One of the hardest parts of being a teacher is dealing with both the societal and parental impressions that students in upper grades (4+) are still children, or worse, babies. It’s beyond ironic to spend your day with young adults who have the latest iToy, spend their weekends watching PG-13 and rated R films, and who prefer to use swearing in a manner beyond casual or incidental, and then have their parents explain to you that what you’re asking the student to do is “too hard” or “beyond their ability”. From the parent perspective, as a teacher “You aren’t considering that they’re “only children.””
No, my friends, they are not.
There is something to consider. When puberty starts these “babies” CAN become parents. At that point, they are physically mature. Here’s the question, why aren’t we pushing our “kids” to equal mental and social maturity which would coincide with their physical maturity. You know, like back in the day.
Here’s a list of what just irritates me about parents of these “babies” as well as the babies themselves.
- They’re still going Easter egg hunts and getting large elaborate baskets because it’s a “tradition”
- They get presents from “Santa” and are ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED to BELIEVE. This intersects with my rabid discomfort Christians promoting Santa. Yes, I’ve seen South Park.
- Loose teeth get money. The Tooth Fairy too? I guess it’s not too much of a stretch to see how Bernie Maddoff could bilk people.
- The parents who come to school to tell you why the homework is too hard. You know, the grade level homework. Somewhere, mixed into this conversation will be how the child is incredibly gifted and high IQ.
- Kids are given phones at an early age because they might need to call home from school, you know, if they’re sad or mad at the teacher.
- Phones are considered the best way to keep a child safe. Not teaching them how to walk home safely, pay attention to their environment, take care of themselves. The phone.
- Parents who buy their babies flowers and balloons ’cause they were at science camp for 3 WHOLE DAYS and the mommies MISSED THEM SO MUCH. Back in the day, we would have hidden and died of embarrassment, not eaten it up and posed for pictures to be posted on Facebook.
- NOT. WALKING. ANYWHERE. EVER!
- Kids who can’t go to the park alone ’cause, you know, they might get hurt. Or kidnapped. Even though the world is safer now than ever before. Equally ironic because you can NEVER find someone willing to babysit said child.
- Kids posting how bored they are on Facebook because they aren’t allowed to leave the house. What?
I’m all for having a safe community and teaching safety. However, we’re too focused on safety. We haven’t really pushed for respect and responsibility. I’d love to see parents pull back a bit and emphasize these qualities. I’ll bet their children might end up a bit happier and healthier in the long run.