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What is the purpose of education? Why do we send our children to school? What do we expect out of this 15-year process? These are the questions that matter the most when we think about educational systems and their impact on society.

Teenaged Netra lived in fear of her parents. She believed it was her moral duty to please them by scoring the maximum marks in every subject. Her mother was very strict and often pushed her to excel in everything. She ensured that Netra went through the rigmarole of classical music and dance. But for Netra the experience was so rigorous and severe that it alienated her from the art form. She dreaded the classes and instead of growing to love them she grew to abhor them. But her mother was oblivious to the growing resentment in her daughter. She believed that a girl from their community had to be trained in the arts to be considered well reared. The mother believed in the mould.

Srishti works as a senior manager in a multinational company. She and is highly upset with the new batch of trainees that has entered her organisation. "Every year the problem seems to be getting worse," she complains. "These guys can't even draft a letter properly. If I ask them to quote someone, they wouldn't have even heard of the names! I wonder if they read anything while they were growing up. I give them a list of books to read and they hardly manage to finish even one over a three week period. They are good with their content but when it comes to reading, they just don't want to go beyond the newspaper!"

"Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have." - Leo Tolstoy

Being an educationist I am often asked what the right age to send a child to playschool is. Parents also ask how they can pick the best school for their child. Here are the answers!

"Our society has been hypnotised into believing that a student who is successful in school will be successful in life, and although this may occasionally be true, the opposite is not necessarily false." - Alec Sahakian

This is part 3 of a series on parenting styles. Part 1 is here. and part 2 is here.

Remember the parent's role essayed by Anupam Kher in the movie DDLJ or the one by Kiran Kher in Hum Tum? Both of them are affectionate parents who guide their children through life. They do not lead their lives for them but are their pillars of strength. Such parents are able to bring out the best in their children. Children of such parents are confident, strong, and self-assured individuals. They are able to establish meaningful relationships in their lives.

This is part 2 of a series on parenting styles. Part 1 of this series is here.

Your role as a parent begins once a child enters your life, and most fathers and mothers usually develop their own styles of parenting. Every type of parenting style has its own reasons and consequences. But what I would like to emphasise is that each of these styles also has subconscious undercurrents guiding it. This is what we need to be aware of. I will leave you to decide what your style of parenting is. You may find that your parenting style is a mix of many. But the bigger question is - are you aware of how your style is affecting the subconscious mind of your child?

Let me start with the most common question parents have: "Is parenting an inborn talent?"

My mother believes that the parents of today tend to overthink the process of parenting. "Why in the world does a mother need a guide to be a parent? A mother learns to care and nurture by herself. It's natural," she says. She strongly believes that parenting guides give so much information that young parents get confused. Ask any grandma in the family and you will get the best tips from her. When I was a new mum, perhaps my own support systems were laid on similar lines. Then why am I canvassing for the "how to parent" industry?

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