Role of Parents
Parents are undeniably role models of the children. Buddha gave great importance to the parent-child relationship. Parents are compared to the Brahma God and are said to be the ones to show and introduce the world to the children. Our first frames of reference are given by our parents. If parents are fascinated by material things, beautiful clothes, expensive cars and so on, then as they express those that interest them, they are promoting certain value system without intentionally teaching the students. The values of parents have a very important conditioning role in the psychology of the child, and also in terms of how parents live their life, how they spend their time how they divide time between their work, their enjoyment, how much time they spend with their family.
Parents have huge effects both in what they consciously teach and how they conduct themselves. In a school setting, if the policy and the practice is too much in conflict or out of harmony with the way the parents are teaching the children or the way the parents live with their children then probably the policy won’t be successful.
That’s why in our Buddhist education system the attitudes of the parents, their way of life, the values they cherish, their goals in life etc. have to be in harmony with the principles and practice of the school. Parents in our system are regarded as the “second-tiered students” who have to train continually to be skillful parents. They are thus invited to be very closely involved in the school activities, in the learning process of the students and for their own training and development as a result.
Mr. Suthipong Thammawut, father of Ms. Pimburabha Thammawut (Gam)
“Our two daughters have been with Thawsi Buddhist School since kindergarten. We saw that they have acquired a number of desirable habits through the training at Thawsi School. Our love and care for our daughters does not mean that we should try to keep them close to us for as long as possible. Our eldest daughter, Kaem, was actually the one who chose to go to Panyaprateep Boarding School, which is like the “sister school” of Thawsi. As parents we naturally want “the best” for our children. So we agreed with her choice. We believe Panyaprateep School possesses a number of necessary characteristics which will bring out the best in our children.
First is the consistent adherence to the Buddhist principle of not harming. This sounds like a very obvious moral value that nobody will disagree with. But all too often, it is just conveniently ignored. Second, I agree with the school emphasis on nurturing the sense of self immunity and the strive to create a refuge for oneself . In this way the children can constantly improve their life skills. They will be more capable to distinguish between right and wrong and better able to manage themselves. If they live at home, they have much less chance for this valuable training. Third, for popular and well-known schools, their name is mostly based on the ability of their students to get good grades and successfully compete to enter into popular universities. It is more difficult to look after the students closely. But at Panyaprateep, being a new and small school, individual teacher-student relations are more of a general rule. Fourth, I have confidence in the teachers who know the goals of the School and possess the necessary skills to guide the children towards the goals. Teachers here are like good friends (kalyanamitr) and second parents who train the students to search for their own potential and interests, to think and plan and be responsible for themselves. If Thawsi School can be compared to a “rural highway”, then Panyaprateep is more like a “super highway” that takes our children to the destination.”
Mrs. Jularat Intaramaha, mother of Ms. Ladapa Intaramaha (Need)
“I send my only daughter to Panyaprateep because she studied at Thawsi School from kindergarten until grade 6. I have full confidence in Buddhist education taught at Thawsi. So when Panyaprateep, which is a “sister school” is opened in Pakchong, I had no hesitation. I am all for the concept and practice of integrated training of conduct, mind, and wisdom development.
Our present society is so full of harmful distractions. If our children are not well prepared, they are likely to fall preys. I believe that the School will help “nurture the whole child”, will help train and toughen up our daughter. The boarding school format in a supportive and caring environment is an ideal training ground to teach our daughter to think for herself and be her own refuge. My daughter has been at Panyaprateep for one and a half years. She seemed to have transformed herself to an extent. Need is now even more confident in her thinking, in relying on herself and solving her own problems. The teachers are very encouraging and always providing support of all kinds like good friends would do.”
Mrs. Rujira Atchaprasert, mother of Mstr. Knut Thammaruksa (Bam)
“When the children enter adolescence they tend to stay away from the parents even though they may live in the same house. So we thought we should send our son to a reliable boarding school with good training and good friends. We favor the emphasis of Buddhist education which teaches the students to rely on themselves and to develop necessary life skills. We also felt that our only son and only grandson needs specific training away from the family environment where he hardly has a chance to do anything for himself. We would like him to be exposed to the world outside his own home and learn to rely on himself in a supportive environment with sound guidance. Panyaprateep is only two hours drive away. Our son can return home twice a month. We can see him once a week if we need to. So it is not a problem. We see it as a good preparation for the future.”
Mr. Payup Ruangkaew, father of Mstr. Karnpon Ruangkaew
We felt that Thai society has changed quite a lot and is now largely driven by consumerism. Effective change for the better must come from within. We want to find a school that can train our son to be able to help himself , to practice moderation and to be able to help other people. We believe that Panyaprateep has very noble goals, a clear direction, and a strong team of teachers and lovely set of friends. If our son lives with us, he hardly has a chance for practical exercises, or for self restraints. It is much harder to learn to be his own refuge. Our son has been at the school for one term. He has learnt to be more responsible, has a better social skill, enjoys reading more, and is more assertive about what is right. We are happy about his pace of development.”