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Lipika and Monica, two children aged 3+ from middle class families joined Nursery Class in an English medium school. After they settled down in about two weeks, they got their first homework.
As soon as Monica reached home after school, she told her mother of the homework. The mother was very eager to ensure that the child’s homework must be done perfectly without a mistake. So after lunch, she told Monica to bring her notebook and sat down by her side to help her. Monica, at that tender age, got the subtle message, ‘Homework is something that I cannot do own my own.’ And ‘Homework is not my responsibility anyway. It is mummy’s job and it is up to her when she calls me for that.’ From that day on, it became a routine. Monica’s mother took upon herself the responsibility of ‘helping’ her child with her homework. Monica eventually became dependent upon her mother for her homework. Whenever the mother was not in a position to sit with her due to any reason, Monica would find it difficult to complete her homework. In the class, she would not be as attentive as she should be, because she knew that her mother would help her with her homework.
Lipika, on arriving from the school, blabbered out all that had happened at school and, of course, the homework. Her father took keen interest in whatever she was saying. In the evening, Lipika asked her father, “Papa, Homework Karva do” (Papa, help me do my homework.)
The father looked into her eyes and said affectionately, “look dear, this is your homework and you should try and do it yourself. I am there to help you if you are stuck somewhere. Try and do it yourself, sweetheart.”
Lipika received the message, “homework is my homework and it is my responsibility. Papa will help me if I need that help.” She sat down and completed her homework on her own. That became a routine for her. Everyday in the evening, she would complete her homework on her own. As a by-product, she would be more attentive because she was preparing herself for the homework she would have to do.
Eventually she became an independent learner and never needed the ‘crutches’ of any tutor.
You want your child to become Monica or Lipika ____ choice is yours !!!
Monica and Lipika spent the next few years in school with the routine set up by their respective parents, each of whom thought they were doing their best for their child.
During these formative years, Lipika grew up to be an independent learner with fairly developed faculties of reading, writing and problem-solving. She also developed a strong sense of responsibility __ so much so that whenever they had late evening party or visitors in the evening, she would stay awake till late in the night to do her homework without any reminder or nagging from the parents.
Monica, on the other hand, grew up to be dependent on her mother for all her academic work. Her mother would dutifully spend hours together in the evening helping her with her homework. The child’s faculties of reading, writing and problem-solving could not be developed appropriate to her age.
A day came when Monica (and Lipika) was promoted to Class VI. Now the mother was not in a position to help her with her homework in all the subjects. Monica’s academic graph started coming down and the parents got worried. Then they found an easy solution ____ tutors. Three tutors were fixed for her ---- one for English, one for Maths. and Science and another for Hindi.
After coming from school, Monica would take her lunch and there was time for the first tuition. Physically tired and mentally exhausted after the school, she would reach her tuition with her eyes half shut. She was not able to grasp all that the tuition master was teaching or rather ‘re-teaching’. The afternoon time spent with these ‘learned people’ would make her fully exhausted and in the evening she would feel dull and drowsy. In the evening, she would drag herself for the last tuition, where she would simply sit without anything going into her head.
Lipika, on the other hand, had developed a habit and capability of handling her school-work almost unaided. After coming back from school, she would take lunch and hit the bed for a lovely, short afternoon nap. She would get up fully rejuvenated and would be a bundle of energy. By this time she had developed a taste for music and painting. In the early evening, she would practice on her keyboard or paint. She would totally entertain herself and then she would sit down with her homework with all her concentration in the late evening. Only now and then, would she require her father’s help.
As she did not have to go to the tutors, she had enough time and energy and she picked up reading habits. She would read story books appropriate to her age and grew to be an avid reader.
The parenting style of their respective parents determined their growth into two different kinds of students.
What you want your child to be --- choice is again yours. Remember – your parenting style will decide this.
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