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You are here : home > Child Development > Related Articles for Child Development > If You Are A Parent

If You Are A Parent


Jaswant Kapur writes in and tells us that he was greatly moved by a speech he heard recently, apparently made by Azim Premji. Here is the gist of the message.


If you are a parent, you have many aspirations for your child that may include him or her becoming a doctor, an engineer, scientist or another kind
a parent, of successful professional. I believe these aspirations are driven by your thinking about your child's future, and her centrality in your life.

Since good education is often the passport to a good future, I presume it leads you to getting your child admitted to a good school. Then you encourage your child to study hard and do well in the school exams. To bolster this, you send him or her to tuition classes. This would have primed your child for board exam and entrance exams, thereby leading to admission into a good professional course. Doing well at college increases the probability of your child landing a good job. And a good job means your child's future is ensured.

I am neither a
psychologist nor an educationist, and what I will now state may seem counter-intuitive. I think that these aspirations and actions might be doing more harm than good to your child. To understand why, we need to re-examine some of our fundamental assumptions.

In the first place, I have seen time and again that living for some distant future goal also means you do not live in the present. The distant goal will always translate into an external measure of success, such as exams. And most exam - focused children start forgetting what it means to be a child, to be curious, mischievous, exploring, falling, getting up, relating, discovering, inventing, doing, playing.

Childhood is very precious; precious enough not be wasted by the artificial pressures of contrived competition, by too many hours of bookish study and by school report cards that simplistically wrap up an entire human being in numbers.

The second assumption is that education is merely a ticket to socio-economic success. Given the state of our country, this reality cannot be ignored. But restricting education to only this aspect is, I think, a very limiting notion of the aim of good education. The primary purpose of a school is to guide the child in her discovery of herself and her world, and to identify and nurture the child's talents. Just as every seed contains a tree, each child is born with infinite potential. Imagine a school which sees children as seeds to be nurtured. The teacher is the gardener who helps bring out the potential already present in the child.

This is very different from our current view, which sees a child as clay to be molded - where teachers and parents are potters deciding what shape the clay should take. There is an old (and often forgotten) Chinese saying:


"Give a seed to a potter, and you will get a bonsai".

Even in a commercial organization, to make profits we do not have to chase profits. Rather, we need to build an institution that gives every employee an opportunity to do meaningful and fulfilling work.

Create an organization driven by values of innovation, integrity, customer centricity and care. And as you practice these values everyday and every moment, you will see the profits take care of themselves.

Similarly dear parent, this is my request to you. Do not give up your child's present to secure his or her future. Give your child the freedom to truly explore
creative and life with abandon. In doing this, you will see your child flower into a sensitive human being. And when this happens, everything else - money, social success, security - will fall into place automatically. Let your child be a child.

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Sunil Tatkar.4 years ago
We are conducting a 5 day Outdoor Residential Activity Workshop for 8-14 yr kids in April and May 2013

WHEN (April and May 2013)
Batch 1 : 15th April to 19th April
Batch 2 : 22nd April to 26th April
Batch 3 : 29th April to 3rd May
Batch 4 : 20th May to 24th May

WHAT (ACTIVITIES
- Daily @8-10 hours of exciting indoor + outdoor activities of mind + body for smart personality development
- Hostel-like experience to inspire benefits of being disciplined and doing your own house keeping activities
- Business Management by Kids. L’earn’ to actually make,pack & sell a beautiful product (and make money!)
- Session on Dr. Panat’s method. Mastering to write any math table between 11 to 99 in 30 seconds! Please call for book!
- A day outdoor fun’n’walk in Matheran – a nearby hill station plus horse-riding, and a surprise fun game too!
- Learning from nature and surroundings! Learning a city/terrace farming. Outdoor visit to an organic farm or a scenic hill-top (@ 400 long - wide steps high!) that is a sun-rise as well as a sun-set point, and a brick factory or
village dairy
- Understanding various types of paintings (Oil, Acrylic, Charcoal, Dry Pastel, Water) and a live painting activity session
- Two fun ‘n’ learn to make/cook two healthy food items (and eat it too!)
- Two fun ’n’ learn activities (such as a Magic Show or Astro-gazing or Book Binding or Warli Greeting card)
- Two motivational entertaining videos/activities – Motivating, exciting fun with lots to learn and enjoy
- Daily special sessions on growing children’s positive development needs such as understanding dignity of labor, anger management, failure handling, respect, determination, lateral thinking (game) and positive attitude
- The three dimensions of EPL for significantly improving inter-personal communications (supported with fun elements of singing, dancing, exercising, breathing and articulating / expressing with conviction)
- An innovative learning game called YES3. A framework for achieving synergy between attitude and talent for achieving success by seeing, setting and scoring GOALS, continually,consistently. Solve the Rubik Cube too!
- Individual behavior cum personality assessment. Feedback to bring the best in the child

TRAVEL LOGISTICS STAY EAT
- At Belavali, Badlapur (between Kalyan and Neral). Also includes one day visit to nearby Matheran Hill Station
- Safe, secure, clean and independent bungalow accommodation. 3-4 children in a room. 5 rooms with clean separate toilets (Max Batch Size 15). Responsible guardian hosts and camp conductors – Ashwini and Sunil Tatkar
- Vegetarian Meals - Tea with Biscuits (twice a day), Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Pure Bisleri Water
- Travel: Ghatkopar-Belavali-Ghatkopar AND Belavali-Neral-Matheran-Neral-Belavali by Road/Train. Local by Road

FEE for 5-Day Program : INR 4875/- per participant

RECOMMENDATION FROM TEACHER

The organizer of this five day outdoor cum residential activity workshop, Mr. Sunil Tatkar is well known to me. He was a student of mine. Even as a student, he exhibited a passion for ‘thinking out of the box’. He is very innovative and creative. He has developed an extraordinary and effective tool for instilling values and skills in students, in student friendly manner, evoking their interests & developing their skills by actually experiencing the activities. He is highly educated and his technique is well appreciated. I recommend this method for the all round development of the student. + Smt. Panicker Sarala Narendran, recipient of The National Teachers Award (Public Recognition of Meritorious Teachers) from Hon. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th (current) President of India.

RECOMMENDATION FROM PARENT
I must admit, when we came to know about your program & were interested, we had apprehensions about sending Chintan with ‘strangers’, without any references. But apprehension gave way for confidence when we spoke to you & Mrs. Tatkar. Simple telephone conversations, interactions with both of
you, the daily tele-chat with Chintan during the program and of course his beaming face on return only justified our confidence. + Shri. Girish Karnik (works at Siemens, lives in Thane, proud parent of Chintan, Age 12 years – student at Vasant Vihar High School, Thane)
 
 
 
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Priti.7 years ago
i strongly believe and agree that a child needs to enjoy his childhood. i am a mother of a 4 year old, 2 months ago we moved to united states from mumbai. i was shocked, confused, sad when i would see 4-5 year olds going for tution classes. i feel parents are responsible for making this world so competitive and they should be giving the kid the right to live and enjoy his childhood. i do agree that we need to educate them but may be when we meet each other we should not be saying - hey my son has started writing his abc's and 123's does your daughter do it ? we all know that this is the only age when we really enjoy life without any pressure of performing - why not live it the way it was meant to be
 
 
 
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Monisha.7 years ago
whatever we do, however much we create a competitive environment and push our children, thank goodness children still remain children. they get as much pleasure in mucking in the sand, and it doesnt matter to them that their moms push them to write their abcs before they are 3
 
 
 
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Priya.7 years ago
good article.i too believe that competation is not necessary in kids of very young age instead, if we cultivate good socialization in them they may turn up well.i do no why parents make the competitive atmosphere for the kids.i hope atleast people like us who r educated should be more practical.hope the best.
 
 
 
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Sunanda.7 years ago
good article. only if, it were the yester years. today's child is born in the age of computers, internet and hi tech gadgets. can they ever imagine how we used to be as children ? did we ever do so ? my mother used to tell me how she used to climb trees, swim in ponds, enjoy playing in the orchards. i grew up in a city . i didnot enact what my mother did.i laughed as to how come she was enjoyoing these types of activities.days are changing and we have to change. otherwise we will only repent that we could not bring up our children efficiently. however, we can help the children live their childhood. many a time i see children hooked to the computers rather playing games outside( if there is a place). we must not only encourage them to play but also play with them. they copy their parents and hence they would take up in the right direction.
 
 
 
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Rani.7 years ago
it is a good message for parents to put things in perspective. it is true, we get carried away with the competition, making sure that our child stands first in their class. i am a mother of a 5 yr old, and when we was 4, i must admit, i was pushing him to learn as much as he could...numbers ..abc..etc. i have started to take it easy on him. both myself and my husband play other childhood games that we used to play and spend time with him that way....it is really and fun family time for all of us.
regards,
 
 
 
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jeyn.7 years ago
i am a professional and mother of 2 girls aged 5 and 2 and a half. my first girl started reading (actual reading) when she was 2+. it was definitly not done through hours of drilling. she had and has tremendous fun. even now she loves reading. she loves mud, sand, water, tv, computers, outdoors you name it. my 2 and a half year old has not really started reading but she too spends a lot of time playing. i have not sent them for any formal music or ballet or speech and drama or karate lessons. many of my friends have started all or any one of these. i am least worried. we do these informally at home during play. if they want to seriously learn (adhering to strict class schedule, routine and what not) then i leave it to them.
 
 
 
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Rinku.7 years ago
beautiful speech by mr. premji and thanks to jaswant kapur for sharing such a moving speech with us. i loved all the comments from everyone, there are lot to say but briefly, it is hard in today's generation but it is doable.
 
 
 
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sandeep.7 years ago
a very good article.we are teaching our childrens for being clerks,not for enterpreneurs.
please think it over
 
 
 
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