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“I want homework to be banned as it takes away family time or enjoyment time of kids”, says a parent.

OR

“Homework sessions encourage children to use their time wisely, work independently, reinforce the topic and engage with the subject matter“, says another parent.

We often hear these contrasting opinions of the parents about schools giving home assignments. Although teachers are trying to find out a solution to keep all parents satisfied, the big question is “What kind of parents are we?

Should Assignments and projects be given to the learners in the school? This is being debated in the modern world. Since both parents are working nowadays, and have very little time for their kids, they either oppose this system or get these assignments done by professionals to enable their children to get good grades, better than their peers.

So, are we helicopter parents who keep hovering around our children? The baseless fear of the child being left behind in the rat race of scoring good grades makes us Hovering Parents. We spoon-feed our children thinking that helping them on each stage defines us as "good parents". The mindset of parents about their wards facing tough competition for admission into a good school, college or good job make them overly protective. Misusing this unsubstantiated fear, the private coaching centers offer tightly packed coaching classes for competitive exams, structured sports activities, and sessions on different technology tools for better learning starting with learners of as early as class VIII and that too at hefty fees. And parents are more than ready to expend a fortune to give an extra edge to their children. But, have we ever thought about the havoc we play with a child’s personality by such acts?

As indicated above “Helicopter Parents are the ones who pay extremely close attention to their children’s experiences and problems and keep hovering over their heads”. But this overparenting will not succeed in the long run. Such children are bound to nosedive at one point of time or another in their lives. It’s important for children to develop grit and determination for long-term success and such parents prevent these traits to develop in their wards.

Learning, Unlearning, and relearning help children to face the challenges head-on and they must keep trying till they succeed. This is possible only when we let them slog for the tests of their lives and let them find solutions to overcome them. Helicopter parents inadvertently help their children from facing everyday challenges by supporting them in making the school projects, doing their home assignments to give a perfect look instead of letting them do as per their capability.

Such children who haven’t worked hard and never tasted failure can be greatly affected by any inevitable hardship. It is rightly said, “Instead of helicoptering our kids, we should be strapping parachutes on their backs, parachutes made of common sense, kindness, courage, values, and other life skills. Then we should teach them how to jump”.

The education sector is constantly evolving and has become highly competitive with the outburst of technology. Our students must possess a hunger for experiential learning deeply rooted in values that will help them survive in today’s world. Only those with curiosity will develop a love for learning which will enable them to pick up new capabilities and adapt well to these ever-evolving educational environs. They will become global citizens by appreciating universal problems and finding solutions for them.

Helicopter Parents limit their ward’s capabilities by discouraging them to explore new ideas outside the school curriculum. They force their children to spend entire available time in the pursuit of high marks in academics. Such children scoring marks due to rote learning are habitual of taking orders and instructions from parents and teachers and hence devoid of creativity, critical and independent thinking. Roald Dahl famously said, “The more risks you allow your children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves”.

When a child is introverted, a parent with a Fixed Mindset will announce in the world the shy nature of the child whereas the parent with a Growth Mindset of the same child will try to develop the personal capabilities of the child through focused hard work. Helicopter Parenting leads to a higher level of nervousness, poor coping skills, and a depressing attitude in the children. If you are one of such parents. Beware!

Always remember “It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves will make them successful human beings”.

By - Anju Gupta

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