Parents, you play a part too!
April 24, 2010, 12:39 am
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng, Early Childhood Education a teacher working with very young children, I have seen children imitating behaviour of the adults they are in direct contact with. However at times when they do so, their parents disagree with the conduct and make scapegoats out of their fellow classmates.

While it is true that children do learn from each other, I think that such denials from parents with regards to their influence over their young ones should stop. In fact they should begin to reflect upon their own behaviour and realise that alot of the ‘negative’ behaviour observed from their children actually comes from home.

One good example is a boy I met two years ago. He was four then and was one of the sweetest four year old I have met. However he will start hitting his classmates in a really violent and uncontrollable manner whenever he became angry. No amount of so called counselling and time out could soften him in that regard. So one day I asked him why he had to hit his friends whenever he was angry and this was what he said,

“My mummy also hits me when she is angry. Daddy hits me when he is angry. I hit my classmates when I am angry. It is correct, I am not wrong.”

So I explained to him that there are many other ways to solving problems and conflicts. Hurting someone else in the form of physical actions is not the only solution. In fact that will lead to more problems. His reply to that was that talking about problems will not help him. I asked him why and he told me,

“Because mummy says that when she canes me. Talking so much (is a) waste (of) time.”

When I gave my feedback to his mother that evening, she actually told me that her child was just making her as an excuse because he did not want to get my other students into trouble. She insisted that he was influenced by the older children in the childcare and that “all parents beat their children”.

I was truly appalled by that. Not only had she fail to reflect upon herself, she blamed the schoolmates for her child’s behaviour. To make things worse, she was (and still is) an educator herself.

Personally, I think that parents should try to understand that teachers have the responsibility to update them on their children and the feedback does not necessarily have to be all positive.

There is nothing wrong with a seemingly negative feedback. If teachers are to sweep behavioural problems, learning difficulties and various other concerns under the carpet just so as not to offend the parents, it is never to the benefit of the children.

It is to my believe that parents and teachers should work hand in hand for the well being of the children.

Teachers should not worry about losing their jobs or getting a warning just because they express a concern with regards to their students’ behaviour and such. Neither should parents come along with a sensitive ego when it comes to feedback that they view as negative, resulting in a defensive stance and blaming every other people instead of understanding the issue and how they actually do play a part in both the problem and the solution.


3 Comments so far
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I’m trained in early childhood, though not a public educator – I took the course to teach my own kids. It’s great that you’re so vocal about these issues, navigating the childcare/kindy system has been very challenging for me as a mother and I do see the sensitive egoes (in myself and in other parents) whenever I spend a bit extra time observing my son at school. But whenever I myself get bitten by the ‘ego’ bug, I remind myself that my child is ‘work in progress’ and it does take a village (teachers included) to raise a child…

Comment by Najah

I totally agree with you. Parents play an important role in raising their children. On a different note, I feel that some parents spoil their children too much too.

Comment by tauhuayboy

Hi, I’ve been digging around your blog alittle, and I want to say this: I appreciate your focus. It’s rare to find people with a passion and a focus nowadays. I’ve been wondering if there are still people like that today, and then I found your blog.

Btw, I’m just on the threshhold of entering the ECCE sector… how is life in there? 🙂 Care to share, what is literacy like in the ECCE sector right now? That’s my deepest interest la. 😉

Great articles here…

Comment by teachersuzannah

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