According to Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English, success has many definitions:
It is the achievement of something you have been trying to do, with good results
It is something that has a good result or effect
It is someone who does very well in his/her job.
For parents to help the school and their children to succeed we must know the following.
What are the desires of parents?
What do parents want for their children?
What do they want their children to learn?
What training do they want their children to acquire?
Of course, there is no gainsaying the fact that parents want their children to succeed in life, hence they send them to school to receive formal education while they provide informal education at home. They do this right from an early age until they become adults and leave home to start of their own.
Founders of schools, on the other hand, have vision, about what they want to achieve. With parents and the school now clear about their respective roles and responsibilities, they agree to work together for success with each party knowing and playing its role very well. They complement each other.
Training/teaching begins at home and continues at home after school. If the desire of parents is to have their child/children succeed in their studies, character,relationship with others, in their careers and in life generally then, parents must help the school to help them. Only when the children who are passing through or have passed through a school have achieved all these, i.e. have succeeded, can a school claim to be succeeding or to have succeeded.
EXPECTED ROLES FOR PARENTS
1.Parents must begin quite early to teach their children the fear of God. They must provide basic training in values and sound principles of living.
2.Mothers especially must stay at home and spend quality time with their growing children until they become stable and ready for adult life. While staying or spending quality time with them, the mother must teach them some basic skills like good handwriting (writing legibly), reading good story books that teach morals, teach simple writing styles and spellings and enrich their simple or limited vocabulary. This way, they will cultivate a reading culture/habit.
3.Once they start school and if they are day students, mothers should not be too busy to help the children out with their homework or projects. If the mother has no idea of what is required by the teacher, she can help the child source for materials that can help or even approach someone who can help.
As they learn schoolwork, they should learn to do simple house chores under mum’s supervision. House-helps , nannies or lesson teachers should not take the position or responsibilities of parents, no matter how busy they are.
4.Children must learn early that they must earn some privileges rather than see those privileges as rights. Privileges should be tied to good behavior and good performance in school. Gifts at birthdays and during festive seasons like Christmas etc. must be those that will help them achieve better results in school.
Holiday trips should be to places where they can learn about nature, history, science or scientists, great men and women inventors etc. We have many such places not only in Europe and America, but also in Nigeria and Africa.
5.Discipline is very important. Parents should not hesitate to chastise their children when they go wrong and should not frown at it when the school (teacher) or any other person does so. This should be done with love. Children must, from a very young age be taught to obey rules and instructions.
Adults around them must do what is right and obey rules as well –traffic rules and other rules of the land. If this has been practiced while at home, then obeying school rules – resumption dates, visiting days, items allowed and those prohibited, mode of dressing like uniforms should not be difficult for both parents and their children to obey.
6.Parents must remain parents and should be friends to their children. Roles should not be reversed. Parents must know what is good for the child and believe what a good school knows is good as well. They must also put their foot down when necessary. They must be in control or have the final say, not the child. This does not mean that parents should not hear the children out or listen to them but what the school wants is what the children should do.
The home and the school must speak with the same voice in matters relating to discipline and the teaching of sound principles of living to the children.
7.Parents must lead an exemplary life, so must teachers and school administrators because the children learn more from what these people (adults) around them do than from what they say. They must walk their talk in speech, appearance (dressing), behavior, values and priorities. Parents need not send their children to schools when you do not believe in their values. Or if you think the staff or administrator or founder has nothing to offer your child outside the state-of-the-art physical structures on ground.
8.Teachers, like doctors can only do their best. Qualified, experienced, hardworking and competent teachers provided with the necessary teaching materials and facilities can only teach and motivate their students. The students have a role to play. They must study and follow their teachers’ and examiners’ instructions in order to pass examinations in excellent grades.
Parents must appreciate this fact. Running after teachers in schools to arrange extra lessons for their children for a fee is not always the solution to the problem of poor performance. A child’s attitude towards his studies must be right.
He must love to study rather than play or be on the internet or be chatting while the teacher is teaching. The focus should be on ATTITUDE to work, not on lesson teacher who incidentally might have been the same teacher in class. What will he do differently?
9.Children should be taken through sound moral and positive teaching of chastity in life and conduct. The type of books, magazines and television shows and dress parents provide or the children lay hands on matters a lot.
The type of friends they keep, families they spend holiday with are also very important. Students should be re-assured, however, that when they go wrong, once they have realized it and have been either punished or counseled, and change for the better, they will be fine.
If all the points raised above (though inexhaustive) are followed, our children in schools will excel academically, they will be able to cope anywhere they find themselves. They will succeed in any career they pursue and in any business they venture into. They will always soar and stay up all the time. Then, the parents can be sure of a peaceful and happy old age devoid of stress from untrained and wayward children. It is only then that we can say the school; the children and the parents have succeeded.
May I, however remind us that our success lies in prayers. Teachers, administrators and parents must pray for these children. We must start training with prayers, sustain the training with prayers and succeed in it with prayers.
…PS 144v 12- “That our sons may be as plants grow up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace”
By Mrs Folashade O.Phillips