Monday, May 23, 2016

Back to School...

Recently I had an opportunity to work with one of the leading educational service providers in Mumbai. With them I worked on a small Organizational Development intervention before orienting the parents of Class IX & X. In the process I realized, children are incredibly wise & they definitely tend to see the world more simply than we do. In fact, I feel if we start taking their advice, our life would be less stressful & we may realize that doing little things actually is good enough to lead happy & satisfying life.
Here is a list of 5 simple things that children expect from parents. Surprisingly it is not exotic holidays or an expensive smart phone! Less than 7% of total students had asked for smartphones, nintendo & things like that. Have a look at what others had asked for! 
  1. Respect:
Treat others the way you would like to be treated. The need for respect is so basic that I feel it should be counted along with food, shelter & clothing. Unfortunately, children shared various examples where respect is missing. After feeling overwhelmed by stress at work, calling your children ‘stupid’ or ‘useless’ or something of this sort in a fit of anger is absolutely not accepted. Shouldn’t we treat them as equals irrespective of their age?
2. Apologize:
A blatant question that we need to ask ourselves as parents: Do we apologize when we are wrong or do we justify our mistakes? Children feel that we dont apologize for our mistakes at all. 
3. Walk the talk:
Do we really practice what we preach? Shouldn’t we lead by example? For example: As a parent you tell your children not to waste time or get distracted by electronic devices, yet you are a smart phone addict yourself. You may explain them the importance of physical fitness/exercise, right diet yet they have never seen you doing either of it.
4. Experiment:
It is very natural of parents to feel that they don’t want their children to experience failure, hardships, struggle, disappointment & pain. However, let them make mistakes, take risks, experiment & learn to take the ownership of the consequences. All you need is to provide them with nurturing environment...feed it with faith, hope & love.
5. Seek my opinion:
Children deeply felt that their opinion should be sought during decision making process at home. Be it buying a new car or planning for a holiday or which coaching class to join. Just don’t push or impose your decisions on us. Make us feel part of the family by asking us our suggestions, seeking our advice.
Dear Parents, do display your unconditional love & warmth irrespective of their grades. Let’s enjoy the process of growing along with them. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they too are watching us to see what we do with ours.

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