It is a strange feeling to write this article. . . I am aware that I am not superhuman…. I do the same job as thousands of other dedicated Educators who try to make a difference.
Like all educators, I fail constantly too..!! I don’t get enough sleep…. I lie awake in the early morning hours, worrying about my weak students who have to face the Board Exams and wonder how best my staff & me can help them out. ! !
Being an educator is really not an easy task.
For 24 years now, I have spent majority of my time in school because of a little talent and a lot of luck, I have been fortunate to receive some recognition for my work. Not a day goes by when I do not feel overwhelmed by the love & respect I have got from my students & parents alike. I thought I must share two very important things every parent must do to help their child succeed, which I’ve learned over the years as an educator & and as a parent myself.
Almost twelve hours a day, six days a week, forty eight weeks a year our children are immersed in a world of English, Mathematics , History, Geography, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and are also busy with so many varied extra curricular activities. Every parent wants them to succeed in everything. I don’t claim to have the perfect recipe for success, I’m here only to share some of the ideas I have found useful.
I am sad when I see so many parents surrender to forces that sap their child’s potential to succeed!!
Each defeat usually means that a child’s true potential has not been explored to the fullest. Why do parents spend so much money to send their children to the best of schools or spend so much time and money in planning for the future of their children?
Most of us might say, “Because we didn’t have all these opportunities when we were young” but I strongly think the answer really is that we all want our children to succeed as individuals… Isn’t it dear parents??? We all want our children to have the necessary skills and ability to lead a successful and independent life, to earn a living, to make the right decisions in life and to protect them from being manipulated by others etc.
There are a million factors why a child could fail or succeed in life (e.g. Choice of friends, school , habits, family role models, peer pressure etc) But for now let’s talk about 2 simple things that we as parents can do to help our child succeed…!!
LET THEM BE THE TEACHER SOMETIMES
Most of the times parents are short of time , and because of this sometimes we want to do everything ourselves , speak up for everything, show everything to our child so that they “get it” FASTER. Sadly enough, because of this, sometimes the child is robbed of the opportunity to understand the learning process.
It is because he or she did not get the opportunity to think through the process himself, because he/she did not feel the pain from the consequences of the decision they made, the likely result is that he/she will not remember the lesson. As such, starting from little things, try to let him be the teacher without interrupting or telling him the “better method” immediately.
Listen, don’t judge prematurely and encourage them to explain why and how they are going to approach a matter. Sometimes you might be surprised at their “inferior method” but please make it a point be proud of his logical explanation. By encouraging them to speak up, you are also honing their thought process and communication ability.
When you really listen, you make them feel special, and they will in turn reciprocate by showing you the same level of respect when you speak or share your ideas in future.
Children are a naturally curious bunch – that’s why as babies, we need to watch over them 24 hours to make sure they don’t wander off, split things apart or make a mess.
Many a times as parents, we make the mistake of over-protecting them. “Don’t let him pack his school bag, he might forget something”, “Don’t let her touch the flower vase, she might break them” or “Don’t let her wear her shoes herself, she might not buckle them properly”. In the end, our children become anything but independent. Over time, our over-protection stifles their natural desire for learning and exploration. The lack of environmental stimulation inhibits their mental development and in the process, kills their original love for self-learning. Within certain safety limits, allow your child to explore his surrounding environment. Or look for ways to encourage his curiosity. When your child asks you questions (even seemingly tiresome stupid ones) instead of shutting him off or saying “I don’t know”, “Don’t’ disturb me now”, “Can you go and ask Grandpa”, instead ask him what he thinks should be the reason or ask him to try and come up with a solution..
Dear Parents, the type of environment your child grows up in is critical.
That is why I would like to advice you to stop being over protective and spoon feeding your child with everything instead please try to discover the talents lying latent in your children which will aim to develop their natural inclination towards self-learning. It’s objective is to help your child reach his fullest potential and in turn succeed in whatever he undertakes to accomplish.
Tina Olyai, M.S. is the award-winning founder Director of Little Angels High School in Mahadji Nagar, India. She has been honored as an outstanding and visionary educator and has launched numerous empowerment programs for youth. She regularly appears in the media for her remarkable innovations in education and for more information visit: lahs.org
Tina is also a Co-author of the new book Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways to Improve Your Grades Faster.