Role Of The School And The Home
The relationship between the parents, the school and the home environment is a mutually complimentary one. All three are responsible for the emotional, social, physical and intellectual development of the child. Each brings its unique strengths to the process of education. The school alone cannot address all the developmental needs of the child.
Children learn best when all the significant adults in their lives – parents, teachers, family and community members work together to encourage and support them. This can happen when communication between the school and the parents is continuous, reciprocal, interactive and open.
Our parents attended the neighbourhood school and more often than not, their teachers lived in the same neighbourhood. Teachers and parents found plenty of occasions to interact with each other and discuss the child’s progress. Children heard the same messages from both and understood that they were expected to uphold the same values at home and at school.
Today, society has become more complex and demanding. There is a disconnect between the educators and the parents. There is a communication gap between the parents and their children. Yet children continue to learn; they learn about values and relationships when they enter the classroom. They do not cease learning academics and attitudes about learning when they are at home. They constantly observe how their parents, other family member and teachers treat one another, how decisions are made and executed and how problems are solved.
All the experiences that children have, both at home and in the school build their feelings of self worth and competency, their understanding of the world around them, their beliefs and values.
Parenting today, has therefore become more challenging than ever before. There are no tried and tested formulae, no course that a parent can study. But if parents listen to their inner voice – their conscience and follow their instincts, it will help. Raising kids is the toughest of all jobs; it is one for which we are least prepared and yet it is one of the most fulfilling jobs.
Each one of us aspires to be a ‘perfect parent’. Let’s start by becoming a good role model. Children imbibe behavior, values and attitudes by watching their parents. Be aware that you are constantly being watched by your kids. Studies have shown that children, who hit, usually have a role model for aggression at home. Model the traits you wish to see in your child- respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance, gratitude, consistency and perseverance.
Let us make communication a priority. Don’t expect you children to toe the line, always. Even they deserve explanations. Express your expectations and feelings clearly and also allow your child to do so. Be open to your children’s suggestion; negotiate. When you reason with your kids, allow them to understand and participate in the decision making, they will learn in a non-judge mental way. The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.
Lets us be flexible and willing to adjust and not think in ‘Shoulds’. If we always feel let down by our child’s behavior, perhaps we have unrealistic expectations! As our child grows, we need to change our parenting styles- a toddler and a teenager will need different strategies.
Let us show that our love is unconditional. We do need to confront our kids but avoid blaming, criticizing, fault finding as all these undermine self esteem and lead to resentment. Address the behaviour and avoid labeling. Your love does not depend on their behaviour. It is there, no matter what.
Let us make time for our kids. Schedule together- time; have one meal together, do some chores together, watch your favourite movie together, take a walk after dinner. While we do this let us suppress the urge to preach, to lecture. Let us instead listen to them, encourage them to talk about their experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Lets us be consistent with our discipline. A common mistake we parents make is failure to follow through with consequences. We can’t discipline them for talking back one day and ignore it the next. Remember the goal of discipline is not to inculcate fear but to help kids choose acceptable behaviour and develop self control so that they grow into responsible adults.
Lets us face it there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Let’s just be real ones. Each one of us has strengths and limitations, let us recognize and accept them. This will help us have realistic expectations from ourselves, our spouse and our kids. It is not possible to have all the answers, all the time. Let us focus on areas that need most attention rather than trying to address everything all at once.
Let us take time out to do things that will make us happy as a person, happy as a couple and hence, happy parents who raise happy souls!
Parenting is not a practice.
It is neither just a skill or an art.
It is a daily learning experience
At school, the teacher is the parent; parenting the child is, therefore not just the parents’ prerogative. The School and the home; the teacher and the parent all together nurture the child.