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  • Nigel Akuani

Parents Urged to be Better Listeners

Port Moresby: Before parents start setting the bar and laying expectations from their children, they should first learn to listen, understand and identify their child’s strengths and weaknesses.

The insightful call was made by five Grade-9 students of La Salle Technical College during the Chat Room on Wednesday 18th August 2021, as they took on to discuss the topic ‘Parents’ Expectation of Kids’.

Commencing with a brief introduction of each speaker, the discussion provided a brief definition of the term ‘Expectation’, the essential role of parents in establishing realistic expectations as opposed to unrealistic, benefits of encouragement and parental support, adverse effects on young people resulting from failure to meet parent’s expectation, and the need for parents to reprioritize their child’s needs and start focusing on building their strengths and reducing their weaknesses.

In his description of ‘Expectation’, Emmanuel Martin, said it was a dream that other people had for them that served as a motive to encourage young people to succeed in another phase of their lives. “Out of genuine love parents set a high expectation, and this is because they want to help and encourage us to be successful not just in our academic careers, but also in our social lives,” he said.

“We will always listen to our parents because ‘Ol lukim San pas bipo lo yumi na ol i save lo gutpla rot’. However, Parents, before you set the bar, you need to sit with your children and know their strengths and weaknesses,” he further said.

Zenelda Hekele, said though parents setting high expectations of their kids was positive, there still were certain expectations that could be categorized as ‘unrealistic’. “All parents want the best for their children and their expectations have to be realistic. If there are unrealistic expectations being made that a young person is incapable of achieving, this then places so much pressure and stress on them, and reduces their self-esteem,” she stated.

She said how expectations helped kids work hard to fulfil their dreams and goals, and told of how in foreign developed countries it was different because parents were more open to helping to identify their child’s strengths and weaknesses. “Locally, we have many uneducated parents who are not aware of these factors that immensely impact their child’s growth and overall wellbeing. Consequently, they push and force their kids to struggle to achieve or fail, at earning one of only a few high paying jobs, instead of focusing and building on what matters most, their passion,” she emphasized.

Peter Angeli, explained that due to the assumption that parents always know what is best for their children, there was now no need to consult a child on what they needed. “There is no consent of what a child needs, and when their parents’ expectations are not met, this causes doubt and a severe nervous breakdown in themselves. Having unrealistic expectations and high hopes without realizing your child’s strengths is the prime cause of this, which has parents pushing their kid to their limits,” he stressed.

“They care for us because when there are expectations set by our parents, they show this care by interacting with us and our teachers, and getting involved in every aspect crucial to our social and personal development,” said Joshua Burakaka.

Bringing to an end their talk, Francis Pusal, made it clear that parents’ expectations were not just important for a child’s mental and physical wellbeing but also for their spirituality.

Chat Room’s next session on Wednesday 25th August, will have once more students from La Salle Technical College discuss the importance of 'Protecting and Preserving Human Life.

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