If you're wondering why such a giant WhatsApp logo there, let me introduce the idea of parents virtually going to school, in lieu of their kids, via WhatsApp......
It was not recently I came across this term "Helicopter Parenting", but I understood it in its full context only in last two years (read: since my son started going to a 'big' school). In short, Helicopter Parents are parents who makes sure their children (irrespective of age) succeed at everything by paving the path for them. As if being "involved" in the child's education wasn't enough, there is this new phenomenon nowadays - Parenting via WhatsApp. For past 2 years, I've been a part of various parents' groups on WhatsApp. On one side, I am of the opinion that it is a very good thing to be a part of these groups because then, you are in touch with what is happening.
But, I'm also beginning to notice how these groups foster lack of ANY responsibility shown by children.
Case in point (I've already read what all was to be done in HW through the parents' group):
Me: Anvesh, is there any homework today?
Anvesh: No (as he plays with his Legos)
Me: Are you sure?
Anvesh: Why don't you check in the WhatsApp group?
Me: I could. But you ACTUALLY went to school and the Ma'am told you to your face. If YOU don't know what the homework is, I'm not going to be finding out what you have to do. This is your education, young man. I finished mine long ago and I'm not going to go to school on your behalf.
Me (finally paying attention): I have page 34 and 35 in Math Book to do.
So, you see here how the children would happily have someone else take care of things they ideally should do on their own? The Group is filled with "send me the photo of the filled answers" and some or the other mother sends a picture of the finished home work for another kid to copy.
And when such instances happen, I am left wondering where this is going! It is hard enough to be a working parent with a full time job and add to it the stress of constantly having to shadow your child everywhere (even virtually). The way I looked at homework was to sit with the child and coax the answers out of them by gently nudging them in the correct direction. If we stumble upon something neither of us know, we discover it together. Read about it, or in this day and age, "Google" it. We set up examples, experiments, scenarios for the child to understand the context of the topic under discussion. Honestly, I feel like an idiot for making all this effort to make sure my son understands understands concepts. I begin to question my methods of teaching sometimes.
Somehow, I felt I was alone in feeling this way. But one day, I met an experienced educator. I was recanting to her how stressful it was for me when Anvesh had exams. I had to sit down, teach him, day after day. And she said this one simple thing: "This is a very new phenomenon that children have to know everything all the time. I think, we ought to let our children also "not know" some things".
She told me how our insistence on knowing everything has clouded our 'wanting' strong foundations. How we are hampering our own kids' growth by being their crutch when they need none. And how we prepare the world for them and not them, for the world.
And on that note, I'll leave you.............I know the ramble sounds rather incoherent but I had to get it off of me........