National Parents Day: An open letter from a teacher to parents

— Anita Kishore

Dear Parents,

They say the strongest people are those whose battles we know nothing about. So, let me begin with a heartfelt thank you in recognition of your constant, unfailing efforts in keeping your family, work, and yourself going despite the uncertainties in the world. This global health crisis is truly unprecedented and has left most of us vulnerable to anxious thoughts, and overwhelmed with doubts and insecurities – be it about our loved ones’ health, our children’s learning journeys or general well-being.  Let me tell you, you are not alone in this. Just stop for a moment, take three deep breaths and remind yourself that you are doing great.

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While I understand that among the many things on your mind, your child’s education is perhaps the biggest concern, your own well-being must take equal precedence. For the last year and a half, schools and online learning platforms have been providing your child with the necessary tools and programmes to ensure uninterrupted learning in these tough times, and your role in supporting their learning journey is invaluable.

However, taking care of your own emotional and mental well-being is crucial in order to continue this support. So, I encourage you to take care of yourself, eat healthy, follow a fitness regime, and most importantly, relax. You deserve it.

Additionally, please remember that personal skills and emotional growth are just as important for your children as educational or academic growth. Indulge in engaging activities with them and encourage them to learn something new every day. It need not be academic, but anything they find joy in – whether it is baking, singing, dancing, crafts etc. Celebrate their mistakes and failures. This will go a long way in eliminating the fear of trying something new, fostering the spirit of experimentation, and helping them fall in love with learning.

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If there is one lasting thought I can leave you with, it is this – be present for your child and for yourself. While I understand that working from home can sometimes be tiring, set boundaries between work and family and know that you are among the fortunate who have the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. Plan your day in a way that your work and family can both co-exist. Play games, read books, plan activities as a family. This pandemic has not been easy on anyone, so make the best out of this situation and be together, expand your minds and strengthen your family bond.

Empathy is a virtue most valued in these times, however, I would like to remind you that being empathetic to yourself is step one. Don’t push yourself to a breaking point. We are with you in every step of the way in ensuring that your child’s education continues uninterrupted.

Thank you for being the perfect learning partner in their educational journey.

— The author is a teacher and Chief Strategy Officer, BYJU’S

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