How Can Parents Become Supplementary Educators?

Author – Seema Bhoi

With each passing year, children will grow and leap into the world to find their place between family, friends, relatives, work, and strangers. They will need to understand the way out to recharge their batteries, blend with the people around, and yet be a unique individual. I believe, as a parent, you need not pull out time separately to teach your children. They learn by their surroundings, watching your behavior, and from what you discuss with them. While the teaching and learning process continues even after the children have grown up, an article may not be enough to help you understand everything. I have tried to put in as many tips as possible that may help you become a great supplementary educator.

Prepare for the Real World

Ask yourself a question. “When the day comes, will your child be ready for the real world?” There are things, schools will never teach. Avoid thinking whether a particular activity is to be taught to your boy or does your girl really needs to know it. Keep it simple by not discriminating against your prince and the princess. Daily chores like laundry, cleaning, preparing meals are few things every child must learn.

You can gradually involve your child in daily activities you do including mending the bed, watering the plants, cleaning the wardrobe, buying groceries, etc. While you cook the meal, your apple of the eye can help in garnishing the dish. While you do the laundry, your kid can help in adding the detergent. Involving him/her in small activities will generate interest and the kid will enjoy these activities.

Leaving the kid at the granny’s place when you go shopping, refilling petrol, or even to your tailor can never be a wise decision. Make polite conversation with the shopkeeper, do humble discussion with the tailor, and let your kid watch. That’s how the child will learn talking manners.

Take your children along when you visit a friend. Keep a check on what you discuss and how you behave with your friends. This can be the first step to teach building relationships, and managing people. 

Continue until the teaching becomes a routine

Children are curious in nature and ask a lot of questions. This is where they deserve your attention. You must continue to remain available, stay active to answer all their Why’s and I bet you can prove to be the best supplementary educator to your child. Often parents think that they need to tell the child only once and he will obey. We need to understand that the teaching has to be a continuous process. If you club your instructions with why things will be much easier for the child. For instance, you want to stop your child from going outside to play during the virus outbreak. You can say –“ We have to stay inside! All of us are hiding inside the house from a virus that is waiting outside to harm us.”

I’ve curated 10 habits you can teach as a Supplementary Educator. Take a look –

  1. Teach them how and when to apologize
  2. Tell them about writing ‘Thank you’ notes
  3. Help them practice self-care. Tell them ‘It’s okay!… and everything will be fine’
  4. Instruct them to be a good listener.
  5. Behave nicely when you talk to domestic help, vegetable vendor, driver, neighbors, etc. How to master in bargaining with fruit seller is not what you want to teach your child.
  6. Take care of your parents and involve children in this good habit.
  7. Teach them how to politely say ‘No’
  8. Teach them basic phone manners. Banging the phone receiver in aggression is not what you want to teach.
  9. Pick your plates after dinner even if you have domestic help.
  10. Teach them to respect time – of yourself and others.

In a Nutshell

Throughout the day there will be many opportunities when you can influence the child. Some may be unintentional while some you may have to deliberately create. You deliberately like to teach him to count coins while he may unintentionally learn to water the plants. Keeping a positive environment around the child and additionally teaching him to calmly face the negative you can help your child face the real world.

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