In our school district the school decided to hold the parents responsible for the truancy of their students. The outrage among the parents was incredible. How dare the school make the parent responsible? Wasn’t it the school’s problem to make sure their child was at school? See the real issue was the pointing of the fingers and the inability to take responsibility. I remember with a smile when my daughter Casey, who was the one to test the limits said, “What would you do if I ditched school?” I said, “I’d take time off of work and we’d go to school together. I’d be in every class with you and I’d sit with you at lunch and we’d be joined at the hip.” She looked at me and said seriously, “You’d do that too. I know it. How embarrassing!” My job as a parent was not to abdicate my responsibility to others but to accept the role and do it to the best of my ability. Was it going to hurt her self esteem to follow her around in school? Not as much as it was going to hurt her to think you can skirt your responsibilities.
In speaking to friends of mine who are teachers they say that they not only have to teach a child their normal academic lessons but they have teach morals as well. One friend told me that she has teach the students they can’t go through her purse, that they can’t call each others names, how to use silverware, that you can’t spit on each other, that you can’t steal from one another, and that you have to respect adults. She has had things stolen so she now leaves anything of value locked in her car. Doesn’t she have enough to do with making sure the children that are assigned to her can read, write and accomplish basic math skills?
Can I ask a silly question? What did the parents do for the first five years of life if these basic things weren’t taught? Did they interact with their children at all? Did they just figure out the school was going to do it?
What exactly is the parents’ role in today’s society?
OH! I know! Our job as parents is to buy Buford every single thing his heart desires, let him do whatever he wants, let him be as disrespectful as possible and let television be his babysitter as we do what is really important in life, live for ourselves. Because after all, what we want is the most important thing in life.
The consequences of those actions are here now and we won’t have to worry about Islamic terrorists destroying the American ideal. The disregard shown children today will come to roost in our homes. Sound extreme? Read the papers.
We need to get to a place where we care. A place where it isn’t a burden to parent our children. A place where we don’t live in fear that our children will be traumatized by the word NO. Gosh, I sound so old fashioned!