BY: Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
It is the time of school examinations and subsequent summer vacation. This is an important turn in your child’s life. He or she is going to complete one year studies and is ready to stride towards the next class. At this stage of time, there are many things that should concern parents and the elder family members.
Children are the most valuable asset of a family and of a nation. They are to inherit the burden of responsibility to run a home, a society and even a nation. It is not so easy to bring up a child. It takes so much time, energy, understanding and wisdom. If the children are well-handled and well nourished they are transformed into civilized citizens and bring peace and honour to their family and country.
The children at their tender age are more vulnerable to contract physical, moral and spiritual diseases. Therefore, this age is very much significant for them and this increases the responsibility of parents many a fold. This is a stage of life from where the nature, habit and behaviour takes its direction. If the orientation of a child is not set right the same tender and little boy turns into violent and criminal man. Of course, every criminal or bad person today has surely been a child at a previous time. It is not so that only children at unhealthy and poor environment develop bad habits and criminal mentality but there are many a heinous and monstrous acts and crimes that are being perpetrated by those who have been nourished even a better and healthful environment.
ROLE OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS
Parents and teachers are the best models and ideals for a child. Undoubtedly, the first school of a child is his or her mother’s lap. From there he unconsciously is inculcated good and bad habits. With the passage of time these habits grow and gain strength. If the overall development environment for a child is better he is instilled good character, but when the home environment does not offer the necessary support structure then he takes a wrong direction.
Therefore, it is recommended that the environment of a home should be quite healthy in term of morality and spirituality. The parents should get rid of family conflicts and domestic violence. This is common problem of younger ones in this era, when at the tenderness of his and her age the child witnesses breaking of ties rather than experiencing warmth of love and sympathy. The weakening of the family unit reduces it to be no longer able to function as a support system and to be able to supply the children with a sense of stability. AAs a reaction to the stress in the environment and lack of parenting skills their physical, moral and spiritual growth is affected.
It is the parents who can know their child better. Hence, they should try to evaluate the potentiality and capability of their child and provide him with necessary support. The limits and capabilities of child should neither be underestimated nor overestimated. And, once they are identified correctly should be given full freedom to function properly.
Teachers spend so much time with their students; therefore they also play an important part in shaping the life of a child. But, it is a tragic fact of our time that student-teacher relation has been reduced to a commercial level. Teachers shirk their duty of being a role model and avoid treating their students as their children.
AVOID GIVING STRESS OR PRESSURE
Due to overloaded education system and competitive environment in school and home the children are burdened to perform better beyond their limits and energy. Sometimes, the parents and in many cases school teachers exert a pressure on students to excel. This leaves many harmful consequences upon a child. Childhood and adolescence is a time when ordinary levels of stress are heightened by physical, psychological, emotional and social changes.
It is no doubt is a universal fact that all fingers are not equal. The children vary in mental power, understanding, vision, taste and natural orientations. In schools and studies some are brilliant and sharp-minded while some are lazy and dull. But, it does not mean that the dull ones are of no use. There is not a minor thing created useless by Allah in this universe so what about a human being! It is our duty to discover the inner abilities hidden in a person and utilize it in the right direction.
Some boys or girls may be slow in studies, but they must be having some other qualities that might not exist in their brilliant fellows. So, the task of the teacher and parents is to identify their skill and deal with them accordingly. Some teachers intentionally or unintentionally end up putting a lot of pressure on youngsters. It is due to the unhealthy student teacher ratio in Indian schools. Teachers as a result fail to deal with students on an individual basis. Stress and pressure is not necessarily a bad thing; it can often push students to a better performance. But, what is needed is a positive parenting and teaching skill that opens communication channels and provides the child a chance to prosper in his or her field. We should not expect from every one the same performance.
The pressure on children to score high should be moderated, both by parents and schools. Because, when they feel like they can't fulfil their wishes and can't satisfy hopes of parents they tend to adopt escapist measures such as drugs, withdrawal, and even some succumb to the pressures of exams and competition. Suicide among teenagers was a syndrome that was known only with West till recently. But, now our own country India is witnessing an alarming upward trend of suicides among the younger generation. The highest suicide rate in the world has been reported among young women in South India. Suicide is one of the commonest causes of death among young people. Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death among children aged 5-14 years, and the third leading cause of death among all those 15-24 years old. The latest mean worldwide annual rates of suicide per 100 000 were 0.5 for females and 0.9 for males among 5-14-year-olds, and 12.0 for females and 14.2 for males among 15-24-year-olds, respectively. In most countries, males outnumber females in youth suicide statistics. Though female teens are much more likely to attempt suicide than males, male teens are four times more likely to actually kill themselves.
However, one of the main problems with our education system is that it has been made a commercial establishment rather than an educational organization. The target of education has been set fully to materialism and money-fetching industry; whereas it is more moral, spiritual and value-oriented than just earning a piece of bread. Due to this shifting of target and highly competitive society the parents and family members expect their children to surpass the competitions and overtake others.
GIVE THEM SOME TIME AND SHARE MATTERS
Today, mostly in cities and towns the parents are so busy and engaged in their daily routine that they find very little time for their children. This state of affairs is not a good thing for your child. Therefore, a generous emotional, material and intellectual support is necessary to have a child happy and confident. The lack of support and security breeds cconfusion and frustration in children. It is important to maintain open lines of communication with children. Parents need to be as open and as attentive as possible to their children's difficulties and to assure them that they can share their troubles, and gain support in the process. They should be given every opportunity to unburden their troubles and ventilate their feelings.
If you are having more than one child then any one of them should never feel that any injustice or inequality is being done against him or her. Girls deal with issues emotionally compared to boys, who handle their issues aggressively and violently. So they should not feel discouraged, controlled, rejected and abandoned. Do not let him or her unattended, but try to handle them with patience, sympathy and acceptance, and help them develop understanding.
Have you so far thought what programme you have for your child in the ongoing summer vacation? It is a precious time; either you are going to waste it in worthless things or to make it a beneficial period of time for your child. It is very important to chart out constructive programme and study materials that are helpful for developing the mental, moral and spiritual power of your child.
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org