|Worried about School Assessments (WASL)|
There are parents who get worked up quite frequently about their child's performance in school. Every few weeks their blood pressure builds up and they find themselves arguing with the child, then the school and the tutor and so on. Majority of such parents need to take an inventory of the things that they need to be doing before they show their concern. Here is the order of things that they need to worry about and pursue before they run to others:
- Is the child hungry? What is he eating? Is he getting enough food that he likes and relishes what he eats? Is there a regular time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Is the table set properly for each meal time? Is the meal time, a time for sparring, scolding, and a duel over who wins; whether the child gets up without eating or the parent is successful in thrusting the food inside the child. If every meal time is a contest. Then some thing is seriously wrong. A hungry child can not study and will not study.
- What type of lunch is the child taking to schoool? If the child is taking junk food as lunch, then this is the biggest cause of concern. Leave everything and ensure that the child takes proper healthy food.
- Is there a time to sleep, time to wake up, time to rest? Without proper food, sleep and rest the child will be irritated, cranky and will be full of demands and would make fuss about every thing. Do the parents keep on sleeping till noon on holidays? Does the mother go to sleep after packing the kids to school? Holidays are time to explore the outdoors, parks, exhibitions, riverside or seaside. Holidays are for outdoor trips, trackings and excursions. Regular timings for sleeping and waking up provide the framework in which your child will organize his work and studies. Without the discipline of sleeping and waking up on time, expecting organization in child's homework and studies is a pipe dream.
- Is there a time to play, go out and have physical excursion? A growing young boy needs about six hours of physical exercise, play, running, climbing, etc. A child who is well fed and well rested will want to exert energy and play. If the child is not getting enough time to play and get the energy out of the system in the playground, he would do it at home by climbing on walls, cupboards, throwing things around, catching (and hence breaking stuff). Rowdyism of children is a sign of lack of opportunities for playground interaction with his/her peers. If a child has no time to play, then he is not mentally prepared for studies. At least one hour of competitive sports time (hockey, football, basketball, table tennis, badminton etc) will tremendously improve the grades of any student. Healthy body leads to healthy mind.
- Once the regularity of meal times, sleep times, and play times are ensured, your child should not frequently be complaining of illness, infections and should be healthy. If he is excessively ill, then special attention has to be given in ensuring that the kid generally is not suffering from any ailments.
- If the child is has proper meals, proper sleep time, proper play time and is generally healthy and still appear cranky and grumpy. Then the parent needs to pay attention to his emotional needs of being loved.
- Once a parent has fulfilled the physical needs (proper meals, sleep, play) and emotional needs, then the parent can rightly start worrying about the studies of the child. However, studies show that parents who fulfill the primary needs of the children often have no problem with children's education because by that time they have provided a framework and a conducive environment for the growth of the children.
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[A workshop delivered at L2L Academy in July 2012]