Importance Of Parents And Early Educators As Precious Role of Guru
Parents and early educators are perhaps the most influential people in a child’s life. When children are young, it is through their eyes that they learn to view the world and eventually grow up to develop their individual worldviews. In today’s hyperconnected and insular world, the importance of these roles is increasing even more. Today, most of us don’t have the kind of support in bringing up our children like even our parents did. Young parents stay far away from home and bring up kids single-handedly. Since you don’t have the advantage of having an extended family at your beck and call as was common a couple of decades back, the onus of bringing up a well-rounded, grounded and happy individual then rests on the able shoulders of the parents alone. The parents, and eventually when the child starts going to preschool or day care, the teachers, assume the role of the traditional ‘guru’…the one person who, in the ages gone past, was the one who gave direction and meaning and set the course for a child’s life path.
In my several interactions with parents and early educators, I have come to recognize the many opportunities that come through the day that can be used to influence and teach young children many life skills. Personally speaking, my parents were freedom fighters. I was brought up with stories of patriotism and courage. After I completed my IIT, I was probably the only person in my batch who chose to stay back in India. That, of course, was one of the best decisions of my life. I am sure that my that decision was influenced by the teachings of my parents in early years.
Considering the manic pace at which the world has changed and evolved, our methods of teaching our young ones have to change too. Telling them what they need to do or demanding that they behave in a certain manner is a thing of the past. Today’s children, I feel, are far too intuitive in their nature. I guess it’s just evolution at play here. However, in such a situation the responsibility of instilling the right set of values at the right time becomes all the more essential. Since parents and early educators are the ones who are the greatest influencers, almost the superheroes, in the lives of these little ones, it becomes essential to lead by example and enforce a certain set of values that help them in their journey of self-discovery.
A couple of things that I feel that are essential in bringing up well-rounded and happy children are focusing on some basic qualities. Teaching children the value of kindness, generosity, sharing, truth-telling sets the foundation of being an emotionally healthy individual. While it is the responsibility of the parents to teach these things to their children, when early educators resonate the same set of ideologies then these beliefs are cemented as values in the life of children.
Children will blatantly imitate people who they admire. Parents and early educators, thus, have a great opportunity here to teach them a few things which might be small but go a long way.
The importance of being kind – As much as I hate to say this, children can be unknowingly brutally unkind. It is the parents and the early educators who can spot such traits in children and help them understand that not all are created equal. At the same time, they are the ones who can teach children to look for goodness in everyone and teach them to be kind towards those who are different from them.
The importance of being honest – Let’s face it that children will make mistakes. Some of these you can laugh about and some that will drive you crazy. However, instead of making a big deal out of these, if we help our children understand the concept of honesty and consequences of their actions and give them the opportunity to tell the truth, they will most likely do so. And at times that they don’t, give them the time to think about what they are saying. You’ll be teaching your child a valuable lesson – being honest can be uncomfortable but they’ll always feel better if they tell the truth.
The importance of determination – We should be generous with praise when it comes to children but if we start praising every small thing that a child does, then it is counterproductive. Early educators and teachers have to master the art of providing smart and constructive feedback that will help the child excel. Excessive praise only makes one feel entitled and that’s not the tone we want to set for our kids.
The importance of love – Children thrive and blossom in an environment that is filled with love. When both parents and early educators provide an affectionate and loving environment to a child, they will feel more secure and confident in the relationship that you share. Love also makes sure that you become the ‘go-to’ person for your child when they find themselves in conflicted situations.
There are, of course, many more things that parents and early educators teach children that help them in their growth process. By taking care of these so called small and basic things together we can ensure that the children grow up to have a strong value system in place. It helps them become responsible citizens of tomorrow who, along with being world-wise are also equally proud of their heritage. However, we all have to be cautious and ensure that we lead by example because you are being watched at all times by budding, curious minds. Both early educators and parents have to act in a socially conscious, resilient and consistent manner around children. Bringing up children is not an easy task but if both, the parents and early educators act as a team then this task becomes much easier to cope with and will inspire your child to achieve his or her full potential.