I read a post from a friend of mine on Facebook today that went something like this:
Worst part about being a teacher: having to call a parent and explain to them why their child earned an F on their essay, and having the parent respond angrily in defense of their child while saying, “I don’t know how long you’ve been teaching, BUT…” while insulting me.
This statement makes me sad. Truly sad. I can now understand why some kids these days have no respect for people in authority; its because they have bad role models at home. Hopefully this is not the case but lets suppose this student overheard his parents speaking rudely to his teacher over the phone. His parents obviously didn’t respect his teacher and have shown to the child that its ok to personally attack someone when having a dispute. This child now assumes this is appropriate behavior because, hey, his parents don’t like his teacher and think she’s inadequate and now so does he. Nothing his teacher tries to teach him from now on is going to sink in. He has lost all respect for his teacher and its all because the parents did not show respect in the situation.
This lesson is good in many forms. All too many times we as parents forget to use the manners we were taught growing up and our kids are catching on. If we don’t use manners and teach our children to use manners, who will? No one.
I remember when I was growing up my mother drilled into my head to say “Thank You”, “Please”, “Yes Mam/No Mam”, to give my seat to the elderly and to always respect those in authority of me. She also taught me to stand up for myself, but in a respectful way. I learned from her that it was good to speak up for what I thought was right but also to sometimes bite my tongue. Where have these common courtesies gone? I see too many kids who’s parents are teaching them to be tough and not take any crap from the world, to take what’s theirs no matter who it hurts and for all other lack of words, just be plain obnoxious. The worst part is that many parents are praising this negative behavior by laughing and thinking its “cute” or by ignoring their behavior all together. Yes, ignoring a wrong behavior does give the impression to your child that the behavior is accepted.
Parents, your kids see and hear everything you do. Be the role model your kids need. Show them how you want them to act. Also, don’t always make everything right for them. So maybe your kid really didn’t deserve an F, but that was the grade he was given. Instead of insulting the teacher and putting the blame on her for the failing grade, rise to the occasion and together with your child and his teacher try to figure out what he could do to get a better grade next time. Trust me, when your kid is in college you cant call his professor and yell at him for the grade your child was given. Your child needs to learn how to adjust to the teachers preference for his assignments. This is also true in the workforce; you have to do the work to your employers standards not your own. Throughout your child’s entire life they are going to have to adapt, so why would you want to teach them not to?
I am going to step off my soap box now, but just remember. . . say Please and Thank You and always treat others with respect. Your kids are watching.
<3 Dick and Jane