, the school, everyone except themselves. They are reluctant to scold the child as that would imply a fault in their parenting. The school is then expected to make them better individuals (and that too without scolding, since the same set of parents would come storming to the school if their ward is scolded).

My friends, unless both the parents and school join hands and develop good relations (without ego), not much can be done about the deteriorating performance of the children. For the sake of your wards, please forget about your posts/wealth and remember only your role as parents when you come to school. I have made such an appeal to each one of you earlier as well.

Dear friends, the school is a place of learning, not just of students, but also teachers and parents. We can learn to become better parents and better teachers. This is where the feedback system comes in. And this feedback cannot be one-way. The ultimate stakeholders here are the children.

My main aim as a teacher and a Principal has been to produce good citizen for future society. As far as my memory goes, in last 3 decades, the school has produced an outstanding set of individuals living across the world. Our alumni has people working in administrations, legal profession, engineers, doctors, defence personnel, teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.

I feel proud to serve as the Principal of this school. Parents and students should also feel proud of being associated with DPS Ranipur.

With best wishes for the year 2017-2018,

Session 2017-18