How Involvement Of Mothers In Child's Education Helps Robust Cognitive Development
The child’s relationship with their mothers as well as their fathers provides the foundation of their emotional security, healthy attachment patterns, acceptance of failures in life and a strong sense of self-esteem.
Pandemic induced lockdowns have conditioned us into accepting work from home and school from home as the “new normal”. Analysing the current data trend on the COVID-19 growth curve across pan-India, it is a safe bet to assume that it might easily surpass more than one year for COVID cases to dwindle and normal social life to be back on track. This extended time frame is more than enough for temporary behaviours to transition into permanent habits. A faulty discourse under the realm of education is gaining momentum - though some schools are holding online classes as an alternative pathway for children to continue their education at home, this situation does not hold true for the majority of the country. According to ASER 2020, only a fraction of children can avail online classes, while the rest depend on other resources. In the latter case, the role of parents, especially mothers, becomes really crucial. But are mothers even capable and equipped of providing education to their children?
The research shows that parents’ involvement is one of the most crucial factors that governs a child’s learning outcomes or infact lifelong achievement outcomes. The holistic grooming of the child in the initial developmental phases happens within the binary of public and domestic space. Both are equally important for a balanced and well rounded personality of the child. The emotional security and attachment pattern a child develops in his secondary circle is an extension of his relationships and environment at home. The child’s relationship with their mothers as well as their fathers provides the foundation of their emotional security, healthy attachment patterns, acceptance of failures in life and a strong sense of self-esteem. The child’s EQ then becomes a prominent factor which starts affecting the cognitive performance of the child. Thus parents' involvement, especially mothers, becomes crucial for the robust cognitive development of a child.
A multitude of research garnered by child psychologists, educationists,et al have stressed on the pathway of mimetic and associative learning based cognitive capabilities in children. Guardians and parents account for the first teacher figure under whose shadow the child explores their personal and social identity. Karen Mapp in her study title Evidence Series 4: the role of parent and community mentions “The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life.” If you look at the amount of time a child spends at home, it is more than 80% in a normal year. Hence it is very important that mothers play an important role not just now but even otherwise. This raises the question of what are some of the effective pedagogies that can be used at home?
The pedagogies for different children depend on the age demographics of the child. Children of older age groups are more self reliant ones as compared to ones still in early childhood. It is the primary age group that needs proactive involvement from the primary caregiver, in most cases which is the mother. Dev Roy, through his famous study pointed out that creative play and meaningful conversations are the golden strategies to ensure a child develops excellent cognitive skills during his/her early childhood years. Even simple things like just having one on one conversation can make children cognitively able and more receptive to language acquisition.
Creative play is also another great technique to engage with children and give boost to their abilities. For primary grades, the resources play a more important role. A child should receive scaffolded resources according to his/her learning level. The benefit of working with mothers is that learning at the right level becomes easier as compared to a classroom setting where it is nearly impossible for the teacher to work with each child differently. In primary grades, mothers should also play an important role in making the child a bit more self reliant. For instance, encouraging the children to grade their own work and correct their mistakes rather than just getting the marks. Such pedagogies ensure children not only learn academic skills but also learn great life skills such as perseverance and self discipline.
Plenty of good programmes have shown impact across the world. All we need to do is to take them to our children at their doorstep. We need to motivate mothers and give them the confidence that they can easily support their child at home. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is no school equal to a decent home and no parent equal to a virtuous parent”.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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