Letter from a teacher
It’s exam season, and many people are starting to panic in some way or another. It's natural to panic, but for five minutes, I’d like you to consider what I have to share.
In a perfect world, I would tell you to forget about the system. Let your child focus on the things they love and disregard the other subjects and things that school throws at them. Let them be free and playful, to grow through play and basically having an awesome childhood.
But I recognise how that is a very scary option, so let’s find a balanced way to face all of it.
Fortify your children with love. Life is tough, and it’s going to get tougher for your children. Love them with all your heart and make sure they know how much you love them. Tell them: “I love you the way you are. I’m always proud of you.”
For the parents thinking: “My parents were tough on me, but look at me! I came out just fine,” ask yourself: did you succeed because of their harsh treatment or in spite of it? Imagine how much further you could’ve reached if you’d known that you were good enough for them.
Learning how to communicate emotions effectively is how your children will grow up to be emotionally strong, for themselves and the ones around them.
Listen to them. It gets tempting to preach all we know because we genuinely want to save our children from mistakes we’ve made. But listen first, and acknowledge how they feel. How they feel is how they feel; you can’t change or fix that. But you can offer them a way forward, and you must support them no matter what they choose.
That’s how your children will grow up to be loving and respectful towards you, and those younger than them.
Leave the worrying to adults. Plenty of children have old heads on young bodies. At 9 years old, some are already expressing concern about what secondary school they will go to and how their future will be like.
Do we, as adults, see how ridiculous that is? These children lose their childhoods in worry, grow up learning to worry, have kids and worry about them, and for what?
You can do the worrying and planning; let them be carefree and happy. They are children - let them have their childhoods.
That’s how your children will grow up to be confident adults who know how to be happy.
Show them you are human. Share your true feelings with them, both when things don’t go so well, and when you succeed. Do, not preach, how you want them to behave. Learn with them, so they know that life has ups and downs and that it’s okay. Show them how you yourself make mistakes, and how to deal with them.
That’s how your children will grow up to be secure adults who bravely face up to responsibilities.
Again, fortify your children with love. It’s important enough that I’m repeating this. Let your decisions and actions come not from worry or fear, but from love. Be brave to do what is best for your children, out of love, even if some elder or neighbour clicks their tongue. YOU truly love your children, not them.
Parenting from a place of love
Being a parent is tough. It’s crazy and sometimes overwhelming. But you’re doing the best you can, and that’s good enough.
You might have made mistakes, you may make a few more, but that’s alright, because you love your children, and nothing is more powerful than that.
Muhammad Fawaz | Geniebook Primary English Teacher