Parent involvement in education is like the frosting on a cupcake, it makes it complete and oh so sweet. Swami Chinmayananda has rightly advised parents, “Don’t just invest on the child. Also invest in the child”. Parents mostly get involved in fulfilling basic necessities like secular education, supplying food, clothing, shelter etc. What they fail is to empower the child with a strong character and holistic development of the head, heart and soul. The most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents. When parents are engaged in their children’s school lives and children have the home support they develop a lifelong love for learning. Although it is true there is no single correct method of good parenting, let’s take a few parent involvement and engagements tips in ensuring the happiness of the child.
Firstly, you are privileged to have a child – your child- the bundle of joy – should be nurtured and supported. They should not be considered as an investment for the parent’s future.
Secondly, allow for more interaction between parent and the child – Go for a walk/ cycling/ or long drives together.
Help them to be more organised – Provide different coloured racks for storing files, books and stationery and also attractive holders for pen, sketch pen etc. Help the child remember the place where each thing is to be stored and make best use of available space and resources.
Read to the child, point out the names of new objects and meanings of new words – Early reading also helps in building vocabulary. Regular reading habit will enable the child to even write creatively. This will further lead to high self-esteem, curiosity and ambition.
Have fun time – Children indeed treasure play time. Parent involvement will bring them closer. Parents can teach them new games. They should also share the games of their own childhood days.
Dinner should be considered as a family time – The family should avoid watching TV and answering phone calls during dinner time. Parents and children should discuss about their day and what positives they learnt during that day.
Pray Together – A family that prays together stays together. Dedicate some time to thank almighty. Parents and Children should pray at the beginning of the day or before having meals. This help in creating a positive mind set.
Explain different rituals in society – Parents should inform child about why we light a lamp in the temple, why we say “Namaste”, why we touch the feet of elders, positive effects of prayer and meditation. All rituals have a specific reason. It is essential that a child is explained about them rather just telling the child to adhere to them.
Assign home duties – It is also essential to give responsibility to child. Parents can ask children to share house duties like making their own bed, lay the table or clearing the dishes after every meal etc. The child should be made to realise that as a family member it is their duty to lend a helping hand without expecting anything in return.
Parents should be ready to listen anything at any time – Parents should be open when the child wants to speak to them. Parents should drop all their work, if the child seems upset or sad to give undivided attention.
Discuss the child’s fear – Parents should probe gently to help their child come out with fears. Parents can also discuss their own fears with the child and tell them how they overcame it. The child should be told that it’s ok to be scared but one should make efforts to overcome fears either on one’s own or with help from others.
Reinforce habits and values – When the child tells their parent the truth even though the child is guilty, the parent should appreciate the child that he is telling the truth but must also make the child realise that what he has done is wrong and he must willingly face the consequences.
Read aloud Indian mythological tales – Indian mythological tales contains a treasure of knowledge and information. Parents should read out the stories not only for the enjoyment but also to relate the incidents and morals to everyday life.
Discuss the child’s friends and their relationship – Parents should always be aware of their child’s friends and their surroundings. Parents could find about the child’s relationships by asking them questions like “Did you make up with the friend you fought with yesterday.”
Make Yourself Truly Attractive – A child is influenced by so many things – the TV, neighbours, teachers, school, and a million other things. He will go the way of whatever he finds most attractive. As a parent, you have to make yourself in a way that the most attractive thing he finds is to be with the parents. If you are a joyous, intelligent, and wonderful person, he won’t seek company anywhere else. For anything, he will come and ask his parents.