Your words can dig into your childs mindset June 7, 2012Posted by aglakadam in Children n Students, parenting.
Tags: children, comunication, parenting style, teaching quality, training
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Success Byte :
Recently I read in the newspaper about a few students committing suicide since they could not secure decent grades in their 10th or 12th class school / board examinations. I was deeply grieved to read about such incidents. After all why does the child get into such a cowardly act? Why does the child give it up and withdraw from life all together? In my attempt to research for the reason behind this, I discussed the issue with a few parent and teachers. The reason behind such acts could be many and case specific. However one common finding is lack of right communication, which makes a deep impact in the child’s mindset.
To elucidate this I share a story here. Once a fortune teller ( an astrologer) landed in the durbar of King Akbar. The king had a very special habit, he would entertain the first visitor in his court with full devotion. If the visitor was a seeker and if the king was convinced with the query / problem presented by this seeker, he would go all out to assuage the petitioner. In case the visitor was an artist, he was given an opportunity to demonstrate the art in front of the nine ministers in the court ( often called navratna – the nine gems). The fortune teller had learned the art from his guru after investing long years of penance and sacrifice. He knew that the king was bighearted and rewarded the visitors benevolently. He was an honest person and wanted to meet the King in order to earn some riches in the form of reward. The king asked him to study the horoscope of all his family members and read his report card. He would be awarded with 100 gold coins if he gave a nice forecast. After doing the necessary calculations and in-depth analysis the fortune teller presented his prediction to the King : My Lord, “you will see the dead faces of all your family members.”… the king was shocked at such a harsh remark and went berserk. He was highly agitated and ordered the fortune teller to leave his kingdom in no time or else he would be relegated to the death chamber.
The fortune teller was scared to see the kings fury and ran out of the hall to escape any further castigation. He straightaway went to Birbal. Birbal was a minister known for his extreme intelligence. After listening to his story, Birbal asked the fortune teller to change his lookout and dress-up like a saint. This saint was then presented before the king the next day. Birbal informed the king that this saint was the best fortune reader in the region. The king was apprehensive and admonished the saint to speak good words and also be honest. This time the fortune teller, guised as a saint, read the horoscope in a different manner. He told the King, “My Lord, you are so lucky, you will have the longest life in the whole of your family!” The King was so happy he presented the saint with 100 gold coins and also many more gems!
Friends, in both the cases the prediction was the same, the manner in which it was communicated made all the difference. There is a hitopedesh in Sanskrit which says, “Sada satyam bhruyat, satyam api apriyam na bhruyat” This means always speak the truth; don’t speak the truth in a manner which would sound unpleasant to the listener. Adopting the proper communication strategy plays a very big role in leading an individual towards success or failure. This applies to schools and students as well.
Say for example, “when the student does not perform well in the class examination” what does most of the parent’s / teachers invariably tell her?
SET I :
The common reprimanding statements are :
1. You are a dumb fool / duffer?
2. You cannot even answer such an easy question paper?
3. You are a failure
4. It is so tough to teach you; you idiot.
5. You are a bad boy. Etcetera.
Such harsh words said by some of the teachers & parent’s make a long sketched indent in the minds of our students. In place of making such a communication I suggest the communication should be this way :
SET II :
1. You have to become still more intelligent.
2. You could have solved this easy question had you paid attention.
3. You are yet to be a winner.
4. I will make more efforts and try to be a better teacher.
5. You are not a good boy.
When you compare the statements in both the sets I & II above, the meaning conveyed by the statements are same but the set of words used is different. When such statements repeatedly hit the eardrums of the young generation they start getting a subconscious conviction about whatever is being communicated to them. When the repeated communication received is “you are a bad boy” ultimately the child gets convinced that yes, he is a bad boy. On the contrary if the repeated communication would have been “You are not a good boy” at least the aspirational longing of being good some day would have survived in the boys mind. Through this write-up I request all those who are parent’s and/or teacher’s in this society to be sanguine in their communications with children. You may forget what you said but the impact of your words would have already started precipitating in those innocent minds.
Do’s & Don’ts : • As a parent / teacher be very selective in using words, for they might become the judgment for the student. Think over it . Your words can dig into your child’s mindset, use those astutely.
Good to Read :
Pick of the week : “”Failure Is Not an Option” by Alan M. Blankstein “Failure Is Not an Option is a deeply inspiring and practical work. The book puts students first as a moral issue and then examines all the systems and processes that need to be in place to help them. In the book six practical and useful principles have been excellently articulated. A very inspiring book and can serve as a handbook for teachers and society for teaching learning process re-engineering. Any administrator who truly wishes to change his or her school can use this book as a manual from which to design every aspect of the change process.” (Robert W. Cole.). The book speaks to the spark of caring, generosity, and greatness in every child and provides caring adults with ideas and tools to unleash this potential. It leaves no part of the child behind, and leaves no adult on the sidelines.” (Maurice J. Elias, Professor of Psychology )
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