The family of this little girl learning math has come out and spoken about the video and in this entire episode there is a strong message for teachers, schools, parents, families, society and the government. Its time we learned from this video episode:
For teachers and schools:
Why are open houses a platform where the blame of the child’s behavior or non-performance is passed on to the parents? Its time schools and teachers took ownership and realized that ‘they’ are the educators so they will have to guide the parents firmly, passionately and with a knowledge based on the fact that when you criticize a child to its parent, it wounds the ego and self worth of the parent who then is hurt and angry and removes it on the child. This is exactly what happened to this mother, the teachers were constantly complaining to the mother that the girl is naughty (if children wont be naughty then WHO WILL BE?!!) and that the girl did not know her numbers or did not do her work. Take ownership with the parents and say during open house- “ we have observed that your child is very intelligent and does require some support while completing her work, so as her teacher I suggest that I will do the following in school to support her and you can do the following at home. Let us meet again and compare notes on what is helping and what is not so that we can change our method and make it more suitable to her needs.”
For the parents:
If a school complains about your child (foolish school!) it does not mean the end of the world. Your child’s first supporter is you and when you also go against your child and start getting angry, upset and stressed out then it leaves your child nowhere. Don’t do that to your child. Ask the teacher what she would like you to do and if the teacher puts her hands up and says ‘I give up’ then it is time to rethink about the school. Open houses are for sharing about the concerns that the school feels can come in the way of the child’s success and finding solutions together, not a blame game or passing the parcel! Open houses are a celebration of the child’s success in every domain and not an event for parents to dread or be bored of.
Stop blaming the child for its inability to ‘perform’ to perfection. When you compare your child to others, check the birth date of your child and the other child, you will notice there is a difference and during the first 8 years even a difference of a month makes a huge difference in the development of every child. So stop getting stressed by teachers and schools, choose wisely. This stress being put on kids is ‘pinching’ your child more than the high fees!
Stop posting your child’s videos and photos on social media, be aware that everyone is not going to be looking at the video or photo you posted from your point of view. For many it would just be the ‘forward’ of the day, don’t make your child a part of these ridiculous social media forwards however hilarious you think the video or photo is. You owe it to your child! Would you like it if when you are old and frumpy, your child posts photos of you unable to perform simple tasks or slipping and falling etc.? There is something called privacy…practice it with your child first!
Stop justifying child abuse (hitting, pinching, slapping, threatening) and start a non-violence policy in your parenting. I have seen many posts on parenting groups that it is easy to say ‘don’t hit your child’ but the child does not listen otherwise. Please remember the child is not ‘listening’ when you ‘hit’, the child is learning to be ‘intimidated’ with your brute force, which in the long term will teach your child to use intimidation with others or get intimidated by others (especially sexual predators).
Stop forwarding posts that come from your family..at least do that! Friends it is ‘social media’ and one cannot stop videos and photos from being forwarded once it reaches social media, it gets a life of its own. For all those who tried to give some conscience to those who were forwarding the video, good for you, but also stop the other videos of children acting funny etc. once a video reaches social media there is no stopping it!
Stop blaming the child and using sentences like- “why are you troubling mummy?” “why don’t you do your homework?” “see mummy is so upset with you” etc. because this will damage the self worth of young children and they will grow up feeling worthless and guilty. Stop putting the guilt on the child. Own up! Take responsibility. Stand up against violence and aggression towards children. Don’t condone it even in your homes.
For the government:
Stop turning a blind eye to the stress being put on little children in preschools in the name of writing, reading, and math. You with your silence are ensuring that these children are growing up with constant stress and grow up to be fractured youth. The foundation years are the most important and you with your silence and confusion about which ministry (women and child development or HRD) should define curriculum framework and guidelines of preschools in all states, are harming the future of this country. Let preschool education not be a concurrent subject in the states.
We have great hopes from this government, so please, its time to have a separate ministry for Early Childhood Care and Education so that schools stop doing this to children and parents. Please act before it’s too late.
To the mother:
I can understand the trauma you must be going through because of the amount of people pointing a finger to you. Don’t blame yourself. Blame the traditional parenting and teaching in our country. You grew up learning that and you are practicing it…not your fault. But I urge you to stop feeling guilty about the video or making your child feel guilty about it. This video has started a conversation and discussion in education and parenting circles and it will bring about change…I am sure. If you need to ever talk about or discuss your parenting issues, seek a mentor, don’t discuss with friends or family members who have no solutions, seek an expert. The Early Childhood Association is there for you, reach out to us by sending a whatsapp on 0981985512 (this is an appeal to all parents). We will help you, mentor you with solutions so that you and your child can both be stress free.
I was a naughty child too and my kindergarten teachers would always complain that I talk too much and cant sit straight, but look at me today, I am successfully using my ‘talkative’ nature to give lectures and travelling from city to city to help teachers, children and parents (cant sit straight!) and I had bad handwriting..today I type!. So your little girl will also grow up to be a successful individual only if you give her the support she deserves. Childhood is about being naughty, ‘not able’ to sit in one place and talking ‘too much’… because children are exploring the world, getting to know themselves and others and when you stop this exploration, you stunt their growth and make them aggressive, impatient, and unruly.
Wipe those tears woman, and go and hug your little girl and face the world and say, “yes, I erred and accepted, but what about you?” Because most mothers and fathers are doing what you are doing…the difference…their videos have not gone viral! We are there for you….and every child and parent.