Diary of a Deputy Parent

FM M Written by FM M · 1 min read >

The face of the challenge

“What was the use of getting grades and all the nonsense awards in school when my heartbeat was struggling and I did not know?”, I lamented. It was the third week of December and I received my younger brother’s end of term results. I was especially sad that I had not noticed when he needed additional help to master some of the concepts in school.

As a deputy parent, I get the luxury to share in the successes and learnings of siblings and other kids as if (or because 😊) they are mine too. I even get to enjoy new titles too like “constituted Authority”, “Elder”, “The doer” just to name a few. It is only fair that fully participate in the “not-so-good” outcomes as well

Searching for answers

As the constituted authorities, it is our spiritual duty to find solutions ☺️. So, for two days, I bombarded Google :

  • “How to support kids’ learning remotely”
  • “Steps to transition from learning with kids, to supporting them to own their learning journeys”
  • “How to empower loved ones to discover their best study method”
  • “What to do when you have failed to support the child’s learning journey”, etc.

I like Google, so much and I really appreciate how it takes time to bring up the useful and not so useful articles. In any case, it hardly returns “nothing”.

Negotiating the next steps

So, I scoured through the articles frantically and highlighted areas that I could improve in this role.  I also noted changes that I could make to my schedule to better support my heartbeat. I followed up with WhatsApp chats:

  • How do you feel about this result?
  • Could it have been better?
  • Do you want a different outcome next term?
  • What should change to make that possible?
  • What is your ideal end of term average for March?
  • What commitments are you making towards this goal?
  • Will you need some form of external support to achieve this?

I was hopeful we could course-correct. This was his final year in secondary school and there was no joking about it.

More questions and new resources

A few days later, I had a follow-up discussion with a recent graduate and found myself advising them to study and approach life the way I do. This is usually a sign for me, that I am taking the easy route and projecting my own realities on others. For this student just like my brother, they were very different from me and were going to need distinct approaches to get their desired results. At this point, I resumed the search and talked with parents. I was curious to understand how one could transition the phase of giving instructions and advise, to supporting my sibling to discover and take responsibility for his decisions. Of course, I got a lot of help and even got certified as a parent lol.

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