Change Over Time
We talked to three-generation parents about how they made or are making their children study.
Ramrati, 67, says, ‘My mother was uneducated but smart and capable enough to send me to school. But because no girl in my village used to study at that time so I also started bunking from school. I went to school for two years. My children started going to school when I was 20 years old. My husband was in the army, and it was quite difficult for me to teach them, so I first learned to write Hindi letters and ABCD of English. Then I used to teach my elder son. A government school was the only option that my children had. Today, my present generations are educated, and I am ensuring that my future generations would be educated too.’
Saroj(44) & Sajjan(45), while sharing their story with Careerindia,’ We can not treat our child the same throughout their life. When our children were 4-7 years old, we used to sit with them; we played mostly outdoor games and made them learn basics via playing.
When our children were 7-12 years old, we strictly followed this pattern: we checked their homework, engaged them in educational activities, and avoided watching TV/Phone during their study hours.
And the most difficult time came when our children were 13-18 years old. We believe this is the most crucial time of any children’s life. And a parent’s role at this age matters a lot. At this age, you can not scold your child, compare them, engage them while playing, check their homework or ask/force them to study. So, we were very cautious about all these things. In all these years, we have supported our children’s decisions, given enough space and guided them.’
Kirti(31), in her new phase of motherhood, says, ‘I am finding it challenging as a working mother to make my girl study. My girl is six years old. I started her education when she was two years old. Nowadays, schools are much equipped and developed with ideas that you can be 60% assured that your child is learning. And in that 40%, your role is 30%. But parents have to understand that there is a difference in literacy and education.’
Now that you have read that parents’ journey throughout 45-48years, technology, methods, parents’ behaviour, and child’s attitude has changed. The thing that is still the same is learning process.
Teenagers can not tell what they feel about their parent’s approach to their studying behaviour is right or wrong. But now, what do you feel today that your parents did a great job or shouldn’t have forced you? So eventually, they will understand that what you did for them took a lot of effort and energy.
While in conversation with Monika, a PhD scholar(Horticulture-vegetable science)says,’ As far as I remember from my teenage or even now also that my parents motivate me. They share their struggle story about how they managed to send us to school. And it just makes me feel proud and work hard.‘
Are you also forcing your child to study?
It’s like bringing a horse close to the water, but you can not make it drink. Even if you make them sit to study, they won’t be able to concentrate. So in that time either watch any educational documentary with them, play with them or do any other activity they love. But for this transparency, you need to have a friendly relationship with your child.
So, you might sometimes wonder if your child feels you are pressuring them. Or are you forcing them to study? Or can you force your child to study? Right? Most parents suggest observing them, talking to them and knowing their capabilities and interests. And associate each learning lesson with their hobby. As simple as that. Make it fun. Ask them to teach you. And when you start making them understand the value of learning and not grades, they will be literate and educated at once. It doesn’t seem easy, but it is fruitful over a long period.
Are you also comparing your child?
This question is for parents of children above 13-14 years. Do you also compare your child to others? Most parents unintentionally tell them to be like their friends/brothers/sisters/relatives etc. Here’s how to stop comparing your child with others-Instead of comparison; try telling them how others did it. What was their approach and give suggestions to your child about how they can improve. Comparison can also hurt you, so why are you doing this with your child?
Are you also making your child feel insecure about their future?
Usually, parents ask their children to prepare for NEET or IIT; otherwise, they won’t have a bright future. This can demotivate them. Rather ask them what they want to do and help them. And if you want your child to choose IIT/NEET because they are capable enough and interested, then guide them, motivate them and be there for them in their success and failure. Insecurity can make a child less productive and low self-esteemed.
So, how to make your child study?
We are giving you some tips by which you can make your child study-
1. Appreciate & Give Reward
Your kids are very responsive to what you think of them and will always be just like you. Are you not susceptible to what your parents think of you? Give compliments to them whenever they do good. If you want them to do good, then also include their accomplishments along with the suggestions. Make your child feel great at what they are doing and tell them you are proud of them. This is a feeling that children treasure so much. Because from you only they will learn to improve and respect compliments and suggestions.
2. Reduce distractions
In this era of technology, the biggest distraction for a teenager is a mobile phone. None other than you made this distraction in their lives when they cried, gave the phone; when they didn’t eat, you gave it, and what not. But now is the time that you balance out things. Please find a way to keep the mobile phone away during their study hours. And the best way is that you also do not use your mobile phone/TV during those hours.
3. Do not Overburden them
8 am-2 pm school, 4 pm -6 pm tuition, 7 pm -8 pm study, by 10 pm sleep. Do you think that this is a healthy schedule? Make your child indulge in yoga, sports, or any other activity they love for at least 1 hour daily. A happy mind is always easy to mould.
4. Encourage them to take short breaks
When studying for long hours, always ask them to take a break of 10-15minutes after every hour. It will help them learn to balance things.
5. Help them in planning
When there is a test/exam, sit with them, and make a timetable with them. It will make them realise that you are putting equal efforts into their learning process, and they will never question your contribution to their studies.
6. Teach them the value of failure
Instead of getting angry or scolding them for their failure, try making them understand the value of that phase. Their classmates might have laughed at them, or the teacher might have scolded them. And if you do the same thing, your child will eventually stop listening to you. Better analyse the situation together.
7. Try storytelling instead of comparison
Only you know what is working for your child and what is not. The thing that you say while comparing your child, you can say the thing with a light-heartedly story. Heart-touching words always work, be it for hurting them or motivating them.
8. Follow up with the teacher
Never miss a parent-teacher meeting. Your child is learning from you as well. Whatever the feedback is, do not pour it all on the child. Help them in improving.
9. Talk About Their Day
It should be on your to-do list. There is no excuse that you can miss this task. Always ask your child how their day was, what new they learned, and what tomorrow’s task is. It will tell a lot of things-
A. How concentrated were they in the class?
B. How active were they the whole day?
C. It will give you an idea about giving them a comfortable home environment, etc.
10. Trust Your Nurturing
A parent can never intentionally do wrong to their child. Teach them and learn from them.
Do you also feel you are not doing well enough for your child?
In today’s generation of parenthood, parents are over-cautious because-
1. Society and family structure are changing
2. You do not want to treat their child the way you were treated
3. You doubt your parenthood methods
4. You do not want to hurt their child
5. Now that the time has come, that child has started comparing their parents with others’ parents. Parents put more effort. They try to be as open-minded as much as they can.
But can doing this help your child in any way?
No, because being a good parent and making your child study can be done at once. It is all about balance. You know your child better than anyone else. Only you know when you can scold your child, when to be cautious and when to push their limits.
There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.- Mahatma Gandhi