Busy parents neglect their kids

Indian schoolchildren from The Devnar Foundation School for the Blind shake hands with their teachers as they participate in Teachers Day celebrations in Hyderabad,05 September 2007. In India 05 September, which is the birthday of former Indian President Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, is celebrated as Teachers' Day. When Radhakrishnan became President in 1962, some of his students and friends approached him and requested him to allow them to celebrate on 05 September, his birthday. In reply, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, 'instead of celebrating my birthday separately, it would be my proud privilege if 05 September is observed as Teachers' Day'. AFP PHOTO/NOAH SEELAM / AFP PHOTO / NOAH SEELAM

I have been in this profession for 23 years. As a teacher, I have a problem with how parents nowadays are not spending enough time with their child. I discuss these things openly with my students. I ask them how much time their parents spend with them. They confide in me and some have even shared that their parents do not even make eye contact with them. They say their parents are busy with work, with their own problems.

Even I am a working woman. But I make sure I spend some quality time with my family. Every child needs to spend time with their parents and grandparents. Like earlier, grandparents used to tell stories to children, but now it seldom happens. Children are given smartphones from an early age. These things can never replace the values and bond that parents can share. This is not the right way to compensate for the time a parent cannot give.

Since I have been in this profession for so long, I have realised that there has been a change in the way parents nowadays interact with their child. The child is blamed for certain things, but the parents are not realising their fault or where they are going wrong. Even as a parent, I would like to admit that I could not give as much time as I should have given sometimes.

Parents are often of the view that since they are sending their child to such a costly school, the teachers must prepare them in all possible ways. But the homework which are given to the child, how can a teacher do that? How can a teacher write an exam for a child? They expect the teachers and the child to give their 100%, but how much are you giving?

I am not saying all parents are alike. Also, those who are unable to give time to their child, I am not saying they are doing it deliberately. Every family has different circumstances or financial needs. You cannot judge someone like that. But what I am saying is at least take out some time from your busy schedule and spend some quality time with your child. After all, it is the ‘quality’ of time that matters, and not the quantity.

Mrs Shalu Chopra is a Hindi teacher at GD Goenka School.

— As told to Shruti Das

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