Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And now, a break from our regularly scheduled programming...

I apologize if you're here to read about running.  Or biking.  Go back a page or two.  I'll bore you with all the paces and distances and athletic mediocrity you can bear.  Today I have some ranting to do, and since I can't get it out of my system with a bike ride I'll have to spill it here.

My friend sent a kid to lunch detention today because the girl had twenty missing assignments.  Twenty.  In twenty-eight days of school.  There have been numerous conversations regarding this with the child and the child's parent, to no avail.  Of course, whenever a child has a detention, a note goes home to inform the parent, so this parent called school this afternoon, indignant because she had told the teacher that it's her (the mother's) fault the child isn't getting her homework done because she (again, the mom) has two other kids and doesn't always (umm...ever) remember to check for homework.  "So my child is suffering because I forgot?"

First of all, we seem to have very loose criteria for "suffering" these days.  Me, when I think of suffering I think of starving children, girls who aren't allowed to receive an education, ravages of war, child labor.  Eating your lunch away from your friends and missing recess are not "suffering", but if you're really concerned about it, here are a few things I think would be more painful than lunch detention:
  • being in 8th grade and still reading on a 2nd grade level
  • trying to get a job without a high school diploma
  • trying to raise a family on a minimum wage income
  • growing up with no sense of personal responsibility because your mom has spent your whole life explaining that it's "her" fault you didn't do what you were supposed to do.  Tell that to the judge and see how far it gets you.
I have three kids.  I work full-time.  I spend two nights a week in St. Louis getting my son to volleyball practice.  I'm active in my church.  I get "busy".  And I'm soooo far from the perfect mom.  In fact, my kids are well aware that, if they don't pester me to sign something, it may not get done.  A first grader is plenty old enough to bring her backpack to her mom and say, "I have homework.  I need you to help me.  I need you to sign this."

And if she's not...

...if you spend her education making excuses for her rather than helping her become more responsible...

...if you believe that "I'm too busy to parent my child" is an acceptable explanation...

...if you think you're doing your kid a favor by trying to get her out of consequences rather than trying to keep her out of trouble...

...if you want someone to blame for your child's suffering...

LOOK IN THE MIRROR

3 comments:

Simon Wallett said...

A,bloody,men to that. There is far to many children, teenagers and even adults who believe that someone else is always to blame. These people take no responsibility for there actions (or lack of), they expect to be spoon fed and not have to think for themselves and it is because they were bought up that way. Both my sister and brother-in-law are teachers and they say that at times they would love to get the parents of these children in and tell them that there children are low achievers, rude etc etc and it is their fault. Stop making excuses and start being a bloody parent!!!!! Sorry I joined you in rant mode for a second there.

Jack said...

Cheers to this post.

Jill said...

I teach high school earth science...I totally understand your rant!!!!!