Independent Education Spring 2019

Independent Education • Spring 19 13 Some other topics offered for discussion in the course are: • character building • love and discipline and how these are applied • the capacity to acquire, receive and hold knowledge • to teach a child, you need to become a child • the three levels of human being • the six types of character to be avoided. The most important aspects of this course are the practical exercises offered to the parents, which need to be tried, tested and then discussed. Subsequent courses that have been offered to parents include ‘Crucial conversations you should be having with your child’. Over this eight-week course, sessions include: • how to parent a daughter • how to parent a son • the sex talk (very popular with parents) • teenage suicide and bullying. The current course session is based on ‘Crucial questions you should be asking yourself as a parent’. In this course, focus is given to the questions, ‘What type of child are we parenting?’ ‘Are we as parents meeting the needs of children of this generation?’ 4 A comment from a parent who has attended the parenting course: The parenting course has helped us to realise that parenting is not about having the perfect child that most of society conforms to [ sic ], instead it has highlighted for us that parenting is about accepting your child for who they are and rising to the various challenges that they pose. It is not drastic changes that we have had to make, instead simple changes like adjusting the tone of our voice, respecting everyone’s opinions, listening to each other and engaging – which have made a dramatic impact in our family’s lives. In conclusion, these conversations and discussions have revealed that there are more questions than answers when it comes to parenting. The most important message garnered from these conversations has been that children are astute observers and accurate imitators. Venilla Kohler is deputy headmistress at St James Preparatory School. Parenting courses are held on a Saturday during the school term from 09:00 until 11:00 at St James Preparatory School. For further details, please contact Page Jones at: (+27) 011 618 4101 /4124. Independent Education apologises for citing the incorrect author’s name in the 2019 winter edition article, titled ‘Why philosophy for children?’. The article was written by John Curle. References: 1. See: http://schoolofphilosophykzn.org/the-organisation/history/ 2. Ibid. 3. Tsabary, S. (2010) The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering our Children. Vancouver: Namaste Publishing; and James, O. (2016) Not in Your Genes: The Real Reasons Children are Like their Parents . London: Vermilion Books. 4. See, for example: https://library.albright.edu/c.php?g=220915&p=1462276 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_UPUmlyY5M ; and Admiral William H. McRaven’s famous commencement speech, entitled ‘If You Want to Change the World’ (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= pxBQLFLei70 ) Additional sources: 1. School of Practical Philosophy (n.d.) Gauteng P100 Parenting Course. See: https://philosophyschool.com/ 2. See: https://www.biblio.com/book/conversations-shri-shantananda-saraswati- shankaracharya/d/690327230 and https://practicalphilosophywa.org.au/courses/ 99-conversations-sri-shantananda-saraswati/

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