“No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato
As Bhutan has developed, the issue of dealing with difficult, delinquent and even criminal behavior by the youth has become a problem particularly in the urban centres. Our over-crowded schools are unfairly expected to ensure good discipline and it is no surprise that most have not been so successful. As with any problem, the first part of finding a solution is to identify the cause of the problem. Why do students misbehave, act up, play truant, disrespect others? According to a BBC study, bad parenting has been identified as one of the causes. Are YOUR poor parenting skills contributing to your child’s misbehavior in school and elsewhere? Are you parenting enough?
One of the most common challenges many teachers deal with is a lack of respect from students. When parents disrespect teachers at home by talking about them in a negative manner, this disrespect carries through the child at school. After all, if Apa and Ama think the teacher is not not worthy of respect, why shouldn’t their child feel the same? And when their child begins to disrespect the teacher, they start sharing their disrespectful feelings with their friends potentially setting a negative trend.
Children who are well-behaved at home rarely have discipline issues at school. Parents who allow their children to get away with anything at home can only expect the same behavior at school. Discipline problems at school frequently stem from a lack of discipline at home. Parents may not want to be unpopular with their children, but allowing children to run free and do as they please from an early age will be of little benefit to them in their future.
There are always things we don’t necessarily want to do in life, but we do them because we know we have to. Your children need to learn how to be tolerant, of both people and life situations.
Your children need to learn how to be willing to respect others, regardless of whether or not they agree with them. Your child won’t always have the best teacher in the world, but if you can teach your child how to be respectful and self-disciplined, they will be much more likely to succeed in their classes. Your child may not always agree with what is to be done or how, but accepting that they can’t always have things their way will go a long way in learning to adjust with the realities of life.
Children need quality time with their parents, yet in our busy lives we find increasingly less of it for them. For some it is even worse when families split as this can create a sense of insecurity in young minds. Things usually become worse when divorced parents re-marry making both homes less welcome than before. It is natural in these circumstances for children to ‘act up’ and unfortunately most parents are unable to deal with it. Giving toys and money is for many parents, the preferred (and futile) solution. It is in the nature of people to seek company that makes them feel welcomed or loved. If this is lacking in their homes, children will seek it elsewhere making many of them vulnerable to the cliched ‘bad company’ that all parents are so worried about.
And as many Bhutanese shift from the community-oriented village life styles, where the risks were few and bonds tight, to the far more anonymous lifestyle of the urban centres, many parents are learning – often too late – that the unstructured and unsupervised traditional style of upbringing no longer works. Globalization has made every corner a potential centre of vice and parental guidance is necessary for children to sidestep the pitfalls.
Parenting is today a much more involved responsibility that demands diligence and creativity as never before.