The child has an inherent power to receive education consciously or unconsciously from the various aspects of his environment because of this conscious or unconscious learning the child is rightly regarded as the symbol of the interest, traditions, ideals and culture of his family. Thus when he comes to the school, he brings with his personality the traditions and culture of his family. Many families in our country are not able to maintain a desirable atmosphere for development of children. In some families it is due to poor economic conditions or due to lack of unity and emotional bond, and in some it is due to lack of necessary knowledge on the part of parents.
Some families are able to provide emulative environment in such families the children are always encouraged to strive in various good directions. The place of residence of the family should be good from the viewpoint of health. Pure air, and water, sufficient sunlight and unadulterated food should be made available for healthy development of children. The family should provide a nourishing balanced diet which means that carbohydrate, proteins, fats, salts, and vitamins should be given in a balanced manner for healthy development of children. It is not necessary here to spell out the various items that contain these ingredients of balanced diet. In this connection, advice may be sought from a dietician, if necessary in particular cases. According to the physical and mental growth suitable toys and implements of play should be organized for children. It is the stage of physical and mental development that will determine the suitability or unsuitability of toys and implements of plays.
For example, dolls may be suitable for a girl of 4 or 5 years of age, but the same is not good for a boy for obvious reasons. Too many costly and intricate toys should be avoided. The toys should be such as to promote both physical and mental development. When the child attains a suitable age, he may be encouraged to play hockey, football, cricket, kabaddi and other games. The parents must remember that the children must not get all the toys that they want by visiting a toy-shop. Some parents, because of their over-indulgence, purchase numerous toys for children. After 4 or 5 days small children, generally, throw away their toys and demand new ones.
For good development, it is necessary that the children suffer some privations. If all their wants are met, they are likely to become eccentric and self-centered. Both in-door and out-door games may be encouraged the children learn many social traits through games. But the parents must see that the associates of children come from good families, otherwise they pick up many bad traits from bad companions.
The parents have to understand the specific interests, aptitudes and capacities of children particularly when they reach the puberty stage. The child must not be encouraged to prepare themselves for a particular vocation. Nothing has to be imposed on him.
If he does not want to prepare himself for medical profession, he must not be pressed for the same. If he himself expresses a desire for civil engineering, he may be allowed to go ahead as he wants. A child has an acute sense of curiosity. For fulfilling the same he is never tired of putting questions to the elders in the family. His questions must be answered in an appropriate manner and he must never be scolded for the style and contents of his questions. We must remember that the child is just in the process of growth, just as all of us are. So any rebuke or scolding will dampen his spirit and will mar his intellectual growth. The family should provide suitable books, weekly and monthly journals for promoting the language, intellectual and social development of children.
The reading materials thus selected should have apt illustrations. In fact, they should be chosen according to the stage of growth of children. As the children grow further, the already chosen books and magazines and weeklies may be changed for suiting their changed interests. Since a decade or so, the tendency in most of the school is seen that the school teachers leave enough for the parents as regards teaching of children. At the time of admission the parent are also interviewed along with children. The principal or the teacher puts the question, “who will teach the child at home?” This implies that the school is now drifting towards a direction in which the responsibilities of parents with regard to education of children are being gradually increased.
Therefore, the parents have now to devote sometime daily to the education of children. They must see that children do the assigned home-work rightly without fail. Besides, the parents must also teach the children that which they could not follow in the school. Thus we find that the responsibility of the family with regard to education of children is being gradually widened. So no parents should feel complacent about education of their wards. They must also be doing something for education of the children every day. Either the father or mother has to perform this duty every day.
Thus the parents must not feel satisfied about the education of their children just by procuring admission for them in some good school. The situation was not so three decades ago. Evidently, the responsibilities of the family have been multiplied manifold for education of children. The family must fulfill these responsibilities in co-operation with the school. The family has to see that the children develop such good traits of character as honesty, politeness, truthfulness, affection, self sacrifice.
For this, the parents have to maintain a suitable atmosphere in the family and none of their behaviors should betray traits that may have adverse effect on children.