Panyaden Newsletter Issue 31
We turn the spotlight on parents, Andres and Raquel, in the latest issue 31 of Panyaden Newsletter.
“As a parent, it’s important to develop a sense of timing,” says Andres, father of Leon Y7 and Diego Y5. “We need to ask, when is it the right time to teach something, to pass on knowledge? Is our child ready to hear it? Too often we send out orders or preach about something when we feel like it. But we have to be on the right frequency with our kids and they have to be open. It must be communicated at the right moment and in the right way.” Mother, Raquel, believes in developing good habits at an early age. “If you don’t give responsibility to children in the early stages, you’ll suddenly have a teenager and then it will be really hard to instil good habits. I find that if they are old enough to complain about having dirty clothes, they are old enough to wash them themselves!”
Andres, a trained lawyer who is now a business development advisor, and Raquel, a former journalist who now works in the textile business, brought their two boys on holiday to Chiang Mai in 2013. Having met other students and parents and visited the school, they decided to move here from their home country, Venezuela, and have now been at Panyaden for 3 years. They love what they describe as the ‘desire to be sincere’ of the teachers here. Raquel explains, “All the teachers I have met here strive to be sincere and authentic. They put their best energy into teaching and want the children to learn not only knowledge but values too. That’s what I appreciate most. Primary education should teach values as well as integrate creative arts, physical exercise and academics. And learning should be fun! This is what motivates children.” Andres adds, “Young children need to feel cared for. If they don’t get this sense of love in the early years, I don’t know if you can make up for it later.”
Raquel loves textiles: making, buying, selling, and learning how it is done. She started coming to Chiang Mai to shop for textiles 20 years ago. Andres describes his main hobby as “finding out why I am here”. Not here in Chiang Mai, but existentially, he adds! He loves to read, practise meditation, and gain self-knowledge. They love the Buddhist teachings that underpin the school ethos, the environment and the multicultural community. Their wish list is for the school to open a Middle Years programme and for older children to learn more about world religions. (We will certainly be doing the latter, but no plans for the former at this time!)
Lastly, we asked them what advice they would give to new families from overseas. Andres: “Give time to the school. New parents see the campus and think that everything will be beautiful, right from the start. But in no school in the world is everything perfect. This is human nature! However, the conditions here will bring about change if you adjust your ideas and values to align with school.” Raquel: “Relax! Newcomers are often in a rush and want everything to happen quickly. Things will happen. You just have to wait!”