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    How was your day today my beloved child?

    I have been talking at our centres parent meetings. We are establishing a form of PTA’s which are needed to get parents involved in the centres in various ways. We also hope to help parents to understand the development of their children better.

    I was talking about how we used ‘themes’ or different subjects to teach the children. (We change the themes weekly (‘Me’, ‘Rain’, ‘Things that fly’,’ Insects’, ‘Slugs and snails’ to name but a few of the 40 themes we use...).

    I asked the parents if the children talked about what they had learnt at home. I got a blank sort of response and a few ‘no’s’. I asked if the parents asked their children about their day at school. Even a more blank response and a few bemused ‘no’s’ with a question in them...

    Trying to conceal my amazement I asked a few questions more. I started to realise that having conversations with their small children (or older children) simply was not part of what they did.

    It does concern me to have proof of parents incurious attitude to their child’s inner life that one can only gain by chatting, communicating and thinking about what their children are interested in with great interest.

    This interest and commitment to keeping in step with a child is so important. It makes a huge difference to how a child sees their education.

    Their learning becomes an interesting subject. Their difficulties with learning can be talked and thought about with their parents. Their worries and problems can be talked about and processed long before they become unbearable.

    Think of the teen who killed his persecutor a few weeks back – his uncle called him ‘a quiet somebody’. Something too many children and teens are with their significant elders in this country. Where was the parent/ child communication? Non – existent?

    It also means that children cannot talk over their new learning, express their joy of new knowledge, and share the wonder of the world they are finding out about.

    So next year – that is one of our missions...to get parents to hug their children each day and ask the simple question: ‘How was your day?’ And then listen carefully and discuss what the child brings to them!

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