Sad, But True: Too Many Parents Are Like This

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Annie, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Another thread has the story of a mother who was arrested for prostituting one daughter and trading the other for a car. Just reading through some blogs and came upon this letter to parents-note the date. It can be frustrating. I'm lucky, for the most part our 'problem' parents at my school tend to be overinvolved, but it's private:

    http://firstyearteacher.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_firstyearteacher_archive.html#111296809760162296


    Flip side of above

    Re-reading my opening I thought I'd explain what I mean by 'over involved.' Keep in mind that I teach 6-8, not itty bitties which should be very different for parental involvement-NOT regarding interest in their child, but rather 'involvement' in their child's day-to-day school work and interactions with teachers/peers...

    Most of us recognize that our responsibility of parents begins in utero and really never ceases. That does NOT negate the fact that we must recognize that our children are seperate individuals that are ours to care for and influence in very different ways as they grow into the people we hope them to be.

    Babies are dependent, it should be 'all about them.'

    Toddlers are God's way of giving us a glimpse of what lies ahead, about 10 years from any trying moment in time, as well as the ecstasy of their appreciation for all things new! (considering what I've added following this letter, let your toddler fall-kiss their 'boos' and tell them they'll be fine. Remind them to pick up their toys and read to them!)

    Early childhood is the calm before 'real school', perhaps the least hectic and most enjoyable years for many parents.

    K-3 are the years that your child should pick up the basics of what they need to excel in school, these are the years when parents should be keeping daily tabs on what the children are doing in school, how well they are mastering or not the basic academics. By the end of 3rd grade, if the child is having difficulties in reading, (chapter books); writing, (should be able to write a logical 5 paragraph essay); or math, (all basic functions, basic fractions, measurements, time, money and all geometric shapes), parents should be looking for additional help, additional time to 'mature' is going to add to the problem. Same goes for social skills, if a child is having a lot of difficulty making and keeping friends by 8 years of age, additional help may be needed, (all kids have ups and downs-that's not a big deal. Not having at least one good friendship that is maintained, is a warning sign.)

    I think some caring parents begin to have a problem in 4th grade, a huge transition year. Homework increases. Science and social studies are added to the curriculum, beyond just reading and basic knowledge, inferences begin to be required. It's at this point that successful students, those that have a good grasp of the basics, want, are able and need to begin to take ownership of their responsibilities. A fourth grader should be able to write their homework assignments into an assignment planner-including due dates. They should be able to take responsibility for planning their homework time and having a system for keeping their papers and supplies together. If they 'mess up' they should be willing to take the consequences and parents, (this is where some have a problem), must be willing to let their child experience the consequences, with appropriate parental disappointment, then the encouragement that, "We know that you will do better from this point on..."

    Too often parents of children that have been 'excellent' students up to a certain point, cannot deal with the tears that start at 8:30 in the evening before a project is due or when panic sets in about a test the next day. Some will keep the child home 'sick' the next day. Some will write a note saying, 'so and so wasn't well or whatever the night before, please give them an extension...' The lesson the child picks up? 'I can get by with this, Mom or Dad will help me'. Some parents will do the project for the child, sometimes not even realizing they are. What began as 'help', turns into the child letting the parents 'improve' on it. The child knows that a 20 or 30 something year old, can do a better job of it than they can and you would be surprised at how many parents like showing their kids that they can.

    I would say that in my school, out of 25 or so 4th graders, there are probably 2-4 parents like this every year. By 6th grade these kids, who do know the basics, have lost so much self-esteem they are afraid of trying anything on their own. They are often very disorganized, they have above average absences, they have usually fallen down the 'pecking order' socially. At this point, the parents often get mad at the school/teachers.

    I think I'll stop for the time being, I guess many of you can tell that it's been a bit of a rough couple of weeks at school, :rolleyes: I guess I'm lucky, I've had pretty good luck at helping most of these parents to realize that together, we can break this cycle-for their child's sake. By 6th or 7th grade, most parents realize they really can't keep 'helping' their child like this, the work is getting too hard and they've 'forgotten' too much! :laugh: (for the 'die hard' helpers, there's always the warning that their work is likely to have their child land in AP, are the parents ready for Western Civ or Calculus?)
     
  2. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    This was great, to get a teacher's perspective! My oldest is in the third grade, and we are beginning to experience some of these transitional problems. Abbie has a huge mental block when it comes to math, and won't even try until she realizes she has no choice. First science fair project was this year, too. That was a fiasco.

    I was very interested in what you said about social development. Abbie is very shy, and she has never had a long-term friendship. At times, she seems to actually be depressed, even though she is only 8. I just received a letter stating that we could request a certain classroom environment. As a teacher, have you noticed anything that seems to help the student in this situation?
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I would say, play to their strengths. Is she good at music? Art? Dance? Soccer? If she is in something she naturally enjoys, she'll meet others with similar interests, which gives a natural reason for conversations. Consider it practice for dating!
     

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