Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teach Your Children; Well--

It's my belief, and I'm pretty sure everybody else's, that when we have kids, it's our responsibility to teach them right from wrong.

It's our responsibility, as parents, to mold them into good, decent people and to not only preach preach preach from the time they're old enough to understand what we're preaching, but to model exemplary behavior, too.

As a parent, I've often found myself in a situation where I'd really, really like to do one thing, but because my sons are around, I do another thing--the right one.

These right things range from small things, like maybe not calling a kid who made one of my sons cry in preschool or elementary school a stupid motherfucker (at least not while my kids were around), to larger things, like telling a cashier she gave me too much change or forgot to ring me up for an item at the grocery store, to even larger things still, like not saying anything bad about their father in their presence while he and I were separated.

When I'm with my kids, I always try to look at things with an open mind, even when I truly feel they or I have been slighted. It's my opinion that irrationality is not a good lesson to pass down to younger generations.

It's because of my strong belief regarding the roles we have for our children that I'm so baffled when parents demonstrate questionable behavior. As a teacher and a parent, I've witnessed, or been a part of, many situations where parents not only fail to do the right thing, but do the wrongest thing possible.

The soccer field is the first place that comes to mind. In the nine years since Keifer's been playing, I don't even know how many kids have quit the season midyear because insert bullshit excuse here despite the fact that they committed to a season and an entire team relied on their being on the field (we even had a goalie quit, for god's sake. A goalie! How the hell are you supposed to have a soccer team without a goalie?).

The classroom, of course, is the next place that pops into my mind. I seriously couldn't tell you how many times children have tried to get out of teachers' classes--and no, not just mine--because they didn't like the teacher, and their parents have supported them. Or how many times parents have tried to get their child out of a specific teacher's class because the child is doing poorly, and rather than demand that the s/he study or go to tutoring to better understand the work and meet the teacher's expectations, they demand to have the child placed in an easier class. Or how, this year (and this is actually a new one for me), a certain teacher decided to have her daughter bypass my class, a requirement of the program in which she's enrolled, instead placing her in her best friend's much less challenging English class. Or how, when parents have had outright evidence that their child has insert inarguable offense here, they've tag team bullied a teacher, treating her as if she's the one who's wrong and questioning every aspect of what she does.

Readers, to you, I pose this question:

What kind of examples are these people setting for their children?

Take the case of the parent who fights to get his or her child moved from a teacher's class who the child doesn't like. What the fuck kind of lesson is that? If I don't like my boss (but of course I do. All of them. My bosses are gentlemen and scholars, each and every one) or my coworker, do I just quit? Do I call my mommy and tell her to come and fight my battles for me? Do I complain to a higher up that my boss is being mean? Of course not. I suck it up, and I do my job. Because that's how the real world works.

Now take the case of the parent who moves a child because s/he isn't doing well in a teacher's class instead of encouraging studying and learning. What exactly is the lesson there? That when things are difficult, we just give up? That there's always a way out? Well, if you're an adult, you know how useful a lesson that one is.

The teacher whose daughter bypassed my class? That doesn't even deserve discussion. If that's the lesson a teacher wants to teach, I don't even know what to say (actually I do, but I try to keep this blog PG-13).

And, lastly, let's take the case of the kid who commits an inarguable offense, but his parents blindly argue the inarguable. What, I repeat (yes, again and again), is that teaching? That Mommy and Daddy will always hold our hand? That we can do no wrong? That we could hoodwink the 'rents till the cows come home? That, as adults, we can manipulate people if we obstinately refuse to give in?

Yes, yes, yes,




  1. Let them be. In the future, someone will need to mow my child's lawn and serve their food. There are leaders and followers; 99% are followers (and actually like it whether they realize or not), although 99% think they are leaders. These children will never rise above. At this point in the evolution of the World, screw 'em. There is not enough room up here anyway. Stupid people rear stupid kids. We wonder why grown adults nowadays can't think their way out of a paper bag, have no problem solving skills, and have no emotional coping mechanisms. The only reason I have to care and it's a problem for me is sheer volume. There are so many of these people out there they get in the way of those of us who are working hard, succeeding, and living in the real world.

    1. This may be the best thing I've ever read.

  2. I worry about the futher ._.