How many times have you done or said something in front of your child that you wouldn’t want them to repeat? I can tell you that I have not been a “perfect” parent and am certainly guilty of that behavior. There were times when my children were growing up that I caught myself, or, better yet, my children caught me doing something that they knew was not right. The stress or mounting pressure of the day got the best of me, and I would embarrass myself in some way or another by doing or saying something that I would quickly regret. Luckily, I would have the good sense to recover by apologizing and pointing out what I did that was wrong and teaching by a “non-example.”
In the book Uncle Dan’s Report Card, Barbara Unell points out that, “We all know that children learn by watching the adults in their world, so it is imperative to develop your own habits of kindness. Your model and that of teachers, baby-sitters, grandparents, and child care providers are the most important influences in training your children how to behave kindly each day.”
One challenge today in teaching kindness or empathy is the hardwired culture in which we live. Emailing, texting, and tweeting are the wave of the present as well as the future. In this day and age, society tries to find the easiest and fastest method of checking things off a list or communicating one’s thoughts. This method of communication (emailing) is commonplace between teachers and parents here at Park Maitland, and 98% of the time it is a productive and positive interchange that facilitates helpful communication. However, communicating only in this fashion can lack the emotional connection of face to face contact. At times, what is being communicated may be misconstrued. In an effort to maximize productive communication at Park Maitland School, we ask that you always take a moment to evaluate the content and tone of your message to assure that it is respectful and productive.
As your child looks up to you for guidance in social behavior, it’s important that you strive to model positive communication between home and school. Likewise, it is important for them to see that you support their school’s mission, and when or if you disagree, that you will seek the best possible approach in communicating your thoughts and ideas.
As challenging as it may be in today’s fast-paced and sometimes stressful society (believe me I learned the hard way!), strive to consciously and intentionally speak and practice the virtues you seek to instill in your child in order to build a solid foundation of strong character traits.
We look forward to having you join us in this week’s upcoming Parent Chat, based on Uncle Dan’s Report Card, where topics of raising children who can thrive in the 21st Century will be discussed. We are thrilled to announce that Tuesday morning’s chat is full, but it’s not too late to sign up for Monday evening’s chat.
Thank your for your continued support as we partner in the education of your child.
Head of School