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Children need basic life skills, says Psychology lecturer

CHILDREN who do not learn basic life skills at home face a lot of problems and are likely to behave badly in class, says a psychology lecturer.
Erasto Chanda, a lecturer at Cavendish University in Lusaka who has taught child psychology for many years, explained that children who are not taught basic life skills at home face a lot of problems at school and usually behave badly at school.
“Parents should demonstrate good behaviour all the time. Some parents think discipline in a home is only punishment, which is a mistake, because relying on punishment alone is not a solution. It is important to also use positive punishment to discourage a child from exhibiting bad behaviour,” Mr Chanda said.
Children learn much more from watching and imitating than from listening to lectures, therefore parents should be role models. Meal times are a great time to interact as a family.
He said it is imperative for parents to meet with teachers as soon as a year starts begins so that they are kept up to date about a child’s performance throughout the year and if need be, take remedial measures if a child is lagging behind.
And Charity Mwila, 30, a teacher in Lusaka, said it is difficult to teach children who do not have basic life skills from home.
“There is an increasing number of children who are not ready for school, because they have not been sufficiently trained in basic life skills to survive in class and engage meaningfully with teachers and peers; teachers are not super nannies to take the place of parents, teachers are only there to complement their efforts,’’ she said.
She said the fact that children develop at different rates with individual needs is not an issue but there are some parents who subconsciously or intentionally delegate parenting responsibilities to teachers.
There are some parents who are not interested in helping with schoolwork; they say that is what teachers are paid for. Parents have got a big role to play if they want to see their children advance academically.
Ms Mwila, however, said there are some parents who are actively involved in all aspects of a child’s life and such children usually perform very well in school because they have the necessary support and help.

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