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Parents Are the Best Teachers

Parents Are the Best Teachers

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Published by JYothis Cherian

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Published by: JYothis Cherian on Jun 19, 2012
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Parents are the best teachers. Do you agree or disagree? 
It is simple to find out how important parents are for children. A visit to an orphanage is proof. Thechildren wear a lost look, approach any visitor with eagerness, and desperately want to be loved.Foster parents brought up the famous Marlyn Monroe because her own mother had to be admittedin a mental home. Her father never gave her his name. This total lack of parental guidance madehers a life of humiliation, insult and torture throughout her childhood and adolescence. Even whenshe was a top star in Hollywood, memories of a disturbed childhood continued to haunt her. Shehad a string of failed marriages. But she finally committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleepingpills. She was 38 when she died. Her real name was Norma Jean Baker but she did not like tomention it.On the other hand, we have the example of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, whose early upbringingunder the able guidance of his mother Amita Sen, father, Dr. Ashutosh Sen and maternalgrandfather Kshitimohan Sen made it possible for him to win, among many international awardsand recognition, the Nobel Prize for Economics. “His father motivated him with the greatest of human values like honesty in life, integrity of character and the determination to stick to his roots.This makes him come back to Shanti Niketan to see me and to ride around the town in a bicyclelike he used to do in his youth. Fame and fortune have not changed him at all, ” informs AmartyaSen’s mother Amita Sen, who is still alive. Interestingly, when Amartya Sen was only two years old,his parents left for London leaving him along with his sister Supoorna under the care of hismaternal grandparents at Shanti Niketan. The natural surroundings of the small town and institutionset up by Tagore, the lessons he learnt from his grandparents, and later, from his parents, shaped Amartya into the man he has today become. He looked upon his grandfather as his greatest idol inlife. “Nature too, has had a deep impact on his upbringing,” says Sen’s mother.Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly’s parents Chandi and Nirupa could have easily allowed their two sons to turn into spoilt brats of a stinking rich family. But they did not. Nirupa has beeninstrumental in correcting her younger son Saurav when he used every prank in the book to avoidhis teacher and his studies. The father instilled in the boys the love for sports because this is onefamily “that is crazy about sports – be it cricket or football,” says Saurav’s mother. Instead of buyinghis sons luxury cars and memberships to elite clubs, their father invested in a gym right at home “sothat I could supervise them as they worked out,” he reminisces. Today, the Ganguly couple hasevery right to be proud of their son’s international achievements.Teachers cannot take the place of parents in a child’s life because:(a) Teachers are permitted to teach given subjects from a given syllabus within a classroomsituation.(b) They are bound to the prescribed rules and regulations of the school, college or university.(c) Teachers remain with the children for around eight hours for five or six days in a week. So, timeand space limit their interaction with students.(d) Since teachers rarely meet the students they teach beyond the school premises, their understanding of the nature and mindset of the children they teach is limited to school hours andschool discipline. They have almost no way of knowing how these children behave at home, or,with their neighbours, etc.(e) Teachers generally teach an entire class of children where one-to-one communication is absent.So, they find it difficult to tackle individual problems of a child from a large group.(f) Teachers are mainly concerned with the teaching of academic subjects and have no time toinstruct children on the more important aspects of life such as values, principles etc, except in anindirect manner.Parents teach less by telling children what they should or should not do, and more by example. Afather who wakes up late, will never be able to teach his children to wake up early. A mother wholies all the time, cannot expect her children to be honest in their speech. Parents, who aredisordered and indisciplined, will not realise the importance of teaching their children to be orderlyand disciplined. Value education is the education we receive from our parents. Academic education
is the education we get from our teachers. Parents who are cowed by temper tantrums andscreaming defiance are only inviting more of the same from their children. An alcoholic father isvery likely to have an alcoholic son. Research on marriage and divorce has shown that children of divorced parents are very likely to have broken marriages themselves.Why parents are the best teachers -1. Parents have subtle ways of humbling you, of reminding you of your origins, perhaps by showingup at the moment of your greatest glory and reminding you where you went wrong.2. Parents can be understanding and accept the more difficult stages as necessary times of growthfor the child.3. Parents don't make mistakes because they don't care, but because they care so deeply. (BerryBrazelton)4. Parents through their own behavior and the values, by which they live, provide direction for their children.5. Values like honesty, integrity, discipline, obedience, loyalty, and reverence for elders are passedon by parents to their children.6. Parents can offer their help by suggesting and locating resources likely to be unfamiliar tochildren, such as people, books, and materials that can be useful.7. Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the futureand leave their own bright patterns as they go.British novelist Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) rightly said that parents cannot expect advice tohave the same force upon their children as experience has upon themselves. It would be apt toconclude with Fred Rogers’ quote. He said, “parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join thethreads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go.”“Parents teach in the toughest school in the world: The School for Making People. You are theboard of education, the principal, the classroom teacher, and the janitor,” wrote Virginia Satir (Columbia World of Quotations, 1996.) Are parents the best teachers? It depends on what onemeans by the term ‘teaching.’ If teaching is limited to elementary lessons in the three ‘r’s, namely –reading, writing and arithmetic, then, formal educators in school would perhaps be considered thebest teachers. Teachers who teach us in schools and colleges are educators. They are necessaryfor the formal education of all children. But they are no substitute for parents. They never canreplace parents in the shaping of the child’s character, life and future.
Do you know what the word “teacher” means ? Based on the Cambridgeadvanced learner’s dictionary, teacher is the one whose job is to teach in aschool or college. In my point of view, that definition is only one side of thisword. A teacher can be anyone who gave you knowledge, experience andgood advices. Therefore, if you wonder who is our best teacher, I will haveno hesitation to say those are our parents who taught us the first lessons andmany things in our life in the best way.First of all, parents are the best teacher who taught us the first lessons whenwe were children. What are the first lessons? Those are the lesson how tocrawl, how to stand, how to speak or how to walk which are the mostimportant lessons in our whole life. Therefore, you have to agree that , withtheir love and caring, no one in the world can be the best teacher as ourparents. When you were only a child, the ones who were always by yourside, talked to you with all the sweatest words and the ones who were sohappy to burst into tear when you spoke the first word “papa” or “mama” ,they are your parents. Day by day, your parents were the leaders and alsothe instructors for your fist steps into the outside world. Therefore, you haveto agree that , with their love and caring, no one in the world can be the bestteacher for all the first lessons as our parents.Furthermore, our parents are also the best teacher to teach us many thingsin our life with the most efficient way. At school or university, we were givenmany knowledge in many subjects, such as maths, literature, geology oreven ethics lessons which taught you what you should do and what youmustn’t do. But all of these were only what you heard in theories. As aresearch pointed out, people remember 90% of what they do, 75% of whatthey see and 20% of what they hear. Therefore, a child will be easy to learnabout the respect the old if he see his parents always express theiradmiration to his grandmother or even an old woman in the street. Also, amoral lesson can’t teach him about kindness better than his own parents whoalways helped others when they were in trouble. In an automatic way,parents become the teachers who we can learn about many things in life withthe best reality, their actions become the model for all of us to follow.In general, the teachers in school or university give us knowledge in manyfields. But the best teacher that we have are our parents who taught youfrom the first lesson when you are child to many things in your life with alltheir love and caring. You should be set great store by all of those lessonswhich will be with you in your whole life.

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