Accusations of Noise Making by Teachers against Children in School: A Worrisome Development.

A long time ago, I noticed that a little girl’s knees were getting dark and calcified. She was then in one of the nursery classes. I decided to chat with the class teacher after the child explained that they were made to kneel down a lot at school. The teacher actually acknowledged that she made them kneel down most of the time when they were in class because of their noise-making.

I couldn’t help but express surprise! I was surprised that the teacher was able to stomach the sight of children between ages five and six years who knelt down almost throughout the day, even when they were writing!

“Has this measure made your nursery children achieve the discipline of keeping quiet in class?” I asked rhetorically.

“As long as they make noise, they will continue to kneel down” was her evasive response. She made this response without emotion and assertively to communicate her dissatisfaction with my unpleasant reaction to her ‘disciplinary measure’

I couldn’t help but fill my mind with an array of questions: are nursery children no longer the ‘busy bees’ that they are? Is there really any anything a teacher can do to get them achieve the discipline of keeping quiet in class when they are not engaged in an age-appropriate activity-based curricular or extra-curricular learning process? Was the teacher not rather guilty of having unrealistic expectations from those children? Was she not lacking the classroom management skills that are motivation driven? Did she receive the necessary training as a nursery teacher? Was she not aware of the Montessori educational approach? Was she happy and satisfied being a teacher?

Children at that age are usually active. I believe that the ‘noise’ should not have arisen if the teacher applied the right approach. The punishment the children were exposed to was unnecessary and very ineffective in achieving the desired result. Such harmful and unfair practices precipitate negative emotions in the children, which adversely affect their academic performance and proper personality development.

School administrators should please devote enough resources and attention to issues of staff selection, motivation, training and monitoring so that the right methodology will be applied in raising children who are academically sound and emotionally stable.

Great teachers and parents are aware that children’s learning activities are designed to accommodate their respective developmental peculiarities.

 

Uchenna N. Nduka

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Coping with Delinquency in Children.

A story was told by a woman of how an eight-year-old foster child who came to stay with her family refused to drop a bad habit of stealing despite weeks of frantic efforts to discourage the behaviour. She initially felt that if she could set a trap and catch her red handed, she would stop stealing. Even after she was caught, disgraced and terribly flogged, she still continued. The woman said that the event that frightened her most occurred around 1a.m. on a particular day when she was woken up by the sound of an aluminum pot cover. She hastened to her kitchen to find out what the sound was about. To her dismay, her girl was stealing a piece of meat from her pot by that time of the night!

This eight-year-old girl was obviously showing signs of delinquency because she did not respond positively to the disciplinary measures that were adopted to discourage her from stealing.

At this point, most adults would get hysterical, and mete out inhuman acts of punishment to the child. Flogging the child with wire, hitting with heavy objects, starving and cutting the mouth and fingers with a razor blade are some of the condemnable ‘disciplinary measures’ usually adopted in anger. Some of such children may end up being described as witches or demon-possessed and may be required to pass through inhuman religious processes for deliverance. Stories have been told of how delinquent teenagers are kept in home-made, school-made and community-made prisons under harsh conditions so that they would learn discipline from their sufferings. Claims of rape of female teenagers in such prisons are common.

Some of such children may be so traumatized by violence that their real selves would be shackled into hidden corners in their hearts. The children would therefore be coerced into an illusory form of compliance or obedience. Parents, teachers and caregivers who adopt this approach are really kept busy daily designing and applying punishment in increasing measures to maintain a desirable level of this illusory atmosphere of discipline. Regrettably, children in such environments, except by God’s grace would slip into indiscipline if given the slightest opportunity.

The unfortunate thing is that acts of brutality tend to worsen rather than alleviate the situation. The aggressive approach does not produce children who acquire discipline as personality attributes. Brutality has produced children whose consciences are dead. They would have rebellion tucked in their hearts awaiting convenient times for expression. There have been stories where such children waylaid parents and teachers in vengeance.

I am sure that we would all be wondering how to face the challenge of correcting a child whose conscience is unresponsive, who neither fears God nor his parents, who is not capable of guilt feelings, who may not care about other people’s opinion of him or her, who cares little or nothing about the consequences of his actions, and who would in fact be progressively unmoved by the punishment that would ordinarily discourage his or her peers. I am of the opinion that delinquency is really a spiritual rebellion.

In seeking for solution to delinquency, aggression is ruled out since it is ineffective and will further debase the child. The optimum method to adopt should be such that will help achieve restoration and revival spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically. The target should be to restore normalcy to a personality who has helplessly taken to rebellion. The restoration plan should be such that will help the child achieve an inner set of stable positive values.

Parents of delinquent children should be properly guided.

  1. Parents should be more available to work with God for this special restoration role. Delinquency should not be a reason to abandon any child.
  2. Parents should prayerfully get closer, talk more, and listen more to the child to get more insight into the child’s problem.
  3. Parents should ensure that the child is patiently provided with the guidance and explanations he or she requires to obey instructions or carry out assignments properly.
  4. The child’s relationship with people in his environment should be properly reviewed to exclude frustration.
  5. Parental unconditional and unending love for the child should get stronger throughout the delinquency ordeal.
  6. The delinquent child should be truly and completely forgiven.

Parents should avoid the common mistake of always referring to the child’s misdeeds or interpreting the child’s behavior from the perspective of his past misdeeds. Such interpretations introduce hopelessness, faithlessness and stagnation to the child’s situation.

It is also unnecessary and will work against the desired purpose to discuss the child’s behavior publicly or with visitors. Other close relations of the child should be also be cautioned to avoid these mistakes.

  1. The correction skills that were discussed in our last post will be very useful in coping with delinquency.

“In correcting children, parents should communicate love, logical reasoning, fear of God and the avoidable negative consequences of wrong actions.

It really takes the redeeming power of God to deal effectively with the depravity of man. (Romans 7:24). My personal experiences have proved the efficacy of God’s word and prayer in the correction of wrong behaviour in children.

Parents should not be too hasty in expecting results when correcting a child. A skilled parent should follow up closely on the child, rewarding every little improvement with love, hope and faith.”

  1. The child’s teachers in school are also expected to relate with the child skillfully.

 

Delinquency should not excite hopelessness and aggression. It should be approached with prayer, commitment, love, hope and faith.

-Uchenna N. Nduka

Minimising Sibling Rivalry: Parents’ Role

Siblings are privileged to have a common heritage of parenthood, live together as children and be exposed to the same family, cultural and religious values and orientation. It is therefore absurd when they develop into enemies who utilise every opportunity to nurse ill feelings, backbite, and work against each others’ purpose.

It is note-worthy that incidences of sibling rivalry are usually preceded by negative emotions and feelings of being less loved and preferred as a result of endowments, position, achievements and other factors. I have heard such statements as ‘My brother is always right while I am always wrong’, ‘Of course, my mother loves him more than any one of us in the family’, and ‘My father loves her more because she is the only girl among us’. Such perceptions of unfairness are capable of producing very regrettable results.

Our environment is replete with the evil occurrences of sibling rivalry. It is a major cause of physical and emotional abuse of children at home. It frustrates overall family goals and achievements. Unbelievable stories have been told over and again of how people connived to sell their brothers and sisters to slave dealers during the era of slave trade. The bizarre developments where siblings take each other through judicial processes and vendetta in their bid to manage or share the properties of a parent who died without a will are evidences of how ugly sibling rivalry could get.

The evil outcomes of sibling rivalry also manifested in the bible. Sibling jealousy almost led to the murder of Joseph. He was eventually sold to slave dealers by his eleven brothers. Esau and Jacob, who were twins, ended up in strife and were estranged. In the case of Cain and Abel, sibling rivalry resulted in murder! There is really no limit to the evil consequences of untamed negative emotions.

Parents’ Role in Minimising Sibling Rivalry

  1. Parental love should flow and be seen to flow endlessly, unconditionally and equally among all the children in the family.

Children do not have to merit their parents’ love! Family resources should be equally applied in providing for the needs of all the children in the family.

Parents are bound to love their children in any case. In doing this, parents should remember God, and how He causes the rain to fall for everyone and the sun to shine on everyone, not minding how good or bad each person is. Parental love, when properly applied and sustained, even in the face of challenges in the course of child training, does not only prevent sibling rivalry, but assists greatly in recovering children when they derail into unrighteousness.

  1. Parents should acknowledge and respect the unique personality of each child.

Children are uniquely created with different talents and personality dispositions. For instance, they may be short or tall, dark or fair, fat or slim, fast or tardy, introverted or extroverted, timid or bold. Every child is uniquely endowed with resources to address unique needs of the nuclear family and the society at large. Parents should therefore recognise that children are respectively called to different professions and service to mankind.

  1. Comparing the endowments of children by parents is both unnecessary and ineffective in achieving parenting targets.

It usually excites wrong emotions and actions among siblings, especially when they are made in the process of correcting a wrong behaviour.

Parents should rather make efforts to ensure that each child’s unique personality endowments are positively communicated to his or her siblings in such a way that none would feel that the other is preferred.

If everything was right, Cain and Abel in the bible would have been raised so that they would each feel fulfilled in their respective careers, love each other and offer worthy appreciation to God. Cain would not have felt the way he did. He would have simply taken correction.

  1. Application of good correction skills:

When a child continues to err on a particular issue, parents should first meditate deeply and consider comprehensively all factors at play in the child’s situation that could have contributed to the child’s behaviour. Parents should always remember to prayerfully get closer, talk more and listen more to the child before deciding of the best approach to correcting him or her.

In correcting children, parents should communicate love, logical reasoning, fear of God and the avoidable negative consequences of wrong actions.

It really takes the redeeming power of God to deal effectively with the depravity of man. (Romans 7:24). My personal experiences have proved the efficacy of God’s word and prayer in the correction of wrong behaviour in children.

Parents should not be too hasty in expecting result when correcting a child. A skilled parent should follow up closely on the child, rewarding every little improvement with love, hope and faith.

  1. Avoidance of pollutants to the right atmosphere of discipline:

Efforts at correcting children would not yield the desired result and would excite sibling jealousy if children who manifest wrong behaviours are condemned, hated, resented, called names, debased, compared with their siblings and told they would never get anything right. These and other wrong and ineffective approaches parents apply in correcting children were discussed in our post of 7th January, 2016 in the Reflections category titled ‘Pollutants to the Right Atmosphere of Discipline’. They should all be avoided.

 

Passionate parents raise siblings who respect, appreciate and support each other in love.

 

-Uchenna N. Nduka

Empathy and Compassion: Prerequisites for Raising Conscientious and Disciplined Children.

My daughter recently asked for my opinion on the makeup on her face. I gave her my sincere opinion and continued with what I was doing. After a few minutes, she came back with her sister to dig deeper into my thought process. Their confusion was that they had become used to my preference for very light facial makeup. They were therefore struggling to reconcile my answer with my current disposition to the issue of makeup.

I then explained to them that I actually put into consideration the age and personality disposition of the girl in question when I gave the response. She was in her late adolescent years. The atmosphere became hilarious when I mentioned that I made up as much as she did when I was her age.

I was really surprised when I understood that they actually thought that the values, preferences and the discipline I now have on various issues of life are what they were in my adolescent years.

Parenting Lessons

  1. I believe that parents play a key role in determining the values and moral standards which their children acquire. Regular readers of the passioninparenting posts should have a good understanding of the fact that parental values are communicated consciously or unconsciously to children from infancy through every word, action or inaction of parents as they interact with their children.
  2. Maturity is a gradual developmental process which parents should patiently provide support for.
  3. The parenting process would be filled with anger and frustration if the children are expected to think and act like adults.
  4. Passionate parents are accommodating to children’s respective personality dispositions. They should show understanding to the evolving developmental peculiarities, as long as moral values, health and safety are not compromised.

Parenting is exciting and effective when done with empathy and compassion

  • Uchenna N. Nduka