The most influential people in the life of children are parents and teachers. They are the trainers of life. Training or forming a human being is a challenging responsibility. It should not be mistaken as pleasing or satisfying a child. Correct training consists of making the child face the realities of life. Many of us think that my child should not go through the misfortunes and difficulties I have gone through. Sometimes we are only worried about the children's immediate happiness and satisfaction and not concerned about their future lives. So we try to please the child for temporary pleasure.

As formators, parents, and teachers, we should make the children experience reality, i.e., learning to live with the limitations and difficulties. For example, when we have less income, we cannot spend more or spend like others. This sort of reality should become part of their life. The trainers must help the children know the truth or the facts of life.

"Truth is like a surgery. It hurts but cures. But a lie is like a pain killer. It gives instant relief but has side effects forever".

To make our children temporarily happy, we give them many things, adjust many things and compromise many things, not knowing that these are painkillers that have many harmful consequences for our children in the future. So we should avoid pain killers and short cuts while forming our children.

Allow the children to go through the realities of life rather than escaping from it. The wisdom words "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime" is very much right in child formation. Let us teach our children how to fish, which is for life long. As educators, we need to make our children resourceful, creative, humble, assertive, confident, and resilient to face future life.

I think the Missionary schools have a special call to focus on this aspect of education. We need to give equal importance to the mind and heart of a child. Sometimes attention is given only to the mind. As a result, we are not able to shape balanced personalities. As educators, let us shoulder the responsibility of shaping balanced citizens for our nation.

Rev. Fr. Paul Animoottil,

St. Vinccent Pallotti Central School ,
Thrissur, Kerala