I honestly do not understand the parents that my generation (and beyond) have become. While there were some aspects of my childhood that really did need to be addressed and changed (bullying being the big one), we really have gone to far and we are not preparing our kids for the world that is actually out there at all. At some point, we stepped off the sidewalk and are now dodging cars, albeit far worse than Frogger ever did, and even if we get to the other side eventually our children are just going to get chomped by the alligators.
Let’s first evaluate sports, not high school sports, but sports at the younger ages. When did it suddenly become fashionable to have everyone win? In theory I understand this teaches the children the game is more important than the win, however, it goes against everything else they are exposed to in life. On t.v. they seen teams, and even single people, winning against their opponents all the time and even on children’s shows there is always someone that wins. Along this same tangent, not everyone made the team and kids learned to adjust to that, they became better at the sport and the next year they went and tried out again. This teaches children core values about the truth of having to be skilled and apply yourself to succeed in life. It is during these early years when values are formed and it seems to me to be far better to have them learned unconsciously as opposed to just being dumped into the real world to either sink or swim.
Let’s move on to education now, shall we? I really am disgusted at what the education system has become in recent years. It was fairly bad when I was a student, in terms of just pushing a child along to the next grade you do not have to deal with them for another year, however, with the introduction of No Child Left Behind it has become absolutely insane. I’ve witness fudged grades, assignments suddenly not counting or tests getting different weight than was originally announced. This is ridiculous. Some of these students leaving high school have lousy penmanship, incredibly bad spelling skills and very poor math skills. Far to often the blame is erroneously put on the educators, it is the parents that need to wake up and realize that their children are playing parents against teachers and just skating through school. Whatever happened to holding the students accountable for their grades? It is not the teacher’s fault a child does not do their homework or fails to study properly for a test after all. Now, this is not a proposal to get teachers off the hook, there are some out their not doing their jobs properly, however, the parents are slacking in a big way nowadays and they really need to kick it up a notch. Yes, your child is unique and special, however, they are still expected to live up to the same obligations as all the other students at the local school.
Stop allowing the electronic devices to entertain your children; get them outside, get them reading. I am not saying ban the electronics in your home but create a positive balance. Playing outdoors with friends and reading instills an imagination in children, imagination leads to the ability to think and reason better and will assist the children in their educational careers. Yes, also, we need to get back to proper punishments for children. Why did we ever move away from spankings? Granted their was an issue with child abuse that needed to be addressed, and it was, however, we have moved along to far and far to often the children run the household and this is not how it is supposed to be. Children need punishment based both on what they did and their age. Of course punishment is going to be different for a 3 year old and a 10 year old, however, they both need to be punished in a manner that illustrates what they did was improper and not appreciated.
Before you start blaming everyone else for how your child acts, take a good look in the mirror and reflect on how you have raised your children. I am not saying you should not be your child’s friend, however, you should be your child’s parent first.
I do believe Bucky Convington sums it up rather nicely.
- Coddling Moms Need to Be Tougher With Their Kids (usnews.com)
- Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up (wnyc.org)
- Parents must learn to stop meddling, author urges (ctv.ca)
- Editorial: Digital literacy begins with parental involvement (denverpost.com)
- Manitoba teachers want province to stop parents from pulling kids out of sex ed classes (news.nationalpost.com)
- Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up (npr.org)
- Fees Are Keeping Kids Out of School Sports (livescience.com)
- Strategies Throughout Handling Teacher Pressure as Well as Burnout Within Schools (socyberty.com)
- Advice from the National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki (cityyeardc.wordpress.com)