Mrs L Stegen
Head of Foundation Phase
True obedience obeys right away. Obedience comes from the Latin words ‘ob’ and ‘audio’ and means literally ‘to hear’. The opposite is the wilful, disobedient child or person who deliberately follows his or her own will, determined to do what he wants, without regard for authority. This causes disrespect, disruptive behaviour and no co-operation.
Indian workers domesticated elephants as long as 5500 years ago. The ‘obedient nature’ and gentle power of the elephants suit them for a life of service. A young boy of ten years will begin training an elephant his age, and they will work together for a lifetime. The boy feeds the elephant, bathes him, tends his wounds and trains him. In return the elephant demonstrates remarkable obedience and loyalty. That should make us think! Children also need training sessions which could be times when you instruct, demonstrate, and have the children practice the correct behaviour over and over. They must also know there will be consequences if they do not follow the instructions. Remind them of the correct behaviour that you expect.
Obedience should be consistent. Training your child to obey is not only your responsibility, but also a gift to your child. Children do better when there is routine and structure. The child must acknowledge that s/he heard your instruction. A child cannot pick and choose which instructions to obey and which ones to ignore. An obedient, well taught child will know whom to obey as well as what to obey. S/he will not blindly follow the instructions of a stranger which can be harmful.
Teach children to obey and do tasks with a cheerful attitude. That makes tasks easier. An obedient child will see to it that tasks are completed which makes them trustworthy. Everything can be done without complaining. Grumbling or complaining shows disagreement and disobedience. Children need encouragement, even just a glance can change a child’s attitude and motivate them to continue doing what is right. Look for opportunities to encourage and verbally praise your child. Children are like plants. When nourished and cared for they will flourish and do well. Teach them to go the ‘extra mile’. That earns trust and respect.
Character First. Education Series 1, Booklet 2 (Character Training Institute, 520 West Main, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Mrs E Gouws
Head of Intermediate Phase
“A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.”
Disrespect has become a huge societal problem and it is being picked up by our children at school, during sport and on the playground. Acting disrespectfully is a manipulation tactic to help kids get what they want.
HOW DO YOU TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BE A ROLE MODEL WHEN EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE DISRESPECTFUL?
Be a role model yourself
Treat your child with respect. Listen without interrupting when he talks. Treat other people with kindness and consideration, too, so he can watch and learn. Modelling respectful behaviour, will teach basic lessons about kindness, consideration, honesty, empathy, as well as gratitude.
Teach polite responses
As soon as your child can talk encourage him to say “please” and “thank you”. Set a good example by always saying “please” and “thank you” to him.
Demand Good Manners
Teaching manners is not a fleeting formality. Being polite when taught early becomes an ingrained way of life. When there is no accountability for children’s behaviour, you cannot expect it to stop.
Do not overreact
Reacting to bad behaviour may encourage your child to repeat it to get your attention. Raising your voice in anger teaches your child that shouting is all right when you are upset. Reprimand the child firmly and remind him to do things politely.
Praise respectful behaviour
Rather than only focusing on your child’s negative behaviour, praise him when he behaves well. Be specific. “Well done for saying please when you asked for a biscuit,” or “Thank you for waiting while the other children got their ice cream.” This will show him that his efforts are appreciated.
Set realistic expectations
Set limits beforehand. When you are going out in public, go through appropriate manners and respect. If you are eating at a restaurant, talk about the proper manners for a restaurant meal and the consequences if they do not behave appropriately. Be prepared to follow through with the consequence if you must. Children must learn that the world does not revolve around them and they must consider others with their actions.
Put a stop to rude behaviour
If you are unsure if your child is crossing a line, ask yourself this question and see how you feel. “Would I let my friends talk to me this way?
Would I let my neighbour talk to me this way?
If the answer is no, then your child should not be speaking to you this way either and they should learn that this type of behaviour is unacceptable. Stand up and and say, “We don’t speak to each other that way in this family.”
“If they can’t follow your house rules, they won’t be able to do it in kindergarten and beyond,” says Dr Schweiger, author of Self-Esteem for a Lifetime: Raising a Successful Child from The Inside Out. “By allowing them to do whatever they want, without consequences, you’re setting them up for failure later on. So it’s important to instill a regard for authority in your little ones, starting at home.”
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Mr D van Straten
Head of Senior Phase
History has produced many leaders – some good, some bad. Saparmurat Niyazov, leader of Turkmenistan, wrote a book called Ruhnama, which citizens had to read to be granted a driving license. President of Equatorial Guinea, Francisco Macias Nguema, was fearful of clever people and had the word “intellectual” outlawed. He ordered people who wore spectacles to be killed.
While most of us are appalled by corrupt leaders who use dishonest devices for selfish gain, we all agree that we need good leaders who uplift nations and overcome tyranny.
Although less influential than these presidents and dictators, we all are leaders in one way or another – in our communities, school or just at home. And although we do not decide on issues that determine the wealth of nations and the fate of peoples, our decisions and guidance often show the way to the learners and children in our classrooms and homes: we direct their academic decisions, choices, and worldviews, which in turn shape their lives. In this regard, it is important to be reminded that change is not only brought about by what we say, but more often by what we are:
Be the change you want to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi
A leader leads by example, not by force – Sun Tzu
Here are a few pointers to us as parents and teachers to remind us of what to do when we are required to lead:
- Never react quickly.
- Ensure that you have all the facts before you act.
- Be consistent in your decision-making.
- Remain objective and do not rely on past experiences.
Source: 5 Strangest Dictators Of Modern Times | Yesterday’s Articles (uktv.co.uk)
PARENTS, TAKE AN INTEREST
Mrs J Sibeko
Head of FET Phase
Parental participation improves student academic achievement
Increasing parental support and involvement has been proved to improve children’s academic performance. Children reap maximum benefits from their schooling if their parents are committed in the spheres of family, school and community.
A parent’s presence is requisite since a parent appears either as a parent/guardian, teacher/instructor or a community member.
Parent involvement in the three spheres encourages the child’s development, growth and learning as the parent engages in parenting, volunteering, communication, learning-at-home, decision-making and community collaboration. The benefits obtained by students who enjoy such parental involvement in their schooling include improved learner attitudes towards schooling; developing positive behaviour; improved school attendance; decreased school dropouts; and improved academic performance.
Adapted from : http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/files_uploaded/uploaded_resources/18617/Desforges.pdf [Google Scholar]
Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003; Rafiq, Fatima, Sohail, Saleem, & Khan, 2013
Mrs A du Preez
It is that time of the year again. My child’s study timetable has been worked out to the finest detail but instead of it being his guiding companion, it is progressively changing into a sword over his head. In the meantime, each second that ticks by is a second closer to the exam. By now the sword over my child’s head tends to extend well over mine too!
Although parents cannot write their children’s exams on their behalf, or even do the learning for them, there is much a parent can do to support his/her child. Below are a few useful tips:
1 Be familiar with your child’s exam schedule
Have it on the fridge or somewhere where it will be noticed. Show interest in each paper that will be or has been written. Be encouraging and stay hopeful, whatever the outcome.
2 Avoid prolonged stressful conversations and arguments
Never burden the child with the stress you might experience. This will only waste precious time and energy that should be used to focus on studies. A family that works together well is a great support.
3 Have meals with the family
A happy family time around a table could be a refreshing break from long confined hours of study.
4 Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest
With the child’s timetable in mind, plan enough time for sleep. This is an excellent way to calm nerves and ensure resilience for the next day.
5 Keep away from digital distractions
Digital devices are of the worst time consumers. It might be a good idea to install parental controls on your children’s devices to help them focus on the exam.
Promise your child an outing or a good meal with the family if he does well. Incentives work better for your child than bribing him with some expensive gift.
7 Maintain a balanced diet and routine
Make sure your child eats regular healthy meals to keep energy levels up during exams.
8 Be available
Stay aware of your child’s needs, address any concerns, and pray together. Even a mug of hot chocolate at the right moment might do wonders.
May these mid-year exams be a happy experience for both you and your child!