In Summary
  • Parents ought to understand that their input is very crucial in the growth and development of their children.

  • Teachers can only play the surrogate parent but will never match what a parent should do.

  • Do you have feedback on this article? E-mail: lifeandstyle@ke.nationmedia.com

Recently, during a parent-teachers meeting at a school in the Western region of Kenya, a rather humorous but sensitive story popped up. There was a form two student who "would not allow the teachers he loathed to teach".

By coincidence, these teachers’ lessons are always slotted for afternoons, which are usually hot. The student would simply pass gas in class, making everyone uncomfortable.

When this matter was raised, a parent stood and unashamedly demanded that this boy’s parents be made to stand up and do what their son does if they cannot counsel him.

A friend also told me another story still touching on behaviour. During an Annual General Meeting in a certain girls’ school, a number of parents ganged up and demanded to know why the girls were immoral. One teacher stood up and gave them a piece of his mind. He asked the parents if a guinea fowl has ever given birth to a hen, insisting that even if that happened the offspring would still have those white dots on otherwise black feathers. With this, he tamed the parents.

TEACHING MORALS

Who is responsible for the moral uprightness of a schoolgoing child? Is it the parents and guardians, or the teachers? This is question becomes especially confusing when it comes to boarding schools. This is where some parents simply ‘dump’ their children. Dump, because they do not reappear to find out how their children are doing at school except when summoned for a parents’ meeting. Unfortunately, some send relatives. Close or distant, a relative cannot match the figure that is the parent or guardian.

Parents ought to understand that their input is very crucial in the growth and development of their children. Teachers can only play the surrogate parent but will never match what a parent should do.

Some parents mollycoddle their children, and can even go to the extent of not allowing teachers to admonish their children for wrongdoing. They will arrive at school, barking as if high on something illegal, and demand, not ask, to see the principal. The implication in this case here is that the teacher who tried to correct the child is a puppet. Whoever he or she needs to see is the puppeteer.

When parents leave their children in the hands of teachers, they should have faith in them. Faith that they will be safe and that teachers will mould them into holistic citizens.

Parents best understand their children. They have raised these children. They could be aware of the roots of certain behaviours.

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