Many people will easily argue that the greatest gift to children is an education. Whilst most agree with this statement, some may disagree with the many references to education meaning a matric, and or, a degree. Without playing down the importance of a qualification, there is so much more to education. Education is about life.
Great emphasis is placed on the role of the school and the responsibility the school carries in educating young lives. Despite the greatest schools in this country, with the best teachers, facilities and opportunities, children will still learn the most important lessons in their lives from their parents.
It will not be what parents say to their children that will teach them all the lessons of life they need to learn. It is what they do, how they treat others, and how they live and manage their lives that children learn from. Children mirror their parents’ actions, their speech patterns, their very intonation and body language is echoed in the way they address others. They continually watch to see whether their parents practice what they preach. Parents’ actions sanction those of their children.
Parents need to instill eternal values. Values that support the upliftment of our society with respect and tolerance, a default mode that a child will always return to.
An important decision a parent makes is the selection of a school that will best fit and support the values of the family. Schools want to help you raise sons and daughters – all heroes in their own right, but are you as a parent striving for the same values and supporting your child’s school and teacher? If not, you will create a dissonance that confuses your child.
“They say education is important, but they are always saying bad things about my school and the teachers, so can I do the same?”
Children experience the greatest success when their parents enter into a partnership with the school. Working together, planning together, succeeding together, failing together, laughing together, crying together, encouraging and supporting one another.
School has a major role to play in any child’s life, but parents remain the primary educator. Parents need to be parents for their children to thrive. Parents who want to be their child’s friend will lose out on the greatest gift of all – that of being a parent. Choose to be the role model your child wishes to be.
By Viviene du Preez, Teacher at The Bridge Assisted Learning School