Updated: Jul 29, 2020
As the saying goes “Mother is the first and the best teacher” for every child.
A mother starts out by teaching essential life skills to her child. As the child grows, the mother also dons the role of a teacher who helps the child with its academics. It will be beneficial to the child as long as this is done in moderation and the child enjoys it. However, research shows that when mothers reiterate lessons repeatedly, hoping that their children learn faster, may inadvertently cause over stimulation, anxiety and performance pressure in the child which have an adverse impact rather than a positive impact. Hence a fine balance needs to be maintained within the mother – teacher spectrum.
This is especially true in the case of children with learning difficulties who require more time to learn compared to a child who might need less time. Often, a lot of children with learning difficulties may face difficulty in expressing their feelings and emotions as well. This may have adverse effects on the child’s mental growth and self-confidence. The child may feel pressured and will give up easily.
The child needs a friend at home and a teacher can’t fulfil that role. Being a mother, you can be the friend that the child needs. The first step towards this would be to accept the child as they are. The reassurance that you’d be there for him or her as a pillar of support, always.
Every child has strengths and weaknesses. As a parent, devote your time to find the strengths and help the child excel in them. Help the child deal with stress, pressure, and most importantly failures – remember there are no failures, but it is learnings. Counsel them to accept failures and encourage them to learn from them and work harder to achieve their goals. Make the child feel comfortable in sharing things with you, however small. Sensitizing them about kindness, compassion and empathy will go a long way in making them good citizens.
As a parent you can help your child by teaching life skills. Skills such as grooming themselves, how to tie a tie, press clothes, cook basic dishes, make the bed, save money, learn from little things in life and so on will go a long way in making them independent. Make them free thinkers that will enable them to make decisions in life.
While you focus on the above, let the teachers do their bits as they are suitably qualified and well equipped to handle the child’s academic needs. Support them by working with them as a team, communicate simply, openly, frequently so that they get feedback about the child’s progress. Have regular communication to ask them how you could help them and the child.
In summary, let the Teacher – Mother continuum remain balanced, dynamic and forever growing through support, love and communication for children.
Author: Swathi Udipi
Linguaphile Skills Hub