Teach English in Chixi Zhen - Bazhong Shi

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Parents being the first teachers of their children have a major role to play in their education. Researches carried out around the world indicate the positive impact of parent’s engagement, support at home and involvement in school activities and its positive benefits to children’s overall well being, development and success in life. One of such researches is “A parent’s role in their child’s education” by Trinity College (2019). In the light of the above, who then can be considered a parent? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a parent is defined as “a person who gives birth to or who raises a child”. Unfortunately, due to poverty, wars and conflicts, terrorism, migrations and other human and environmental factors, children are being adopted and raised by others who are not their biological parents. These people become their foster parents or guardians. Responsible parents and guardians therefore, invest a lot of time, money and resources in the education of their children in order to equip them in becoming responsible adults and productive citizens. A quote attributed to John F. Kennedy states that “the aim of education is the advance of knowledge and the dissemination of truth”. Therefore, parents investment in terms of skills and knowledge acquisition pay manifold dividends not only for the children but also for the society in the long run. It is a known fact that parents influence their children’s physical, social, psychological, financial, emotional, spiritual and career development, whereas a dysfunctional parent could impair their children’s normal development. Consequently, parents should ensure that their children are provided with the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter and medical care concurrently with a sound education. In addition, parents should ensure that children get their daily amount of required sleep quota, fresh air and exercise in order to stay mentally alert in school. Due to the fact that parents roles are so encompassing and cannot be underestimated, it is important that parents love their children unconditionally, spend quality time with them each day, not compare them with their siblings and most especially accept their children’s uniqueness. Parents should model good behavior and inculcate in their children moral and spiritual values for life. Values such as punctuality, honesty, excellence, diligence, accountability, gratitude, patience, courtesy, non- violence, etc. will enable them acquire a well-rounded personality. It is also the parent’s responsibility to restrain and discipline their children when appropriate. As a result of all these, children will develop self-confidence enabling them to have better social skills, earn high grades, form stable relationships and adapt well in life. Many parents aspiration is that their children develop to their fullest potential and have better opportunities than they had themselves. Carson (1992) detailed the love, positive influence, moral support and discipline, he and his brother got from their mother, Sonya, who was a single mother with little education. She worked at two and often times three jobs to see them through school. Today, Ben Carson is a gift to his society and the world. He is professor neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology and pediatrics and the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions as well as a writer and a politician. However, some external factors such as the breakdown of the law and order, gender discrimination, absence of schools, or lack of institutional structures in some countries, etc., may prevent parents from fulfilling their parental roles and responsibilities even though they desire to do so. Such was the case of Malala Yousafzai, whose quest for education was nearly terminated by the Taliban. Today, she has an organization, Malala Fund (2019) that fights for the education of marginalized girls in some countries of the world. Yousafzai is also the youngest Nobel Peace laureate. It is vital that apart from providing their children with formal education, parents concurrently provide their children with informal education. While formal education takes place within the confines of a school with a curriculum and with the help of trained teachers, informal education follows a less structured approach such as teaching a child personal hygiene, how to cook nutritious meals, providing opportunity for travel, music or painting lessons, having a library at home, visiting the museums, caring for pets, participating in community activities, etc. in order to engender in them spirit of curiosity and exploration. Parents responsibility towards their children education will include participating in school activities such as open days, culture days, career days and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings. PTA meetings can serve as a platform to appreciate teachers or correct anomalies that have been observed in the school and for parents to contribute to the school’s curriculum development. Although very challenging requiring an enormous amount of patience and sacrifice, parents with special needs children have the responsibility of educating them to the extent that they are able to learn and teaching them coping skills while parents with troubled children, especially if teenagers may need to seek professional help. It follows therefore, that parents need to have continued on -going communication with their children’s teachers, carers and guardian counselors. Furthermore, parents can work with teachers, community members and other relevant stakeholders to train children to be aware of societal issues. Through discussions on issues of current concerns such as trafficking in children, people living with disability, drug abuse, social justice, etc. children can develop critical thinking abilities and perhaps proffer solutions. Like Malala, children can be encouraged to be change agents. In conclusion, the role of parents in education cannot be overemphasized. If parents around the world fulfill their roles and responsibilities towards their children by providing them with the necessary basic needs, formal and informal education and inculcating in them moral and spiritual values, children will grow up to be worthwhile individuals who will contribute to the ennoblement, progress and the advancement of humanity. References Trinity College (2019) A parents role in their child’s education -From Parental engagement in learning and schooling: Lessons from research. A report by the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth for the Family-School and Community Partnerships Bureau.” Retrieved July19, 2019 from ( Quote by John F. Kennedy. Retrieved July 20, 2019 from Carson, Ben (1992). Think Big: unleashing your potential for excellence by Ben Caron with Cecil Murphey. Published under permission in Nigeria by Evangel Publishers Ltd. Malala Fund (2019). Retrieved July 20, 2019 from