Assalamualaikum and a very good morning to the course coordinators, fellow course participants and my dear friends. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very good day and may God bless us all in our effort to improve ourselves and our professionalism.
I stand in front of you today to discuss the topic that has been given to me, Parental Care. According to the Oxford Little Dictionary, Parent means someone who has borne an offspring and is named either the father or the mother. It also carries the meaning of forefather, and the source or origin. The word care, on the other hand, means concern, anxiety, serious attention, caution, task, charge and protection. Care also means to feel concern or interest or affection towards a being.
Parental Care, in the context of our discussion, would therefore denote the Concern shown by the father and/or the mother toward their offspring. It would include all efforts taken by these people who are responsible for their children’s welfare. It also denotes the behaviour portrayed by the parents in undertaking their responsibilities in the art of parenthood. It is important to note here that, when we use the word ‘parent’, we mean those human beings that are deemed as normal and not those who are not mentally unstable. Because of the big scope of the topic, I would like to just touch the surface and hopefully we all gain something out of this short speech.
The goal for every parent from around the world is the same. Before even a child is born, all parents have a common objective, which is to provide the best for the unborn child. They also want to carry out the duties of parenthood as best as possible. This would include from the types of nutrition to be taken by the mother, so that the foetus would grow healthily, to visiting the best gynaecologist possible. After the birth of the child, all parents would then do everything possible to ensure the child grows up well and healthy. They also want to ensure that the children’s safety is well taken care of. Everything in the powers of the parents would therefore be focused in achieving the child’s welfare to fulfil the Bloom’s Taxonomy. From the best teachers to the best insurance and education policy, to the best partner in life, parents would usually be able to move mountains in ensuring their child’s development is well provided for.
According to UNICEF, children without the guidance and protection of their primary caregivers are often more vulnerable. They are at risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking, discrimination or other abuses. We, as teachers, face thousands of school children everyday in school. Our expectations are basically the same. We expect all the students in our school to have come from a perfect family. We also expect the children have been raised accordingly by their parents in all aspects of life. We hope for our students to be well-disciplined, to have focus in their studies, are visionary and above all, have the moral values to lead them into the world after their schooldays.
Unfortunately, what we face today includes students that have disciplinary problems. Some students are rude towards the elders and society in general. Some students, unfortunately, are also morally corrupt. We then ask ourselves, what forces in the upbringing of the child have provided for these shortcomings? We read about and sometimes witness students involved in truancy, and vandalism. We see their involvement in gangsterism, and also all sorts of other disciplines problems. We read about the Mat Rempits, the gang-fights, thefts, and bully cases amongst students. We even know that some students resort to settling their differences with the teachers by beating the teachers up. Are we wrong in asking about the effectiveness of the Parental Care employed by the parents?
Unfortunately, in our world today, not all children are fortunate enough to have parents that could provide the best parental care for them. In our ever-demanding world, both parents are usually forced to have a career. This situation is brought about also because parents want to give the best to their children. And to provide the best for their children, it is deemed that parents would need a lot of money. And to have a lot of money, both parents need to work hard to make those ends meet. But in the process of trying hard to provide the best for their children, parents are forced to send their babies to childcare institutions. Some parents have maids to take care of their children at home. Others send their children to be taken care by the grandparents.
What we have here now is a difficult situation. Parents, in the effort to provide the best for their children, forgo the very basic of parental care, which is taking care of their children themselves. We need to accept the fact that children under the care of other than parents themselves usually will not have the best provided for them. Nobody can really claim they love a child as much as if the child was his. How many times have we heard about child abuse cases by maids, which will forever leave a psychological as well as physical scar in the children? How about the caretaker that gives cough syrup to babies so that they will go to sleep? We have read or heard about terrible things being done to innocent children that no parents would do to their own offspring.
It is so easy to blame the parents when we see a problematic child. We can say that the child hasn’t been given the proper parental care. In most cases, that would be true. But we have to remember the fact that no parent would want his child to grow up as a problematic child. These children did not get the best out of proper parental care because their parents had to work in a system that demands them to be tolerant in the shortcomings. Because they want to provide the best for their children, they are forced to neglect the basics of parental care.
If we were to discuss on how to overcome these shortcomings, it would take years and we would still be stuck with the problems. What we can do is understand the problem and do our best as teachers. If it needs us to be second parents to the students under us, so we become one. We need to always keep in touch with the actual parents and work together in providing the best form of parental care for our students. But looking at the broader picture, we need to go one step further and start asking ourselves whether the system we live in is the best form mankind can offer us. Do we need a revolutionary mindset and proper paradigm shift to come to a solution for the lack of proper parental care for the children? Do we need to revamp the system that we live in so that children would not be neglected anymore and parental care truly is what it denotes? If you think we do, then let’s all work together hand in hand for a brighter future for our children and also the nation in particular.
Before I end this speech, I would like to once again say thank you to the organiser for giving me the opportunity to convey my message across and to all of you in the audience for listening patiently.
Wabillahitaufiqwalhidayah, assalamualaykum wbt.
1 day ago