Help children build character

Wednesday June 6, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/6/focus/11423022&sec=focus

I FELT sad on reading “Be sensitive to children’s feelings” (The Star, June 4). Children’s lifestyle nowadays is totally different from that of our days and we as parents should not compare living our sweet old days with our children’s.

I still remember the words expressed by my father on the very first day he sent me to school. He told the teacher: “Do whatever necessary, and make him study.”

The words are like licence to my teacher to punish my friends and me with their old hard method when correcting our mistakes.

Yes, that was good enough for those days because we didn’t even know what child psychology was then.

Now, student psychology has became part of the curriculum in teacher’s training colleges. Teachers are urged by the Education Ministry to use psychology to overcome children’s problems in school rather than using disciplinary action.

As the writer said, suicide is a preventable “illness” and sometimes the cure can be a simple solution if only we can understand the child’s problem and find a suitable solution to help him.

I would also say parental guidance is vital to curbing such grievous incidents from threatening society.

Parents in our time placed emphasis on religious values, taking their children to the temple, church or mosque. Children learned the importance of religious values in life.

In those days, even though parents sometimes had to use the hard way to correct our mistakes, the next moment, by their actions, they would show care and love.

Our grandparents, too, from time to time, stressed the importance of cultural values and nurtured these in the young children’s hearts so that the next generation would not lose them.

Everything has now changed and more and more pressure is put by parents on their children to excel academically, to improve their career prospects.

But what is most important is to teach our kids to become more stable in their psychological make-up. Giving them a luxurious life is not a good way to build inner strength. Parents should spend more time with their children. They still need us to build their identity.

Give them every opportunity to build a good character. Talk with them and give them a way to express and share their problems in their daily life.

We as parents shouldn’t let them solve their problems their own way because they are still not mature enough to properly weigh their problems or they may have difficulty in solving them.

Let’s play our part to instil strong and good character traits in our children, and not leave this job to the teachers.

Academically, teachers may know our kids better but we parents know their hearts better.

Yes, we, the parents are the first teacher, the first facilitator and first counsellor to our kids. If we can play our role effectively, we can build a very strong young generation capable of facing the future bravely and confidently.

Let’s move from now to guide and teach our kids to become strong and brave.

SELVAM NARAYANASAMY,

Shah Alam.