The miles to go before I sleep...

  • Start teaching science at school and incorporate demo
  • Research, design, implement comprehensive teaching module on science, civic sense
  • Interview social change agents working @ ground level
  • Pilot peer-to-peer teaching programme

Monday, February 12, 2007


"I am really amazed at how she has changed. She is so mature now. I am glad I that sent her out for her higher studies. I think that experience changed her for the better!"

It is a well-establised fact that venturing outside instills a lot of value to one's character. When parents see the difference when kids come home after a prolonged absence, they are always delighted. But there is one thing parents more often miss to give a thought about. What is the primary factor that has contributed to the change? The answer, independence, though simple, actually has more questions to explore. Is "the outside" so out of reach it so miserably fails to have an impact on them when kids stay with parents? Why does one have to step in to the outside to learn from it? With correct parental mindset, the answer is "Nothing!".

Sure parents are protective. That is presumably part of the parental DNA. But protection and love are only part of what a parents can offer. It is high time that one more thing gets included in the list to ensure that their kids need not wait to get out to live to make that "jump". Independence. With the observational knowledge I gather that one easy way to nudge kids towards independence is Delegation.

Parents can offload some work on your kid and let him/her handle it. While reducing work-load on themselves, this can offer priceless lessons on soft-skills like team-work, say when siblings work together while helping to clean the kitchen. More crucial point of time is while the correcting errors, when parents tend to "spoon-feed" or "just get it over with". A little patiece and a nudge towards "self-correction" in the form of questions like "What do you think exactly went wrong?"..."and how do you correct it?" should help a great deal in improving reasoning ability".

Small initiatives like giving a larger denomination of money to buy something will help in applying simple, mental mathematics and instill negotiation skills early. Morning newspaper may be a good time to teach how to look-up a dictionary as well as impelling reading, contary to watching TV, as a primary source of entertainment. When dinner time discussions are confined to relevant and progressive subjects and kept on a positive tone, it will be a good source of insight, inspiration and consequently bonding and respect.

Come to think of it, nothing that is mentioned so far is really new or insightful. How come, then, these points go out of the window at the moment of truth? Honestly, I have had a taste of being over-protective and over-reactive with someone I care about. I guess, I will learn the resit only when I step into their shoes. But I guess that is the interesting challenge that parents should acknowledge and rise up to face it.

To conclude, I can recall a plenary of adage that I have known for a while without really understanding their meaning. For now, the list reduces by two..

- நல்லதொரு குடும்பம் பல்கலைக்கழகம்.

(A good family is a university)

- A family that eats together stays together.

Disclaimer: This is not "Parenting for dummies", but a feedback for the oldies.


Driver said...

I am not so sure of this. Maybe early 20s is the "right" time to venture out and our parents let us go because they have the confidence in the decisions we make. The system which is in place right now for a typical "Indian family" is working and should remain unaltered.

Badhri said...

"...our parents let us go because they have the confidence in the decisions we make."

Either that or they feel that there is a need for us to learn things the harder way.

Confidence comes with experience which in turn comes, not with advise, but with exposure. My point here is exposure can start from when kids live at home rather than a hostel. That imparts experience when learning is much more active - when one is young.

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

//A family that eats together stays together.//

Nice saying.. Have never heard it b4 :)

Nice post 2. I guess these days every1 is cautious about not raising his/her kids naive :)

mystery said...

I totally agree with you..right amount of exposure in the correct time will make a diff in a childs life...and family plays a big role in it...
kids start to learn from the time they are born...but what to teach them is the hands for their parents...

n i think after certain age one should be able to live alone without the help of their parents...which will provide them exposure to build their life...
enna solra??

Badhri said...

Aathi, naan ennatha solla! athaan solla vendiyathellam solliyache! :)

Badhri said...

Nya koracchu differndu. I don't have a kid yet! As I said, this is just a feedback for oldies. But I get your point!