Engaging effectively with children

PROVIDING SUPPORT

Engaging effectively with children

Parenting was never an issue in our culture. Time tested practices ensured our children grew up to be healthy individuals. We had a lived in time where joint families were the norm and everybody in the family contributed to parenting in their own ways.

Today, the way we parent  and live has changed. Both the parents work to lead a quality life with sufficient income. Parents do not have adequate time to take care of the needs of children. We may hefty fees for a good school but we know that the home environment cannot be created at school. The problem is not limited to our country. It is a worldwide problem. 

Parents cannot take it for granted that schools alone would be responsible for all the needs and concerns of the children. Conscious efforts have to be made by parents too to address the requirements of their wards. A joint effort in a cooperative manner supplementing each other helps resolving the issue.

Lending a hand

Psychologists would typecast parents from ‘authoritative- demanding’ to ‘permissive- supportive’ extremes. The authoritarian parents are over protective and possessive about their wards. While the permissive supportive parenting style helps the students to flourish in a warm and threat free environment. Parents guide their wards with love and affection.

Parents need to engage their children with how they spent their day and take an active interest in them. Some of the following ideas are worth trying out by parents at home:

Consistency: Parents have to be consistent in dealing with their children. If the father happens to be a strict disciplinarian and the mother is doting darling for the child, a confusing signal would be sent. As for as possible, both parents need to be on the same  wavelength when dealing with their children. A child should not get away with a wrong doing by going to someone who knows would look away. Parents are role models for their children. Hence it is very important for them to behave themselves in a dignified manner at all times.

 Positive self image: The child should accept the way he or she is physically or mentally. Parents should avoid comparisons. All good deeds should be appreciated. As Gandhiji said, hate the sin and not the sinner. The child should also to be taught be happy and comfortable with oneself.

 Helping children settle in school: An uninspiring school atmosphere can distress the child. Attempts need to be made to have healthy adjustments. Parents are to be
sensitive to the child’s perceptions of the school and its events. The concerns of the child should be respected and it should be voiced with to the school authorities in an acceptable way. Parent-Teacher Meets is the ideal forum to air common issues regarding school. Private meetings with head of the institution, informal meetings with teachers can help in this regard. There should be zero tolerance towards instances of sexual harassment, bullying and ragging; they should be brought to the notice of the school authorities immediately. The child should be able to confide such concerns with parents.

Nurturing Creativity:  Every parent has been baffled by a torrent of questions posed by the kids at preschool stage. But somehow schools are successful in curbing this natural urge and make them accept things in a submissive mode. Parents can play a vital role in nurturing creativity and provide many oppurtunties to do it. This will ensure intellectual, emotional and physical growth.

Hobbies and interests: Each child should pursue at least one hobby in addition to specialising in an outdoor game. Activities like reading, bird watching, and dramatics can be some worthwhile  pastimes. The child should take up at least one outdoor game such as badminton, football, volley ball etc. These pursuits help students develop as balanced individuals.

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