Wednesday, 21 May 2014

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

All of us adore our children and want to give them nothing short of the world. This is easier said than done. The increasing economic burdens today, require both parents to work in order to fulfill the ever growing needs of the children, let alone their wishes and whims. The changing family structure puts an additional demand on parents to be spending more time with their children. The concerns of a safe environment also contribute to the challenge of raising a child. The one child policy that most parents follow these days leaves the children with nothing to desire for, creating a void and craving self worth.
While the changing needs of the society are posing a challenge for the parents, the role of the schools and teachers is also becoming difficult. The teachers who have been trained to educate the children are not only finding it difficult to cope with the academic changes on an everyday basis but are also finding it challenging to deal with the children's physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs, which are driven by the explosion of knowledge in our society and require our children to be trained in wisdom and skills beyond academics.
At homes the parents are over burdened with more than one responsibility, are time starved and find themselves ill-equipped, due to the constantly changing trends, to raise children single handedly. Schools on the other hand are bogged down by the bottom lines and meeting the prescribed academic standards that they promote only the top achievers in a limited few categories and in turn leave a whole lot of children behind and disenchanted. Then why is that the all-round development of children is limited to the realms of homes and schools?
In order to raise a child who is nurtured and supported in all areas: physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual—so that he/she may become an independent, responsible, resilient, healthy, happy, kind, gracious, balanced, empathetic, compassionate, cooperative, collaborative, and contributing member of the world, it is very important to develop assets in children other than academic credentials. To list a few: the children need to feel the commitment and love for learning, they need to feel the support from their environment to be able to act and flourish, they need to feel empowered to contribute to their communities and realize their civic and social responsibilities, they need to develop positive identities filled with passion, conviction, self esteem and sense of purpose, they need to be able to differentiate right from wrong and operate within the boundaries of positive values, they need to develop social competencies to be able to work in a team and respect the diverse cultures in the world.
Today, raising children is about building strong whole people who can achieve real world victories in real world scenarios. This requires educating parents about new technologies, child/youth pertinent contemporary trends, psyche/pulse/wavelength, enabling them to better understand their children, have more effective conversations, become children's buddies and help their children to make right decisions. It also requires equipping the children with quality educational practices, apply knowledge and develop skills to solve problems and build solutions, inspire and aspire the children to build virtuous cycle of positive values with motivation from real world winners, providing insights into the current career trends and possibilities, developmentally appropriate resources and support that awaken and guide children as they discover the importance and explore the wonders of love, service, and beauty as a means to respecting and helping themselves, others, and the world.
A tall order like this cannot be accomplished by parents and teachers alone. A large percentage of children's waking hours are spent in environments where learning can, and does, happen. Keeping this in perspective the wealth of resources in our local communities is simply waiting to be unleashed. The businesses, service providers and the neighbourhoods in our communities can be mobilized to build community based safe and resourceful network of valuable "Social Capital", which parents can draw on to create a positive impact on their children. We at 'The Commuknitree' believe that by bringing a village of resources at the doorsteps in our communities we can enable 
Close-knit local network of support, services and opportunities, which will give families everything needed for  their children to succeed,
Local mentors and role models, who will have a positive influence on kids,
Friendly neighbourhood Supplementary platforms and Opportunities,  which will help validate attitude and behavior of children, build their self confidence and awareness, help them discover and utilize their full potential without fear of failure,
Participation in community projects, which will help the children to become responsible, skilled and make them feel "They belong".

Though an old proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" seems to be the need of the moment in our quest to develop young minds of the future.

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