Lend an ear to your child, Kolkata school urges parents
- When and how do I talk to my parents? They are always busy with their phones despite telling me to stay away from mine.
- When I listen to songs on earphones, my mother does not trust me and suspects I am doing something else.
- When will my father stop comparing me with my cousins?
- If I don’t feel like studying or going for tuition one day, my parents tell me they would discontinue the tuition.
Students of Class X of a city school voiced their grievances when teachers asked them about issues that disturb them.
The BSS School recently organised a session for parents of Class X girls to counsel them about their children’s needs and share tips on how to understand them better despite the inevitable pressure on both.
The suspected suicide of a Class X student in a south Calcutta school last month left parents, teachers and students across campuses shaken.
The incident also prompted several schools to address students to help tackle stress.
The BSS School decided it was important to speak to parents as well, especially those whose children are in Class X as it is a “a stressful time when they have to appear for the first board exam”.
“Board classes create a lot of stress for students and we were getting reports that some students were having issues at home and were under a lot of stress. They were not able to settle down and focus on their studies. We think it is important for parents to know their minds and how they can handle stress,” principal Sunita Sen said.
“All of you are helping in terms of how they need to prepare for the Boards. Are you attending to their minds, is a question we need to raise,” Sen told the parents at the start of the hour-long session.
Parenting consultant Payel Ghosh said for parents to understand their children there must be open discussions and family meetings.
She said parents should try to bond with their children and spend time talking to them about things other than studies.
“On a holiday, parents should sit together with their children and have an open discussion. In that meeting, the child should also have the right to ask about certain things she did not approve of and parents should be open to listening to them. This will teach the children that criticism can also be taken in a positive way,” Ghosh said.
Principal Sen suggested the family have at least one meal together every day, without the television turned on or the cellphone with them.
“It is only a few parents who understand that they are also at fault and not their children alone,” said Dipti Khaitan, the assistant secretary of the school.