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'My kids are better than me' - Prof. Jonathan Jansen on effective parenting

12 December 2019 12:06 PM
Tags:
prominent parents
Professor Jonathan Jansen

The influential professor of education discusses the importance of reinforcing the values you are trying to teach your children.

Professor Jonathan Jansen is well know for his forthright views on education and matters of national interest in South Africa in general.

The internationally renowned education expert and author was appointed in 2009 as the first black rector and vice-chancellor at the University of the Free State (UFS), where he had to deal with ugly racial incidents during his tenure.

RELATED: Jonathan Jansen: Lowering university entry requirements 'a move to mediocrity'

He's currently distinguished Professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU).

Prof Jonathan Jansen. Picture: EWN

Professor Jansen is also father to two grown-up children who were born during his studies in the US, but raised mainly in South Africa.

On Kieno Kammies' Prominent Parent slot, Jansen says he feels blessed to have kids who turned out to be "much better than me". In fact this is his test for successful parenting.

You know (you have done a good job) when your children are better than you.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University

They have much more faith than I could ever have. They are incredibly decent towards anyone and everyone. They are respectful of people in a way that I seldom see among young people.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University

It's always been like that. They never got hidings at school; we certainly didn't as parents put our hands on them

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University

How did the prof and his wife go about raising children who would develop into adults with a strong value system?

He stresses the importance of making sure that kids grow up in environments - at home, school, church etc. - where people reinforce the values you are trying to teach them.

Jansen says he feels "lucky" to have two children who grew up with a strong sense of themselves, but also a deeply respectful sense of other people.

The one was that they never had a sense of race. My kids genuinely are confounded when people come up with this race nonsense, or gay and straight... Wherever we lived in South Africa or overseas they always saw people who didn't look like them, who didn't pray like them.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University

Those formative years before they even get to high school are crucial in shaping the kind of values and perspectives they would have on who they are first of all, but also on who other people are.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University

For more of the Prof's perspectives on parenting (and, inevitably, also load shedding), take a listen:


12 December 2019 12:06 PM
Tags:
prominent parents
Professor Jonathan Jansen

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