The Classroom; Your Child’s Introduction To Society
The instinct of every parent is to protect their child from harm. We cover electrical outlets, block the stairs and hold their hands while they cross the street. At some point however it is necessary to allow the child to take some small risks so they can learn. For instance, learning to chew does bring with it the risk of choking, but it is a skill that must be mastered, so we watch carefully, but still give the child solid food. Learning to live as a member of society is also a necessary skill and it does indeed come with its share of risks so watch carefully but allow your child to learn.
Your child’s classroom is a nearly perfect introduction to the society we live in. At first, almost every action and word is monitored. Children are taught how to wait their turn, how to treat others with respect and that there are consequences to disobeying the rules, all skills that some parents find difficult to teach in a home environment. As the children age they are monitored less, but there are still very clearly defined rules and the punishment for breaking those rules are consistent and enforced. Inadvertently this teaches the child a decision making process that will serve them well later in life. Is what I am about to do worth the consequences that I will receive for doing it? No one succeeds in this life without taking risks and so the sooner a child learns how to judge the ratio of risk to gain the better equipped they will be to handle important decisions later in life when the consequences can be dire.
Perhaps the most important thing a child can learn in a classroom is how to find their place in a group. Think about your daily interactions as an adult. Whether in the work place or on the road, while shopping or enjoying a night out on the town, how you define yourself within a group determines your success or failure at any particular endeavor. Again this skill set, although not specifically in the classroom’s curiculum, is an integral part of what is learned there.
Classroom life is not without its risks. Unfortunately intimidation and unsavory characters are also a very real part of the school day. The desire to protect ones child from these things is very natural but the hard fact is that adult life also has its share of intimidating people and those that would gladly take advantage of you or teach you things you’d rather not learn. Everyone deals with these issues regularly and it is how you deal with these incidences that makes the difference. Allowing your child to encountered these scenarios in the relatively safe environment of a classroom will give them the skills they need to deal with them later in life. Just like learning to chew there are bound to be mistakes made along the way, so watch carefully but allow your children to grow.