I had a conversation with an old friend, who is an educator, regarding the unsettling behavior of (some) children in schools today. I can remember when I was a kid in school, teachers were right up there with your parents and police officers in terms of respect and authority. And I remember my biggest fear was that I’d get in trouble at school and my mother would be called because we all knew if she was interrupted at work behind my foolishness. . .it would not be pretty!
We were taught to go to school and pay attention, follow instructions and get your lesson. And the teachers didn’t tolerate that foolishness either. They would pull out a ruler and pop those hands with the quickness!
But we live in a very different world now. A world full of victims and predators. A world where parents and teachers are often on the opposite sides instead of being on the same team. Teachers who have inappropriate relationships with students. Parents who defend their children when they cut up in class. Students bullying each other.
Kids today are sooooo much smarter than we were at their age because they have access to so much more information. But not all of it is good. As parents we are in the prime position to turn things around. Think about it for a minute. Go back to the day you brought your child home from the hospital not even a week old. That child was innocent and totally helpless. 90% of the behavior children learn (or don’t learn) is related to what we’ve taught them either directly or indirectly.
I think that many of us put parenting on auto pilot and because we lead such busy lives- we welcome the distraction of television, video games and the Internet to keep our kids busy, so we can get things done (I am totally guilty of this!). But we have to remember WE ARE OUR CHILD’S FIRST TEACHER. We can’t expect for the teachers or educational system to teach them manners or morals. That is OUR job. We can’t send our children to school with the notion that it’s okay for them to do or say whatever they want and when we are alerted of bad behavior early on, we have an obligation to act on it! You want your kids to know you support them but when you attack a teacher who (9 times out of 10) is telling the truth about your child, you send a message to your child that you can act anyway you want and I’ve got your back.
We have to do more than help our children learn their ABC’s to prepare them for school, we have to also teach them about being responsible for their own behavior and the repercussions of misbehaving. No parent wants to be the bad guy but sometimes we have to be the bad guy to keep our kids from becoming bad guys.
Parenting in a Nutshell: Love. Nurture. Love. Protect. Love. Discipline. Love. Teach. Love. Release. Love.
Parents have the most important job in the world. Our kids need our guidance and wisdom just as much as our love.