HOW has the start of your children’s new school year been? Surviving the first few hectic weeks of a school year is always challenging. But if we can set a good example from the beginning, we can look forward to a reasonably solid outcome for the rest of the year.

There are some critical elements that parents should watch out for. We’ve seen in the media how some overzealous parents overstay their welcome in the school. Despite being repeatedly told to leave, many choose to ignore the teachers’ request.

What they don’t realise is that their action is teaching something very negative to their children – that it’s okay not to listen to teachers.

Parents should just trust the teachers (and the school) to do their job. Teachers who are responsible for Year One pupils are usually the ones who are calm, positive and able to win these young hearts.

They know better than to intimidate the new pupils with stern and unreasonable action. Instead, many of them send positive messages to our children that the school is safe and learning is fun.

Parents must learn to let go and provide lots of support, persuasion and encouragement to their children. After that, just let them experience being on their own. Soon, they’ll discover that there’s nothing to it and school is indeed fun.

WALK THE TALK

Another good example that parents can show their children is when they’re on the road. During the first few weeks, severe traffic congestion around the school area is normal. To make matters worse, there are a few who think of only themselves and couldn’t care less if they’re unnecessarily blocking traffic.

I understand and will even encourage if they want to personally drop off the kids, go and check out their classrooms or meet their teachers.

However, if they fail to follow the basic traffic laws, including parking indiscriminately, then they’re imposing hardship on other parents who want to do the same for their kids.

But the worse thing is, without realising it, these parents are effectively teaching their kids that it’s all right to be selfish and take other people’s rights on the road – as long as they can get there first or grab the best parking spot.

The list of bad examples is endless. I’m sure you’ve also seen a few of those behaviours. I just hope that we’re not part of the guilty party as well.

Ironically, these are the same people who complain a lot about the things that go wrong with the world today. Little do they realise they’ve also been a part of the problem – by failing to show good examples to the future citizens and leaders of the country.

Zaid Mohamad coaches and trains parents to experience happier homes and more productive workplaces. Reach him at Zaid@smartparents.com.my.

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