Quality and Love - Sandhya Thadani


A shoddy job is done by a student.

Negligence and carelessness amongst children are not unusual! Priorities of any human being constantly keep changing, depending on the state of the mind, but that does not imply that the child may be branded as being careless or is shoddy in his or her work.

The education of a child begins at birth and experiences in these early years at home get imprinted into the child’s mind.

I personally feel that if the father or mother is careless or make excuses to evade situations, it gets noticed by the child leading to the child also adopting similar techniques to escape and take the easy route.

A common situation in every household is when the phone of the father is ringing and he tells the child or the mother to tell the caller to say that papa is not at home. That is the first lie witnessed by a child, who considers his father to be a role model!

Hence, the parents need to set examples of good behaviour, again and again, such that it registers in the child as standard behaviour. Setting examples through behaviour is far-reaching and penetrative than sermons that do not convey the message.

We want our children to work towards perfection but we ourselves keep doing shoddy jobs. That would be a very negative influence on the child and the child shall end up in the footsteps of the parents, be it, mother or father.

If a child’s work is shoddy, anger or authoritarian behaviour or impatience amongst the parents is not a solution. Children are very keen and clear-sighted observers and attempting to correct them through kindness and affection shall always give positive results. Giving students constructive feedback will always inspire them towards perfection which we are seeking.

It’s human to make mistakes. I will not expect the child to be perfect in their schoolwork or their homework. The child needs to be free from fear as fear is another cause for mistakes.

I will use the following approaches to overcome the situation:

1. Making the child responsible for his learning: It is important to guide the children through the learning process, but the control is in the hands of a child for his learning experiences whether it is at home or in the classroom. 

2. Open and sincere feedback: I will create a comfortable atmosphere. Without being judgmental, I will give the child feedback so that he can improve.

3. Focus will be on learning: Actual learning is more important than just cramming for the exams. By focusing on learning, the child would solidify his learning experiences.

4. Being organized: I will help the child to be organized in his school and in his homework assignments. Being patient and consistent in the learning process will help the child to overcome doing shoddy work. 

5. Focus on the strength: Focusing on the strength can be difficult when a child is struggling academically. It’s a vital force to healthy emotional and academic development and progress. It’s also another form of positive reinforcement that will motivate the child to bring perfection towards his task. Conversely, focusing on your child's weaknesses does nothing but cause discouragement, distress and a lack of desire to learn and perform. 

6. Celebrating the achievements. Celebrating the child’s achievements or good work, no matter how small or insignificant they may be, is a very positive reinforcement motivating the child to excel.

Above all, I will make sure that the child is loved and only then he would be ready to learn anything. 

“One must be a saint and a hero to be a good teacher. One must be a great yogi to be a teacher. One must have a perfect attitude to be able to exact a perfect attitude from the students. You cannot ask anyone to do what you don’t do yourself. That is a rule”. -The Mother


Romantic emotions amongst teens

It is not unusual for children in their teens to get entangled in romantic relationships with their classmates with whom there is extensive interaction in class followed by after class interaction as well.

Love is of varying kinds, not just a romantic alliance. There is parental love, brotherly love, friendly love and of course love driven by sexual attraction or infatuation or physical lust.

 A child, irrespective of their gender, would be receiving very engrossing exposure through social media, television and travel would be witnessing the close proximity between boys and girls. 

Under such circumstances, the parents who are generally held in very high esteem by the children, would not be able to have friendly communication with the child.

As their teacher, in a situation like this, after making close observation of the boy and girl, I would initiate a private conversation with their parents first separately and then collectively, and after taking them into confidence, have a word with the children but not as their teacher but as their friend.

The friendly communications with the two teens would be first singly with each of them followed by joint communication. In a situation like this, the teens are more receptive to friendly guidance than elderly advice.

I would advise them to have lots of friends irrespective of gender and that it is healthy for their development to interact with multiple boys and girls irrespective of their gender. 

I will use the following approach to deal with the underage romantic relationship:

  1. Avoid harsh punishments. It would affect the child adversely and he or she will become more dependent on the romantic relationship for comfort.

  2. I will talk about infatuation, romance, sexual attraction. As a teacher, I will have a joint discussion with the parents and the child.

  3. I will encourage the child to move into mixed friend groups of boys and girls.

  4. I will define a clear boundary of behaviour for the child.

  5. I will make the child realize the consequences of underage relationships. 

  6. I will encourage the child to take up a hobby or passion, instead of trying to break the friendship. I will get her involved in the activities, which she enjoys the most.

  7. I will maintain a trusting and warm relationship with the child. I would try to have a strong teacher- child-parent, relationship. It would help the child to trust me unconditionally. If the child does not trust the teacher, then she would respond to the relationship, where she feels wanted and important.

  8. I will avoid judging the children who are in a relationship. I will give her space to confide in me.

Changes in adolescence are a natural process of a child’s growth. We need to understand the growth and development of the child. The child is going through a period of intense self-discovery and the teacher must facilitate that process. 

- Sandhya Thadani @JMMS, John Martyn Memorial School, Salangaon, Dehradun

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