Thursday, May 15, 2008



As a retired educator, it is with much dismay that I follow the problems that children face these days. Most parents are just too busy with themselves that they hardly have any time left for their kids, let alone themselves. They are often quick to blame anyone else. A friend of mine jokingly told me B.US.Y. can be an acronym for BUSY UNDER SATAN’S YOKE which keeps us so busy that it robs us of other equally important roles towards our family, friends and society at large including time to worship.

Parents must spend enough time with their children. This is the simple truth. The physical time spent with children has a magical charm of bonding. Treating them with chocolates or giving them whatever they want is not the best way to make up for the time being spent away from the kids. Some parents leave the home very early and return too late to tuck their children away for the night. Parents have to be there for the kids. Blaming schools and teachers (the usual victims) for the woes that befall our children again is not right. Parents simply cannot abdicate their responsibilities towards the development of their children’s overall mental and physical health and simply assign blame to teachers or schools. I brought up my children in the 1980's and managed my time between my teaching and other outside activities that included musical performances at clubs etc. at night and selling encyclopedias. Yet I made time to be with my children. The picture above shows me feeding all my children from a large bowl. They simply loved this.

Children need their parents to be guided, understood, played with, sympathized with, do “silly” things together and even be reprimanded. Such direct interaction with children tremendously helps children to develop self confidence, improve their zest for life and develop an overall positive personality. Sadly, these simple parenting skills are hard to come nor can they to be learnt in any institution. Driving our children to merely excel in the paper chase and neglecting their other non-academic interests and talents is a sure way to put young minds under immense pressure.

Children need to engage themselves in an assortment of varied activities. The more dissimilar they are the better it is for them to realize their strengths and weaknesses. Besides academics and excelling in examinations, they must be given ample opportunity to also explore their innate potentials in other areas too such as hobbies, sports, arts and music to develop a better overall character. Most parents are simply not doing this.