Once upon a time… It would be a comforting start for an article focused on any subject of social history, if the mistakes, the woes of the past would have been forever disappeared.
Unfortunately it is not the case. Nonetheless, there are so many steps people have made forward on the path of a better understanding of the self and between themselves, developing what it has become a habit to name “good/best practice”.
Since the ruthless and poor education that an ancient Spartan child received, still echoed in our times, even in a worse manner, by children trained to be warriors for whatever “right” cause, the child rearing has made a spectacular progress. A lot of theories and methods have been debated and experimented, their diversity bringing some people in despair, while others saw it as fitting to the diversity of human nature.
It doesn’t mean that as a parent or a teacher all you have to do is to reach to one or two wonder educational receipts and your children/students will smoothly go the way of success.
First, if success is anybody’s aim, it should not be always in the foreground, because the will to “win” is not every time a match for becoming a better person.
Secondly, you will not be successful to help your child/student to become a better person, if you only see educational advice as a tool, be it an intelligent one, or as magic wand that spares you to assess every situation and event and to adapt to unpredicted facts.
Thirdly, thinking of educating your children/students as a job task list would give your effort efficiency, but results will be rewarding only if the “job” is translated into partnership.
Children need role models, people to emulate. It is tempting for an adult to enjoy copycats around her/him, but the real equality of parent-child, teacher-student partnership sets the boundaries for such a self-lost and, respectively, lost in mirror admiration.
The benefit of an equal partnership, taking care not to forget the specifics of every age, is a mutual development. Everyone is learning from this sort of relation. There are so many questions in this world. As a parent or as a teacher, obviously, you don’t have all the answers and, more challenging, don’t know all possible questions.
Your child/student is there to reshuffle the cards. Are you sure you have the ace in the hole? No? Then, be sure to have the ace of hearts.
Cristi V. Andrei