XLIS - Experiences of Parenting

- As a parent and teacher

Lily Liu  

Head of School  

Global Ed.D 

It is important to teach children to be empathetic and cultivate their empathy when they are at an early age. In daily life, I spend a lot of time guiding my daughter to participate in life, reading classics, role playing, understanding companions, loved ones, and people at events. Children not only need to distinguish between right and wrong, but also understand the law of development and the inner connection of things.

Empathy is an intrinsic "sympathy" through which people truly feel and understand the emotions and needs of others, accept and respect the difference in growth and situation of everyone. In the context of globalization, leaders must understand and tolerate different cultures, and are able to resolve conflicts and deal with complex issues. “Empathy” is therefore highly required in today's society.

Parenting is the hardest job you will ever have!

Jennifer Lasater

Early Years Teacher

Jennifer Lasater is an Early Years Teacher at Xi’an Liangjiatan International School.  Before coming to XLIS Jennifer taught in international schools in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, as well as public schools in Kansas, USA.  During this time she has worked exclusively with children aged 3-7 years.  She has been trained in the IB PYP framework, International Primary Curriculum, and Common Core.  Jennifer has earned an MA in Early Childhood from Concordia- St Paul University and a BA in Teaching Early Childhood Disabilities from the University of Northern Iowa.  

Ms. Jennifer’s daughter, Sarah Lasater, has been studying at XLIS since 2015 and is currently MYP2 student.

Being a parent is difficult. It’s up to you to raise the next generation.  I have been a parent for almost 13 year and a teacher of young children for almost 20 and I am still learning every day.  I have made many mistakes and am still making mistakes.  I feel successful as a parent, but still feel I have failed my daughter.
Parents are the first and most important teachers of their child.  Teachers provide some guidance, but children will still turn to their parents to provide the main lessons in their lives.  Here are some tips I have found beneficial over the years.

Be a parent, not a friend.  

Be the adult in the relationship.  All parents want their child to be happy. I want my child to be happy.  I am here to keep my child and students safe.  Set limitations and rules and follow them.  Yes, your child may miss a party or something they really want, but it shows your child that when you say something you mean it.  If you laugh when they misbehave it passes the message that the behavior is cute and a parent or teacher liked it. In this situation, the child is more likely to repeat that behavior. 

Teach the desired behavior
At school teachers spend the first few weeks teaching the expected behaviors and reinforcing them throughout the year.  Modeling what you want is the ideal way to teach these behaviors.  If you want your child to say thank you to others or to help others, they need to see you doing the same.  They follow the model of the behaviors they see.  Often teachers will hear parents say that their child acts differently at home. This is mostly because of the expected behavior difference between the two settings.

Give them choices

Around the age of 2-4 years-old children begin to demonstrate their independence.  They are beginning to develop their personalities and identities.  They begin to argue, and the fights for food or clothing options begin.  The easiest way is to provide your child with choices.  You select a few options and give them the choice.  In the classroom I give them the choice of activity to complete. They are doing an activity I want them to do, but they think it is their choice to complete it.  Older students may get a choice of assessment activity to complete, but they are still showing the teacher what they have learned by completing the activity. 

Let them be independent, let them fail.
This is one of the hardest parts of being a teacher and a parent.  Let them do as they please, as long as they are safe.  Yes, it may be harder for you. It may take a lot longer and they may not be the best.  All of this is teaching them that sometimes the choices they make are not the best choices. If they fail to complete a project for class do not solve this problem for them, it is a choice they made not to do the assigned work.  If they get into a disagreement with a friend don’t intervene immediately (unless there is danger involved), but let them solve their own problems.  This helps them develop those essential skills needed to be an adult and realize no one is there to solve their problems for them.

Love them, talk to them, just be with them.
These are the moments your child will remember the most.  Turn off electronic distractions and focus on your child. Just being present I have learned more about my child and students than I could if I was always doing stuff or trying to make them do things. 

Take a deep breath and remember, Parenting is the hardest job in the world and the most rewarding at the same time.