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What is the Relationship Between Education and Family?

The year 2020 will always be remembered as that year that everybody in the world had to home-school their children because of the pandemic Covid-19. And as much as this pandemic threw families, communities, nations into a bit of a panic, parents really stepped up. They did it. I mean, I know for some of them it was a stretch. 

I remember one mother said to me, "I have seven children. All 7 children of different ages. And I'm trying to do all these different requirements with all of them. This is wiping me out, you know?" Because she wasn't used to it yet. Anyway, the parents stepped up. They did it. They showed that it's not so foreign for a family to be connected to education after all. 

What is the real connection that family has to education? That's what this article is all about. Looking at history, we see that children didn't actually attend formal schools, public schools until sometime in the 1600s. In fact, before that, all schools were church-run or there were private tutors. And you had to pay to go to those schools. 

Oftentimes, only the most influential citizens were allowed to be tutored or to go to some of these schools. So, for the majority of recorded history, guess what? The people were homeschooled. That means the family and education have always been very closely linked. In fact, even when school started popping up, it was a very slow process. And the parents were completely in charge. The parents had all of the choices in education. 

The parents picked the teachers, picked the superintendents of the board over the schools. The parents reviewed the curriculum. They decided the morals, they decided if the church would be taking a role in the school or not taking a role in the school. This was how schools started being formed. 

It's only been recently the parents have taken a step back with schooling that they have seen the role of educating children outside of their home. Parents seem to be thinking nowadays. But there's somebody else that is more qualified to teach their child than them. And hey, maybe parents don't know calculus. I get it. I don't know calculus either. But that didn't stop me. 

I've actually been a homeschooler for my family for all of their lives. My children never went to school unless they wanted to play on a sports team or star in a play or be in a choir. And that's okay. The school served us where we needed it to serve us. And the rest of it, I did myself. 

Now, I know some of you probably think that that means I'm weird. And you know what? My parents... Not my parents. My children... My parents laughed at it the other day. But my children gave me a sign that said, "Having a weird mom builds character." So, I think they're okay with the fact that I'm weird. 

That was my Mother's Day gift this year. Anyway, being weird is all right. In fact, no person ever stepped out and did something outside of the normal way in the normal, to begin with. They always see things a little differently which means they're a little bit weird. For us to understand the connection of Education to family a little bit better, we need to look at roles. 

I know, another topic. People don't like to talk about it nowadays. It seems taboo to even discuss rules. But roles are vital. In fact, what I've noticed over the years as I've talked with families is that those who understand their roles within the family have a better family life. So, what's your role? What is your role as a mother? What is your role as a father? What is the role of a 7-year-old son? What is the role of a 13-year-old daughter? Do they know their roles? They may be able to say, "Well, my mom is a nurturer and my dad protects. He provides." 

They may be able to say things like that but do they really know what those mean? And do they really know who they are in their family? I noticed this was such a problem years ago that I wrote a whole book called Roles: The Secret To Family Business and Social Success. 

Because our families need to know who they are to function properly together. In fact, it's a fun read-aloud. It's a learning story. So, if you want to read it with your children and discuss roles, it could be a really great thing. So, if you examine roles, you recognize pretty clearly that the role of the father is protector and provider. 

Part of protecting us to teach. Father is a teacher. The role of a mother is to nurture. She holds the heartstrings for her children pretty tightly through the majority of their young lives she is a teacher and a protector as well. So, what is the role of a 13-year-old daughter? What does she do all day? Hmm... Probably school? She's a learner. How amazing is that? You can't get one learner here unless you have 2 teachers to bring them here. You can't even get the learner. So, for every one learner, there are supposed to be two teachers. That's an educational model. 

A model that has been working since the beginning of time. So, what can we do as families to make sure that we really magnify this relationship between education and family? Parents instinctively teach their children. In fact, no parent would think to themselves, "I don't think I'll teach my child how to walk. 

I don't think I'll teach my child how to talk." They just do it. it's just part of daily life when that child is growing and learning. They teach them how to tie their shoes, they teach them how to share. They teach them how to sit quietly when it's time to sit quietly. There are so many lessons that parents teach their children. Do you know even though the school works really hard at teaching children to read, it's really the parents that teach the children to read? 

If the parents work with the children and do that 30 minutes of reading every day after school then guess who's going to learn to read because they've had the one-on-one time with the parent? The child. Parents teach their children how to write because they work with them on all of the homework. Parents teach their children how to speak in front of other people and feel confident. 

They do that by setting an example and by nurturing their alone and allowing them to step out of their comfort zones again and again. Parents teach children all of the vital lessons for life. So, it's just natural then that they should be involved in every aspect of education no matter where your child goes to school. 

Whether they go to a public school, a private school, a charter school. Whether they have independent tutors, whether they're homeschooled and you're the main teacher which is becoming increasingly more popular in the world today. Those children need to see you as the person who is paving the way for them for their education. 

They should look up to you. You should be setting the example. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you have a greater influence on your child and their education. Parents need to teach their children. So, deliberately think, "What is it that I'm supposed to teach my children?' In fact, you might want to start with considering what things you're good at. 

Because they probably need to know some of those skills. If you're good at music, teach your children music. If you're good at cooking, teach your children cooking. If you're good at fixing things, teach your children how to fix things. These are going to be great ways that they can attach to you while they're also attaching to the world around them. 

One of the most vital things all parents need to teach their children is how to master themselves. How to have self-control. Self-control is the difference between emotional bondage and emotional strength and freedom. So, if you have self-control over yourself, that means you get to decide which direction you will go and you get to decide which emotions are going to be useful to you and which are going to trap you and put you in bondage. 

Because emotions can do both of those things. Many families are stuck in emotional bondage. They're constantly emotionally dumping on each other. This means that the majority of the family are thinking about themselves more often than they're thinking about the family group. 

So, to teach your children how to master themselves, how to learn self-government is going to be the means to their freedom and their relationship success for the future. Another vital lessons that we teach our children are good communication. That's part of mastering yourself actually. 

Do you know how to get your way without going out of control? There's a skill that I teach in my teaching program which is called teaching self-government called disagreeing appropriately. When you disagree appropriately with someone, you look at the person, you keep a calm face voice, and body. You say that you understand the other person's point of view, you share your point of view. 

Then you listen to what they have to say. You say okay and you drop the subject. Do your children know how to do that? In fact, you might want to be asking yourselves "Do the adults in our family even know how to do that?" It's a very mature skill but it's not something that's often deliberately taught. You have to seek to understand the other people then seek to be understood and you have to do the whole thing with calmness and some logic. 

Which means you can't be leading out with emotions. This is a deep respect for family and it helps solve problems. That leads me to my next thing. We have to teach our children how to solve problems. There's actually an exercise that I teach in my book which is Parenting: A House United and this exercise is called SODAS. It's a problem-solving exercise. 

That's an acronym. It doesn't really mean a drink that you drink. It means a situation, options, disadvantages, advantages, and solution. It's a written exercise or a verbal exercise that we go through as a family or one-on-one with the children to help them see how they can not make the same mistake that they've made before or how to solve an upcoming problem. 

Problem-solving is an important lesson that parents need to teach their children. Another vital lesson that parents teach children is how to work. Now, work is not bad. People think work is bad because they're always looking forward to it when they get off work. But work is just another thing that we do in our lives and we've got to teach our children it's a good thing. 

This generation of young people is having a hard time settling into the work of life. In fact, there's a lot of entitlement that's happening right now and it's crippling their progress. They've been babied just a little too much. Whether the parents thought they were or not, it did happen. And maybe it wasn't even fully the parents. Maybe it was the media, maybe it was the schools not having the children take as much responsibility. 

I don't know exactly where to point the finger and I don't think we need to. What we need to focus on is that the problem exists that there are many children not launching out into the world like they should. And one of the main reasons is they don't have confidence. And one of the places that confidence is the most deeply rooted besides good relationship development is in work. 

If a person knows how to work, that builds their confidence. Our children absolutely need that. In fact, work leads to happiness. Which is another one of the lessons we have to teach our children. Where does happiness come from? Happiness is a choice. Do you know that? Do they know that? Happiness is something we pick. If your life isn't particularly perfect which many people's lives aren't perfect, my life's not perfect. I have a family. 

We go through struggles just like everybody else. But we make it through them pretty well with lots of laughs, joy, contentment, peace, and strength in the end. Why? One of the biggest reasons is because we choose to be happy. I had a vice-principal when I was in the ninth grade say to me when I asked him, "Why Mr. Naylor do you always say, I'm happy, thank you when I asked you how you're doing that day." 

And he looked at me and he said, "Nicholeen, why would I choose to be any other way?'" Why would a person choose to be any other way? Why? Where does happiness come from? It comes from you making a choice to be happy. But it also comes from setting your priorities straight. If you're focusing only on yourself, you will not be very happy. I am happiest when I'm cooking dinner for my family when I'm helping somebody mend the edge of a skirt. 

When I'm preparing a special birthday party for someone. When I'm on a date with my husband. I am happiest when I am doing things for other people spending time with other people, focusing on the people around me not just on myself. One of the biggest sources of happiness is our family relationships and bonds. I hope your children get the message from you that family is number one. Most important. If you don't give them that message, they won't want a family. And we kind of has a problem with that in our society right now. 

People thinking for some reason the family is bad for them. Instead of healing and helpful, they're not wanting to move on to that next level of personal development called having a family which can truly make their lives incredible. 

No matter what you do with your children, no matter what you teach them or don't teach them, you're teaching them. Does that sound dizzying to you? It's true. If you come home from work and you sit down every night and you click and just watch the TV or you scroll on your phone, then you are teaching them what life is all about. It's a lesson. 

But is it the lesson you want them to learn, there are so many lessons we can teach our children such as we can teach them that planning for their future is a good idea. Setting goals is healthy, work is positive. We can also teach them the skills they need for success. In our family, we teach 4 basic skills. These children's books each teach one of the 4 basic skills which are following instructions, accepting no answers, accepting consequences, and their favorite: Disagreeing appropriately. 

If a person learns all 4 of those basic skills, that takes care of 99% of their behavioral problems. It also helps them have a calm face voice and body. Look at their parents receive instruction and teaching. Do you know if your child will not follow a simple instruction from you, which means they look at the person, keep a calm face voice, and body? 

Say okay or disagree appropriately, do the task immediately and then check back. If they can't do all 5 of those things, you can't teach them anything. So, we have to teach them how to govern themselves. We have to teach them how to get in a position where they can indeed learn from us. To do that, we've got to have the right feeling in our home. 

We've got to have strong relationships with them and open communication. One of the things that get in the way of good teaching is a lack of calmness. Only you can evaluate where you're at but you know if you truly feel calm and you're able to think you don't have stress and worry and anger. I know that you're thinking surely people all have that sometimes. 

Not necessarily. I've actually gotten rid of all that for myself. I don't remember the last time that I truly got angry. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen. But I'm just saying I just choose to be calm now and to think and talk about things. And guess what? So do my children. I want you to succeed at strengthening your family.

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