Parenting :: Control VS Coaching

It is Teachers Day today here in India. We had spent most of our day making cards and doing crafts as a way to express our  appreciation for the teachers at school. Of course while little Miss Z was falling asleep she wished me ‘Happy Teachers Day Mamma’… this made me smile but also made me realise that I am also a teacher for her. And if I am a teacher then what kind of a teacher am I? 

I know that for the most part I am teaching her life skills as of now while also teaching her how to add single digit numbers occasionally. One of the biggest reasons I gave up working was because while I was young my mother gave up her career and stayed with us. I think for her the reason was simple. She says she would need to know that we understand the difference between good and bad before she could confidently join and fulfil any role in an office.

While I do remember a few teachers from my school days I did not have a very good school life. I was always the odd one out never really had friends. Also  I am absolutely certain that a lot of what was done back then would not hold true any more. There was a lot of control that the teachers used to exercise when we were in school but now I feel that we  coach our children in the best way possible.

One of the biggest focus areas for me is that I try to not point out mistakes. I always appreciate the effort that she had put into something and try to compliment the same. It is the effort that had got her so far and with effort she will keep getting better. I always try to remember Ms Frizzle from The Magic School Bus and her attitude towards learning. “Get messy and take chances” is something that is easier said than done though.

As someone who aspires to learn and grow I love to do hands-on things with her and don’t hide any mistakes I make so that she can see that we are not perfect and that perfection is not the end goal but progress is

A lot of times I see parents doing so much for their child out of love.  Most of time this leads to the child not picking up some very basic skills and habits. A small example of the same is to pick up after themselves after a meal. This is a given for Miss Z but most of her friends are not even aware of what they are supposed to do. By simply “doing” for the child and not coaching them we rob them off of so much of independence. Just by coaching them and bringing to their attention we can helps building life skills that are very helpful in the future.

As parents we can teach our child skills so that they can flourish in life and not feel handicapped when they are out in the real world. 

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