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Bridging the parents-children divide

‘Healthy Parenting’ session highlights need to clear misconceptions of parents about children’s needs

An open panel session on ‘Healthy Parenting’ at Kattur on Sunday came as a rude awakening for parents, highlighting the need to clear their misconceptions about their children’s needs, future and career.

Towards the end of the three-hour session held at Monfort School that took the form of a talk show, parents realised that the onus was on them to alter their approach, more so after their children made no bones of their unhappiness with their “cloistered mindset”.

The session turned out to be a platform for hundreds of parents to contemplate what they had in their minds for their wards and shed their take-them-for-granted attitude. “They were made to realise a simple fact that acrimony in parent-children relationship could be erased by spending time together, interacting, and understanding one another,” Victor Louis, Professor, Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai, said.

Of course, parents could not be faulted for worrying about the future career of their wards. But then, students had their own ambitions. The chasm could be bridged only through interactions based on sound relationship. “For the demystification to happen, parents need to spend time with children at home with an open mind,” Prof. Anthuvan said, adding that parents and teachers must know that students want to be heard.

The process of mental churn aimed at dispelling the disconnect amongst parents, students and teachers was piloted by the moderator, Fr. Joe Arun, Director, St. Joseph's Institute of Management.

Rev. Fr. Joe was joined by the panelists, Rev. Dr. Wilson, Director, Anugraha Centre for Counselling and Guidance, Rev. Dr. Lawrence, Centre Secretary, and the chief guest, Antony, Director, ‘Neeya Naana’ teleprogramme, in prevailing upon parents and teachers that the dreams of students about their future must be respected.

“Students have dreams about their future, which is unrelated to what they study, and parents are worried about the future of their wards, while teachers are worried about completing the text book syllabi. All three are stuck in the system. It was in this context that the open panel discussion sought to bring about a convergence,” Fr. Joe said.

The students were also made to understand the importance of being flexible towards the parents in the context of harsh socio-economic realities, he said.

“The effort was meant to generate happiness in the family system born out of understanding one another. We need to build a society that connects the aspirations of parents, teachers and students. This is the need of the hour,” School Principal Rev. Br. Soosairaj said.


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