Learning and education are supposed to be the most important parts in our lives. Learning is a life-time process, it never stops. What role does good old SCHOOL play in it? And what is the role of us, parents?
What we have probably all learned from our experiences in life, is that school definitely doesn’t prepare you for the real life and how to survive in it.
We’re forgetting that we are learning for us, our knowledge, so we know more and we can use it later in life. But somehow now it seems like the school system is all about grades and competition.. Kids learn only for good grades, even more, for their parents, so they get praised for good grades and school success. There seems to be a belief that the better you are in school, more opportunities you will get in life. But does it really mean that?
As a parent I believe it is my duty to make my children understand that this is not the case. Even though I was an A student in elementary and high school, even in college, I never considered myself privileged. If anything, I envied the ones, that were more relaxed, not stressed about getting good grades, while they weren’t under constant pressure (that is what happens when you’re a good student – doesn’t it?).
The kids don’t know the real meaning of grades, but they understand their parent’s REACTION to the grades they are getting. They will react on the bad mood of the parents, they will feel unsuccessful, incapable..
Parents have very important role in this school process. But what is happening today in schools is something that was never before an issue.. I’m talking in third person here. I’m writing from experience with talking to other parents, listening about it and just stressing out the problem that truly concerns me.
Homework, the basic element of school learning, became a tool trough which more and more parents control their kid’s popularity with the teachers and good grades and therefore make them the best in class..How? By doing the Homework for them! How did this happen? What exactly does this behaviour tell kids? That they are not capable of doing it themselves? That they are not good enough? That parents can make it better than them?
Why? What is the point of doing this? Kids will eventually loose motivation, feel their own inability to do anything. And it will not stop in school, this will follow them later in life, when they will be unable to make decisions and unable to take responsibility for their actions. They will be passive, always waiting for solution to come to them. Perhaps that is not the intention of any parent but it will be the result of their doing.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always help my kids with homework if they need it. I will help them with learning, I will read with them, sing with them. Whatever they need help with. But the word is HELP not DO..A big, big difference! And I will never expect perfection. I learned it the hard way, so I know better for my kids.
We as parents have to be involved in the process of learning but in a way where we know how to motivate our child. It is our job to teach them to express emotions, make them strong personalities with a sense of responsibility and ability to make decisions and stand for themselves. We as parents are the most important teachers in our kid’s life. No school will teach them how to survive in the world. We have to.
School teaches languages, maths, biology,…the knowledge foundation on which our kids will build their professional life. But how they use this knowledge in real life is our job. It is called the school of life.
We as parents have to guide our children, provide information, not force it. Encourage them, give them challenges. Keep them motivated. Give them goals or better yet, set the goals with them not for them, when they are old enough to understand the meaning of goals. Set the boundaries, because boundaries make it easier for them to manage decisions. Give them discipline. Teach them about hard work. If we criticize, let’s criticize only the behaviour not our child’s personality. Again, big difference that shows in child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Talk to them, listen to them. They need to feel that they are accepted, that they have our support, that we are there for them at any moment. Let them express their feelings, not just joy but also sadness, anger, concern, fear. Only then will they feel accepted and safe.
So, my dear kids, what I want to teach you is that…
- Have goals and challenges in your life.
- Work hard to achieve them.
- When it gets hard, push harder.
- Always finish what you start.
- Feel proud of what you achieve! Give yourself credit for it.
- It’s OK to fail. It’s OK to fall. Never be ashamed of failure.
- Failure will make you stronger, braver and will make you cherish the good things even more.
- Never be ashamed to ask for HELP!
- Cry when you feel like crying. Laugh as much as you can!
- Life is a rollercoaster. Ups and downs along the way. Don’t be afraid of it!
- Take responsibility. Stand behind your decisions. Admit your mistakes.
- Be honest. To yourself and to others.
- I am here for you. Always. No matter what.
- I love you.