You’re The Chancellor

I remember watching a comedy routine called ‘Five Minutes University’ by Don Novello who played a character called Father Guido Sarducci. He promised that you can get an entire college education in five minutes. “Yes, folks,” he said, “everything you need to learn in college in only five minutes time!”

You are the Chancellor

The idea was that you can sum up in five minutes what people remember having learning through their entire college education. Funny, but not far from the truth, don’t you think?  We often forget what we learn formally. However, we almost never forget the lessons we learned from our parents.

One of the reasons a child learns most effectively from its parents is that there is love and trust in that relationship. These two ingredients will make children absorb lessons from you that you might not even realize you are teaching.

How often I have reached out to administer First Aid to someone using all the ‘tricks’ I have learned from my mother. How many times I have asked an older person questions that made them reminiscence about times gone by, just the way I have watched my father do.

You, dear parent, are the Chancellor of the your child’s University – the School of Life.

Does that mean that you have to set aside time from your already busy schedule to teach your children? No, it means that you must become aware that your children are constantly learning life skills from you. You can turn things in your daily routine into a lesson for them. For example, a simple outing to the grocery store can be a lesson. Getting your child involved in making a shopping list, can teach her the advantages of being organized. Mental maths can be practiced at the store as you get your son involved in adding up the cost of items. You could also make sure that they learn to shop within a budget.

Similarly, getting your children involved in doing the laundry, setting the dinner table or washing up the dishes can all be lessons that will last them a lifetime.

Remember, there are some important things your children will learn from you, make sure you do them:

1. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

2. Eat healthy and exercise.

3. Surround yourself with good friends.

4. Put yourself first – it’s not selfish to teach your child that you matter.

5. Do one thing everyday that you enjoy, even if it takes only a few minutes.

6. Be silly and make time for laughter. A sense of humor is a major life skill you can pass on to your child.

You learn too from your child. Be open to teaching and learning as you enjoy the beautiful gift of parenting.

Corinne Rodrigues used to be a teacher to teenagers and has a lot of experience counseling and working with troubled youth. She is now a full-time blogger at Everyday Gyaan.

  • Thanks Corinne for this lovely post! However, I wanted to ask you that will my child absorb his lessons from me as well or will it be his grandparents only as we are living in a joint family and he spends most of his day with them.

    In addition, I wanted to know how can I inculcate the habit of reading in him as I am a voracious reader. In fact I finished lots of books during my pregnancy. My only problem is that his father does not like to read, though his paternal grandfather and maternal grandparents and uncle are all voracious readers.

  • That’s so beautifully said, Corinne! Family is the first school for children, and parents are powerful role models. There are so many things that a child learns inadvertently from the parents!!

  • Absolutely agree!
    Children learn from actions more than words and we as parents have a great responsibility to set the right examples. Sometimes I feel we learn more from them, though 🙂

  • Oh they watch and imbibe, and at times surprise you by using the same words and phrases that you do. This is so true. In response to a question above, I think children imbibe mostly from their parents and peers, even if they live in a joint family.

  • Hi Corinne: Very good post, I think you summarize it when you say do something you enjoy……Our kids constantly observe us and learn more from what we do than what we say to them… thanks…

  • “….children absorb lessons from you that you might not even realize you are teaching”

    Very true, Corinne!

  • Absolutely true! Children pick up behavior and values from their parents. And, we must be conscious and aware of this always.

  • Roshni

    Absolutely true and you summed it up beautifully!! It matters more what we do than what we tell them!! Actions speak louder than words!

  • Very beautifully told Corinne…loved those 6 points at the end.

  • So true Corinne, we don’t even realize what we have taught our child. I feel they learn more from our words and actions ie.. our way of living than what we try to tell and teach them.