Monday, October 19, 2009

Adults vs Adults

In my post on 21st June I had written about public behaviour of adults. Adults chiding children to behave well is a common sight. But more common than that is –adults’ misbehaviour.
As the Principal of a School, I have the pleasure and pain of meeting the adults of my students in different situations. I have already written about parents and PTMs. But parents and school functions- is another saga to share with one and all.

I meet adults who want their wards to participate in all the functions with enthusiasm. There are some-who want their child to be the solo performer. Yet there are some who bargain with their children- get an A grade and participate. There is a lot of bullying, pleading, emotional blackmail and pressure tactics that go behind the scenes before a child arrives on the stage.

In all this what parents miss out is the emotional dynamics of children.
Guess-growing up into adults blinds us to many emotional needs of the young.
Of course the adults of some of my students try to make us believe that they are doing a favour to the school by allowing their children to participate in the school programs.

Since we are educators and to a large extent-adults-we grin and bear with it.
The first phase is over with the child enlisting into the program. The next begins with rehearsals. Despite intimation and newsletters-the parents have million questions- guess as adults they are too busy to read or remember our communications.

Many adults make us feel good with their offers of help in carving out the programs and there are many more who are not very considerate towards the gigantic task that we undertake each year with more than 500 children participating in any event. Probably they do not have time to recognize the unique features of their child’s school. Appreciation does come -but from few ‘adults’.

Although we are not event managers-we the adults in the school manage everything- including the seating arrangement with seat numbers. Ironically the adults who go to watch a movie on time and sit in the seat allotted to them –do not do the same with us. Time is rarely followed and seat numbers with subtle pressure. Guess we have to learn the tricks from theatre managers.

Another interesting feature in many adults is-they have plenty of time to attend neighbors’ wedding, nephew’s thread ceremony or a cradle ceremony-they may take leave also to attend these functions. But for their child’s school function-the priority is last from the bottom. To please their child they may come- but they sit on tenterhooks till their child’s role is done –only to pick up the child and run away to another function or watch a TV soap at home.

The same adults who teach their children to be friendly with everybody do not wait for their child’s friends to perform.
When children are young we teach them magic words like -thankyou please and sorry . But as adults we tend to forget the magic in life.

40 to 50 educators who are not very clueful about dance or acting, stage management or costume designing –put up a wonderful show with 100s of children and appreciations galore pour in from guests –but parents ??? Only a handful of them make wonderful thankyou cards or send emails as a notes of appreciation. The majority of the adults-simply don’t believe in the magic word-thankyou.

The bottomline is-the adults in the school do not get deterred or discouraged as we do it with sheer pleasure of discovering our students in different moods. We adults are enjoying the golden childhood of our students-I hope their adults too- will do the same sincerely.


Rajakumari said...

Hi Mam, I do agree with u, and I would like to comment on the last line i.e.,
We adults are enjoying the golden childhood of our students-I hope (nah…. I’am sure,as u always say) their adults too- will do the same sincerely.

Manjula said...

Dear Mam
I fully agree with you as I am witness to this kind of pressure tactics for the past two years. This year too many students in senior classes have not participated because of various kinds of pressure from parents. Learning the different facets of a child's personality through his/her performance is a unique experience which I as an educator had never had before and which I will cherish throughout my life. Yes, a thankyou goes a long way in conveying a heartfelt gratitude and is the simplest thing to do. As a person who conceptualises everything right from the script to the costumes and the dances and then brings about the much needed zing in the show YOU are the best.THANKYOU
Manjula Bhasin

Usha K said...

As parents we try to give best to our children.In bringing them up and managing our own life we are missing out on the magic words. I agree with you.But please understand that we always have respect for our childrne's school.In the last 4 years I have seen how the school has developed.We are also delveloping along with our children.

Ramakrishna said...

Many parents believe that participating in programs is a waste of time.They dont realize how much children will learn during rehearsals also.It is important for children to learn to adjust with the talents of other children,respect their fellow actors,synchronise with their team etc., all these help children grow up with emotional strength.I as a parent always encourage my child to particpate in all the programs of the school in any role, it may be small or big but my child is growing confidently. that is what I want.I hope other parents will also see this other side of learning.

Anu said...

Hi mam,
These are all the painful practical problems which we face in the school programs.Along with students, by knowing their reasons we as an educators also feel pressure and sad.
I feel that as an adult we must realise - how their children are overcoming stage fear when they are on stage or off stage(while rehearsals), gaining confidence, self management (i.e., by managing their time for rehearsals and academics), presentation and so on.
After the performance a heartfelt gratitude from us is the very simplest thing to do which makes them feel so proud, confident, encouraged and cherishable.It even encourages so many others to participate in forth coming programs.
So parents please aware that participation in the programs fetches so many +ve benifits for ur children. So Hurry up!

shivraj said...

Hi mam, as the parents of the students are more intrested in their child's part and very few parents has that gratitude towards the school, I feel that child's education starts at home. I completely agree with you mam as they have so much of time to attend all the functions and parties outside and the least priority to attend school functions... Shivraj Odhel....

KRUTHI said...

Hi mam
Superb and I agree with you.

sesanka said...

Dear Mam,

I compeltely agree with your thought process. Selfishness is the prime reason for few of the points you had mentioned about some parents. Some times I feel parents need more education than sutdents! You as an educator are dong an excellent job in communicating parents about adult behavior during the functions. I have a suggestion to start a quarterly magazine (simple 4-page color tabloid) that includes writeups of students, educators, parents and you the school management. Invite parents to express themselves on various activities that happens in and outside the school. Since many of the parents are not regular bloggers a magazine like "Silver Oaks @home" would surely reach every parent. Just a thought.


jayaprada said...

Congratulations! to your willpower for making such a big event sucessfull.Thanq for giving us an opportunity to train childern of different age groups.We The Educators enjoyed and also will enjoy in future to give such practises and bring out the talents among the students.
Every parent will think that their children should become an engineer or doctor or so on. but parents!must remember that these programmes will develop their children's communication skills,self management skills,adjusting with every one, and they will overcome the stage fear and develop the confidence.I think to reach their parents expectations childern need to learn all these.In this compitative world overall development of a child is very much,parents should
encourage their children in participating programmes and let them enjoy their golden childhood!

sesanka said...

Dear Mam,

I've sent an email to your school IDs -, and on this monday, appreciating the grand success of the event. But unfortunately none of the emails got delivered and I guess there is a problem with your email server. Please let me know the email id to which I can write.


Seetha Murty said...

Thanks Mr Sesanka for posting a constructive comment on my blog as well for making an effort to mail ur appreciation. As you guessed rightly..our offical mail server is down for the past 20 days and we are trying our best to get it in order at the earliest.
plz note my personal id

we are also keen to work on the newsletter you suggested. if you can come and meet us in the school-the idea can go ahead.
looking forward

ravalikareddy said...

hi ma'am
hats off for your idea of showing time less legacies. it was a fantastic show.
now i do repent for not participating in this grand event.
yes ma'am these are some of the practical experiences which we students face. i do agree with u ma'am...

srila said...

hi..hru..that was a good post ,appreciate ur effort in takin time n interacting with us.i seriously feel most of the parents are nt even aware that u blog ,so all the effort you r tryin to take in makin the majority aware is nt conveyed.As promised in the intro session of this academic yr for pre primary ,its necessary to organise parentin skill seminar and make more parents aware that kids are r individuals who are just small in size:)this is jus my 2 cents...thnx

bojja said...

I totally agree with u ma'am.I have seen many adults in the operas rushing to pick their children up as soon as their role is over.I also have seen that many of them are on the phone which seemed that they have just come to pick their child up.
that was superb write up.