EVERY time a school holiday beckons, I write about a possible holiday ‘burden’ for parents and guardians. My focus has always been on the challenges that come with staying with children at home and the possible sudden freedom for children with parents who are often on the move. The walls of the ‘school prison’ come tumbling down as students find themselves away from strict school rules.
Now, the longest school holidays have already started. Students will be at home for around six weeks. They have not had such a long holiday at this time of the year for as long as I can remember. There is no better time for parents to connect with their children on both social and academic fronts.
A myriad of academic, social and discipline challenges that students face in school can be associated with a disconnect of sorts in their families. This is not always far from the relationship between parents or towards their children.
Let us start with the grades that children bring home at the end of the term. What was your reaction? Did you freak out or keep quiet in the event that your child had the worst grades in class?
Some parents compare their children with other intelligent classmates who score highly yet, this fronting creates despair in a child. Instead of making comparisons, sermonising the child to compete in his class and creating other polarities, parents should be patient and understand their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Parents need to care and appreciate their children’s efforts. I have personally watched and heard sharp reactions from teenagers who think that their parents have a low opinion about them. They always expect rebuff from parents to a point that even when it is justified, they take it as a product of mere vendetta rather than fact.
Caring relationships have proved to be the most powerful disciplinary and learning tool for children. Parents have the most important and enduring relationships with their children. Children learn more from their home environments than elsewhere.
Parents should establish a few family rules and should stick to them. If children learn to be obedient while at home, it will be easier for them at school. The follow-ups of these little but primal elements in life by parents and teachers will not let the child get bogged down by anxiety, phobias, academic and socialisation plights.
To safeguard the future of their children and to bridge the gap between their children, parents have to bring a cluster of changes in their own behaviour and personalities. Ensure that the state of anguish being brought in the lives of their children by the tentative emotional forces running rampant in the adolescent mind of the child should not go unheeded in any case or on the pretext of being a subject of taboo. Parents should also ensure that they are least absorbed in their own lives and careers and try to spend most of their time with their child, this holiday.