Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Raising Our Children- Accountability Between the Parent and Teacher

   This blog will probably be viewed as an unpopular opinion. I believe that after a while, there is only so much that we as parents can do when it comes to raising our children. It isn't going to matter how consistent we are with our children if the school or teachers aren't on the same page.
    As a child, I was very strong willed. I didn't like to be told what to do or how to do it or when to do it. When I was a child, I didn't dare speak out too much in school because I was given a detention. If I was given detention I knew that I was also going to get in trouble at home for embarrassing my parents, so I tried to keep that at a minimum since I got in trouble at home often enough for being strong willed.
    Fast forward to now, there were a few people who wished upon me a child that as worse than me or told me to wait until the day I had a child just like me. That day has come true, I have a strong willed child. There is a mini-me in my house who likes to tests my patience, who sees how far he can push to get what he wants, who thinks that he can make the rules. My mini-me and I butt heads often and have you ever tried to patiently handle a strong willed child when you too, are strong willed? It's hard!
    When he's at school, he has different resources to help him. He has a social worker who works with him on how to behave in certain social circumstances. A scenario of such a circumstance: It's time for the kids to sit together in a circle while the teacher reads to them. They are to take turns to predict the outcome of story- guess who doesn't always wait his turn? This was me a lot of the time in school. I knew what the answer was and I was impatient to wait for the other kids to answer them. I remember one specific time in Kindergarten in Mrs. Newton's class. We were playing around the world and two other kids were stumped. Instead of waiting for them, I would shout out the answers. After doing that several times and being asked to stop, I was sent to the corner in the area that was used for the kid's coats. I remember talking the whole time and telling the teacher that it wasn't my fault for knowing more than the other kids.


    When you are a strong willed child, you get angry for a parent or teacher to have the audacity to think about disciplining you. You go through the same stages as one would do with grief:
  •  First, you can't believe it, you deny that anything happens.. This will get your strong willed child in more trouble when you are on your last stretch of patience. They start to say, "I didn't do anything wrong! What did I do?.
  • Then comes their denial:  I don't belong in time out or whatever discipline is being given to them. I didn't do it. It was "...'s" fault.
  • The next is bargaining. They think that they can control the outcome of the situation. I'm sure this is the part where my mom would want to shake me or pictured me getting slapped silly. I would tell my mom, "This isn't how my teacher does it. You're doing it wrong. I think I should sit in a chair. I am only doing this for a minute..." You get the point.
  • I'm going to skip guilt, I didn't feel guilty until I finally accepted my punishment.
  • The next is anger. This is where I would start name calling and be outraged that my mother didn't cave in, yet. It is SO important that parent's don't give in. Once you do, your child will know that they own you. It won't get better until you are consistent again.
  • Around this time, your child will probably start to cry. They know that you are going to hold your ground and that they will need to face that time out or that other discipline.
  • Acceptance. This is when your child has accepted the fact that they will need to do time out or whatever punishment that is given to them. I usually will set a timer for my child and tell him that he knows what he needs to do. I hand him the timer to start it. Every time that he talks, I will push the stop button and it is up to him to restart it. He knows that he will need to be quiet again in order for it to start again. 
  • This is the time that I would start to feel the guilt. I would realize that while I was serving my time out or spending time in my room alone, that I was wrong. For my children, in order for them to get out of time out, they have to say they are sorry and ask for forgiveness in order to get out. Saying sorry, is sometimes the hardest part of the punishment. Sometimes, this is when the bargaining comes back out. With a strong willed child, the process might start over again because this is the time that I might start getting mouthy again.

    There are many different scenarios that I could play out, but I think that you probably already get the point. The school and my husband and I had a behavior plan set into place. When we did this, we all agreed on how we would handle outbursts or incidents that would require some form of disciplining. Once we got on the same page, mishaps happened less often. However, when we weren't consistent at home, it was visible at school. Again, the same thing happens at school, when they aren't consistent at school, mishaps happened more at home.

    I believe that it is so important for the school and parents to be accountable with each other. During the school day, the school gets our kids so much longer than we do. They aren't only teaching our kids, they are also raising them in some sense. They are there when our kids get into fights on the playground or when something shady happens. If they aren't paying attention or doing a great job, that's when I notice that my son's mood has changed or he brings home a new, unsavory vocabulary. At that time, we correct it at home, but we aren't in charge of correcting the other kids who introduced those words or a certain behavior that the child wasn't introduced to in the home. We can tell our children that they can't do something or shouldn't hang out with a certain child, but once they're at school, let's be honest, we aren't there to stop it. That's when I believe that the school needs to be held accountable.
    I spoke with the vice-principle one afternoon when I dropped off my son's missing glasses. She told me that she has never seen so many misbehaved kids. For my son's grade, there are eight naughty kids for two classrooms. That's an awful lot of kids. She then said that there wasn't a place or time in order for the kids to serve a detention and the only thing that they could really do was to take away their recess, which is problematic because these kids need a chance to run around and play. Parent's need to parent, but it seems like in this easily offend-able world, that parent's would rather just try to be their child's friend instead of their parent otherwise, they might offend someone.
     I'm not saying that parent's shouldn't be held responsible for parenting because it IS our job to raise our children and have expectations for them. It's also on the child to behave well. I hope that when something happens to my child, whether they or another child started it, that it was handled well and that it gets reported back to me somehow so that I also know what's going on and can try to handle it from there.

    What do you think? Do you think that the school should have some accountability or should it all be placed on the parents? I think that together, we can raise outstanding children.


4 comments:

  1. I agree that children would do best if both the school and parents were on the same page. Whole heartedly do I agree. As far as schools being held accountable I feel a little differently. It is a widely known fact that public schools often don't have enough funding to provide the proper resources to adequately relieve the pressure of the teachers. The teacher to student ratio is very imbalanced. Teachers in public schools frequently run an entire classroom alone with no student aids to assist.

    Thus, I believe the responsibility lies with government and tax payers to push for adequate funding for our public schools to provide more teachers and student aids so the teacher-student ratio isn't so imbalanced. Once this standard has been met THEN and only THEN would I shift more responsibility with the schools to intervene in the child's behavior.

    Without the above standard being met, there is no realistic way for a teacher to devote enough time and energy into one kid.

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree with what you're saying. In this case, there aren't the resources to handle mishaps except to call the parents in and have them take home the child. I think that schools should get more funding, but the money has to come from somewhere and I am already paying off my schooling.

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  2. I think it is good for both to be on the same plan. Also if the child has an iep or whatever they call it, they sure should follow that plan. How else will you know if it's working??? I love my strong-willed nephew. 😘 We are beginning to see a naughty boy in our house too! We will see what the future holds.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully he will be easy when it comes to school!

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