Unlearning bad habits-A A +A
Bahin sang Bubay
Sunday, February 10, 2013
CORRECTING centuries-old bad habits is something that would take another century to do, perhaps. But unless there is honest recognition of our faults and weaknesses and a consistent reformation or transformation of the individual, no amount of corrective measures can undo the damage that had been done.
In one of the parenting sessions hosted by the Guidance department of our school in an effort to address the behaviors observed among students by the guidance counselors, it was surprising to learn that there are still parents who actually have better parent-child relationships that works.
However, when the speaker of the occasion was asking if there was any parent among the audience who expresses her/his love for their children, or has been recognizing the strengths of their children, there was an uneasy silence.
It's as if the question was a totally alien reality for the parent-participants, something that is uncalled for. For me, that encounter was thought-provoking. An understanding of some students' attitudes in class begun to dawn on me: that, such parents' lack of attention to the emotional needs of their children could have been one of the reasons why some of the students would rather quietly sit in their corner all throughout the one hour instruction rather than participate actively in class discussions.
The students' inaction in the classroom only reflects the parents' lukewarm participation in the school's activities or perhaps even their half-hearted concerns for their children's welfare. This is not saying in general that all parents are like this, that they are most likely indifferent with what and how their children feel and think.
Out of over a hundred parents expected to come to the parenting sessions, only so very few have made it to the seminar. It only goes to show that when it comes to priorities, children's concern comes as a second choice over and above other mundane things at home.
And to think that parents demand good performance from their children in school! It doesn't sound right at all. It is actually inconsistent with the kind of front that parents put up when dealing with authorities in school.
Love begets love, the big book says. If a home has elders who love and respect each other no matter if they have differences, it would naturally redound to children. And when it does, more often than not, the children reciprocate and in fact treat their fellows in school fairly well.
If all parents are like this, there is no reason why children should behave otherwise in school. Then there would be genuine love and understanding within the confines of the four walls in school.
But it has got to start from the roots, before schools can really pin down the causes of behavioral problems of some kids in school.
Being functional parents is not really a piece of cake. It takes a lot of effort. But then who says parenting is easy in this time and space? However, parenting can be learned and perfected, that is, if it becomes top priority for all concerned.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 11, 2013.