Speak children, speak, I'm listening
Ask Dr. Pam...
I recall, as a child, so many pleasures of school.
Spending time with friends and associates, jokes about teachers, impressions of teachers, making future plans, competing for awards and prizes, looking forward to outdoor play, being a part of clubs and society and most importantly, learning to fulfill academic and life long needs are just a few recollections. School was such a meaningful experience, that my parents often referred to me as a "professional student."
How I miss those days!! School days, were definitely the best days for me.
Last week, my older daughter, an eleventh grader, was given an English Language assignment, to write a letter to the Editor of The Freeport News about a topic of her choice.
She told me about the assignment and asked my thoughts. I told her that one usually writes best on what he knows best.
Following that simple piece of advice, with her permission, I have decided to publish her letter. Read on.
"March 4, 2013
The Freeport News
P.O. Box F-69321
Freeport, Grand Bahama
Dear Sir or Madam:
Please allow me a space in your newspaper to express my views on the recent behaviors of students in high school.
In recent times you have been hearing reports about students fighting and cursing teachers, but do we ever sit down and think that maybe it is not just the students being disrespectful but the teachers' actions toward students?
Parents send their children to school with great intentions; for a good education and proper training.
No parent wants to be called to school for a child who is misbehaving or misconducting himself.
Although there are children who come to school with poor home training and behavior patterns, there are also children who are wrongly accused or taken advantage of.
In some situations, teachers provoke students by saying some very cruel and insensitive things, or in some instances, even inflicting physical pain.
Students are sometimes not allowed to voice their concerns, intimidated by administrators, not allowed to speak with guidance counselors and sometimes bullied.
In every altercation there are two sides. Does anyone hear the child's side? Maybe, it's time for someone to start listening.
I am very proud of my daughter's brave and tenacious disclosures, and equally concerned about the content. I think this is a good time for we as adults to stop a moment and do some self examinations.
The interesting thing about communication is the fact that it is not complete until all factors are in place.
To ensure the accuracy of the message, the encoder (sender of message) must be certain that the decoder (receiver of message) is certain that everything transmitted is garnered.
This is important, because there are many times when we complete tasks for others, albeit with good intentions, but these tasks are not perceived with the intensity with which they are sent.
Even though the onus is on the receiver to convey his understanding of the message to the sender; but there is nothing wrong with the sender assuring the same.
In other words, we may think we are doing fine by our children, but for many of our children, our efforts may not be seen as affable as we may think.
When in doubt, check it out. There are so many children who are burdened with issues, and dying for someone to listen to them.
When children are not queried, questioned or confronted about their concerns, they tend to act out in undesirable ways.
Inevitably, these behaviors are then cited as a menace to the school environment and stiff punishments are meted out.
As long as nothing changes, the cycle continues.
It is time to listen to the children; their words and actions. Show them respect and treat them with integrity.
In turn, you are showing them exactly how you want them to behave. Speak children, speak. I am listening.
Point to Ponder: Respect would never diss respect.
Ask Doctor Pam is an advice column that is featured every Saturday in this journal. Your letters and comments are encouraged.
You may email your letters or comments firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
© 2013 The Freeport News