Workshop for the Parents Love, Solidarity and Self-Esteem

Workshop for the Parents
Love, Solidarity and Self-Esteem
at the Neohumanist School in Paraguay
By Didi Ananda Sushiila

The idea of doing a workshop came out of our regular teachers meetings. We were facing several cases with violence in the families, especially with the fathers who are alcohol addicted, and some of our students are very shy, lacking self-confidence and have little attention from their parents. In order to have more involvement with the parents and establish constant communication between the parents, teachers and school, for the better education of our students, we felt a need to arouse the awareness of the parents. We first chose love, as it is the essence of everything. Love can solve, cure and bring happiness through all our life. And we need to create the loving environment both in the school and in the home. With our collective efforts, two workshop programs were given. The following is a summary of these workshops.

Workshop 1 : Love and Solidarity
1. Opening 
We started with a visualization using songs and Baba Nam KevalamImagine love within you and surrounding you; feel the link with one another; feel we are one with the light of love in our hearts…

2. Dynamic Game
We had a box that we passed to each person one by one. Each person opened the box and saw the photo inside the box and then told the good qualities of the person in that photo. Actually there was no photo in the box, only a mirror. Everyone was telling the good qualities of themselves.

3. Lecture
Love generates good feelings in the heart and good thoughts in the mind. In this way, we can convey the most beautiful things within us to others. Live life with spiritual energy. Solidarity means a supportive action; it implies offering what belongs to us. It represents a solitary gesture that always starts from love. How to promote solidarity: each and every one of us can offer our help to one that needs and not close our eyes upon misfortune or injustice.

4. Drama 
We divided into 5 groups, with parents and teachers included in each group. We gave each group a paper which had one of the following cases described on it, and we gave the participants 20 minutes to discuss. Each group had to find a solution and then perform a drama about it.

1) A mischievous child; his family tries to change him with violence. How he grows up, his future.
2) A happy family, with harmony. Their children’s future.
3) A mischievous child that changes his behaviour due to his family’s help.
4) Alcoholism in the family, how it affects children and their future.
5) Lack of communication in the family, children starting from 4th grade.

5. Conclusion 
We need to learn how to express love to our children, and live in harmony. Remember to be good examples, because the children are the reflection of the parents.

Workshop 2 – Love and Self-Esteem

1. Songs and Visualization
Participants were instruected to sit quietly and think and feel how we are all surrounded by cosmic love; we are not alone, the cosmic consciousness is within us. Thinking I am divine, I am part of the infinite love, I am pure and unique…

2. Dynamic Game
Write the names of three animals and describe three qualities of that animal. Share with everybody and finally tell the qualities of the three animals from their point of view.
1. How I see myself.
2. How others see me.
3. My real self
The psychological reason for this exercise is that the way we think of and look at things reflects our inner thoughts about ourselves.

3. Lecture
Self-esteem is the way someone appreciates him/herself. That is, it refers to how one considers one’s own values and abilities. It is reflected through the way we dress, speak; adapt what we have. With self-confidence, always says: “I can do that! “. To value oneself say: “I am important! “. It is essential to emotional stability and personal balance.

4. Drama
As in the first workshop, we divided into 5 groups, with parents and teachers included in each group. We gave each group a paper which had one of the following cases described on it, and we gave the participants 20 minutes to discuss. Each group had to find a solution and then perform a drama about it.

1) A child comes home from school crying because he doesn’t know how to write, and neither do his parents.
2) Parents are looking for a job; are turned down in different places; self-esteem drops down. Later on looks for the work that he feels good and does it at house and finally with his will power tries to find a job again…
3) The father puts a lot of pressure on his child and wants him to be perfect, though, the child doesn’t fulfil his expectations. The child reaches puberty and goes to extremes for fear and lack of communication.
4) Parents are divorced and to the children refer to each other with bad words about the other that degrade them, leading to low self- esteem in the child.
5) Good self-esteem with positive outlook

5. A Questionnaire was given to the parents.

1. Are you aware of your son/daughter’s assignments at school?2. Do you help your children with their homework?3. Do you often meet the teacher to find out your children’s academic performance?

4. Is there fluid communication between you and your child about school activities?

5. Do you attend meetings that deal with your child’s academic performance ?

6. Do you keep your children out of bad habits?

7. Does media affect your child’s academic performance?8. Was the parents workshop interesting to you?9. Will you continue participating in this kind of workshop?

10. Which of the following issues would you like to be discussed next year?
a- discipline ( )
b- honesty ( )
c- hygiene ( )
d- health ( )
e- others ____________

Feedback

Though not so many parents could come for the workshops, those who attended were highly appreciative and enjoyed them a lot, especially the dramas. They conveyed what we did in the workshops to other parents, so it created a mutual understanding in the community. Afterwards we had many parents come to us and share with us the difficulties in their families and the financial problems they face. We also try to help however we can. In general, the workshops improve communications and awaken the consciousness of the parents for the better education of the children.