• January 21, 2020

Educating students involves checking out on the kind of parenting they receive. Good education needs to be accompanied by good parenting. In a country like India, this calls for an extra role from schools, that of being animators of the parents of students.

Everyone speaks about the growth spurt in adolescents, but how many of the parents are conscious of how they should change in the way they relate with their children? Schools can come in at this stage to impart this awareness to parents through parents’ programmes. Handouts to parents usually contain the academic requirements on their wards but with no clue as to the emotional, social or spiritual requirements for being a successful student. The points below may help while speaking to parents.

1. Parenting remains important during adolescence.

As our children enter adolescence, we could be thinking we’re losing our influence. But we’re not. There is no substitute for good parenting during adolescence. Teenagers need parenting based on bonding (knowing they are loved) and monitoring (knowing they have accountability). As peer influence increases, we need to continue acting like parents, offering structure and guidelines.”

2. Parents must recognize the task of enable that task rather than thwart it.

Allow teenagers the space and freedom to pull away from us, to express their individuality, and to gain confidence in their discoveries.

3. The purpose of parenting is for parents to work themselves out of a job.

The purpose of parenting is to care for kids in such a way that they learn to care for themselves. Letting go has two purposes: It gives them independence, and it also gives us independence.

4. See children as gifts, not possessions.

We don’t own our children. They’ve been loaned to us temporarily to raise and let go. Their purpose in life is not to please us but to please God. We must treat them with the same respect we want. We don’t confine them or define them with our expectations.

5. See them as unique

Each child has like and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, dreams and goals. Prayerfully, we seek to know, respect, and kindle the uniqueness of each child, encouraging him or her to become what he or she is meant to be.


When thinking of dealing with parents, one has to acknowledge that they may not always be at the level we would like them to be. Sr. Liilian writes from a remote village in Madhya Pradesh, “All that the parents of my children remember is, that the child was born on a very hot day during the ‘mango season’ three or four years ago, or on a Tuesday evening in winter five years ago…”

And yet we could be effective even with a group like this. Our efficacy would consist in being able to start where they are. As such, we may not be able to share all the ideas we have with them. But the real question is “Are we willing and able to share with them that which they can and must hear?”


A leader is best
When people barely know he exists.
Not so good
When people obey and acclaim him.
Worse when they despise him.
But of a good leader
Who talks little
When his work is done
His aim fulfilled
They will say
“We did it ourselves.”

Lao Tse
(c.565 B.C.)

The adolescent’s growth can be thwarted by adults without knowing it, and sometimes with the best of intentions. Certain attitudes and goals could help adults while trying to help out adolescents:


1. I will change: Changing is everybody’s privilege. Ability to change shows personal power, and effectiveness.
2. I don’t always need to be right: Our adolescents need to be given the feeling of setting themselves right even if it means sometimes telling us how wrong we are. Instead of concentrating on one’s own embarrassment, it helps to rejoice at the way the teenager is growing.
3. I will be patient: One could never have too much of patience. Patience always gives the time that the teenager needs to sort things out for himself/herself.
4. I won’t let my ego get tangled up with their accomplishments: It is such a temptation to say, when my adolescent does poorly, I feel myself a failure. We need to check on how we are ready to respect them as separate from us.
5. I won’t over rescue: Over rescuing deprives the adolescent from experiencing the pains, and joys involved in growing up. This is true even if he/she is deeply grateful for what we do. It is he/she who is growing, not us.


Teacher selection determines to a great extent, the kind of climate we maintain in a school. What does a selector look for in an applicant? James E. Walker and Thomas M. Shea, Behaviorists, suggest several personal traits that effective teachers appear to have in common, and so, which can serve as a criteria for teacher-selection.

Self-insight: They know why they wish to work with children. They have an understanding of why they engage in the activities that make up a teacher’s lifestyle.

Self-acceptance: They accept themselves as they are but seek to improve themselves. They are realistically confident in themselves and their capability to be effective but are not overconfident of their abilities as to be considered naïve; they do not have an “I can do anything” attitude. They can make honest and forthright statements concerning their strengths and weaknesses without excuses.

Love and acceptance of children: They love and are able to demonstrate their love for children. They understand that love for children. They understand that love and compliance are not identical. Sometimes love is demonstrated through discipline. They accept children as worthwhile human beings even though they must at times reject a child’s behavior. They are capable of accepting, without reservation, individuals who are different from themselves, no matter what the difference.

An understanding of the behaviour of children: They not only understand human behavior at a cognitive level but are also able to empathize with children who manifest deviancy. They continually seek insight and understanding into such a child’s behavior.

Curiosity and willingness to learn: They have a bit of the child in their adult person. Like children, they are curious about their environment and enthusiastically explore it. They enjoy learning.

Patience with self and others: They realize that they are imperfect and that they make mistakes. They also recognize this quality in others. They realize that learning is a slow, complex process for many individuals. However, they continually strive to attain learning goals for themselves and their students.

Teachers Who Cannot Laugh Will Certainly Cry

Flexibility: They are flexible. They know when to change a lesson, intervention, or activity for the benefit of the students and when to change in order to attain a broader objective.

Humour: They have a well-developed sense of humor. Mistakes, accidents, and humorous happenings occur in the classroom daily. They are capable of laughing at themselves and with their students. They never laugh at their students.

Teachers become models for the children they instruct. For better or worse, children will probable model at least some of their behavior after a teacher. It is of questionable value for children to have teachers who are highly skilled and knowledgeable in specific subject areas and activities but who lack the capacity to understand and accept themselves and their students.

Everybody thinks of
changing humanity
and nobody thinks of
changing himself.
-Leo Tolstoy