Student - June 9, 2010

AID parenting for dummies

What to do if you fall in love with your child, or if one of them turns out to be extremely aggressive? Prospective mummies and daddies learned the tricks of the trade of AID parenting during a training course last weekend.

Communication...
This is a compulsory preparation for 'couples' taking on the responsibility of chaperoning ten new students through the introduction days for freshmen (AID) at WU and VHL in Wageningen. The AID board runs the course every year. 'As a mentor you are dealing with fresh-faced students for whom Wageningen and student life are totally new. Some good guidance is very important', says board member Boyen van Gorp. To give you some idea, here are a few of the Dos and Don'ts for prospective AID parents.
>>DO: Keep the family together.
What should you do if half your children want to go to the KSV and the other half want to go to Ceres? Boyen: 'Be authoritarian at the start, take the decision yourself like a true leader. Once your children know each other a bit better, you can let them take the decision democratically.'
>>DON'T: Roll in the hay with any of your brood. It is not forbidden to have fling with one of your 'kids' but the advice is: NOT during the AID. 'If you are in love it will be harder to give enough attention to all your children. It is better to wait until the last party before getting off with junior', explains Boyen.
>>DO: Make pancakes. AID board member and ex-mummy Edith van den Bergh: 'It is mega-fun and yummy to make pancakes the morning after the last party, and eat them up with your kids. My AID parents did that with me, and I did it in turn with my kids.'
>>DON'T: Force your kids to join your student society. 'It is important to let your kids get a taste of all the possibilities and not to indoctrinate them with your own society stories. In the end they have to decide for themselves whether to join a society, and which one', thinks Boyen.
>>DO: Report any aggressive or antisocial behaviour on the part on one of the children to an AID board member. Boyen: 'We'll work out a solution, so that the parents can concentrate on the rest of their children.'
Mentors and volunteers needed
Eighty couples are needed this year. The AID committee is looking for 36 WU and VHL students (18 couples) to be mentors for Master's students. Hurry to sign up, then you get a free training course. Or volunteer to help with setting up podiums, helping out performers, serving food etc. More information on: www.caid.wur.nl.

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