Monday, November 27, 2006

P.A.R.E.N.T.I.N.G. 101

I read this article-
"A better Nation Through Education"

Well, yes, of course- this is the premise of schooling children from age 6 until 18.
The idea that all children should be educated in the basics of Math, Language, Science and History- whether in a public or private environment to better our society.

However, this man wants things like Compassion and Kindness to be taught in school.

Oh- it sounds good.
My kid's elementary school has had a "Virtue" of the month for years now- and they have a program called "Caught being good"- where students who are "caught" going the extra mile in clean up, or helping another student, get tagged by a teacher and get to have a special celebration. There is a celebration every month.
I think this is fine, it boosts morale, and it does reward good behavior- but only on the surface.

What about doing good for it's own sake? What about being kind as a way of life?
Where is this taught?

Are we to depend on teachers for knitting the moral fiber of our kids as well as instructing them on how to add, and spell, and memorize important dates in History?

Ummm- excuse me...are parents responsible for nothing???

Everytime I meet a new Teacher for my kids- I tell them the same thing..."If you have problems with him/her- call me. I will back you up."

If my kids were disrespectful to a teacher and it got back to me-
I'd- well, actually, that has NEVER happened to me.

Know why? You know why!

Momma don't play that!

Nor do I let my kids listen to anything they want on the radio, or watch anything they want on TV, or play video games all day- even on vacation I limit TV and game time.
I do not let my kids "talk back" to me- or say ugly things to each other...and I sure don't let them push anyone around.

And you know what- it shows in all the things they do. They know how to be respectful, good and kind because I SET THE EXAMPLE!!!

I know there are kids with great parents and real problems. I also know there are great kids with royal screw-ups for parents- and those parents need to have their butts kicked.

I love teachers. They have an important job, but not more important than the job that I have of being MOM. If I do my job right- the teachers can focus on teaching- both through their broad educational background, and by their own example.

Here's a program that might really make a difference-

"A Better Nation Through better Parenting"

Can I get an Amen?

INVESTing in your child...with your time, love, patience, kindness, and ATTENTION is the greatest cure for what ails our country- and then, invest yourself in the lives of your kids friends.

And send a goodie to your kids teacher every now and then- remember- you are setting an example~


LADY LUXIE said...

I homeschooled my kids for two years!!..yaaah!..In a country where homeschooling was a big question the radical of the radicals only did that..or um' the weird of the weirds he!he!..I belonged to a group though that firmly believed the school system definitely lacked the substance to teach our children what needed to be taught. It was tough...really tough but I treasure the memories of spending time with my children and just being the primary giver of knowledege..I chose the subjects I wanted them to learn...we went into topics not delved on in an ordinary school setting....given the chance, I wish I homeschooled them for a another couple of years before giving them back to commercialized education...

Being a teacher to gave me a balanced point of view of how it is to teach other children..the sensitivities and predicaments as well as the boundaries that go along with it.....I love it when parent are appreciative of my effort..a kind word...a thank you..a piece of chocolate..a inspires me.....

And now...being in another field that has me teaching adults instead of kids widened my realization that indeed..learning is a lifelong process...and blessed is the child who has a parent and a teacher who work together to make him or longer just a virtous citizen of a particular contry..but an authentic human being who is a citizen of this world....

I firmly believe that the educational system of every country should be challenged..revised..and restructured to fit the radical global changes that stare us all in the face...more than ever..a curriculum of emphaty and understanding and moral values should be ingrained regardless of culture....the youth of today is the only hope we have....and the state of current world affairs...the lack of leaders and real statesmen affirm that need for moral educational restructuring...

the pink reefer said...

when i studied behaviour modification, years ago i recall learning about the fact that the surest way to get people to stop liking something is to reward them for it. so i think kids should not just act in a virtuous way just because there is some reward. that begs the whole question and its almost the opposite of the behaviour we're trying to instill, isn't it?

i personally think most parents are bloody lazy and expect everyone else to raise their kids. this is when i think - well, most that have kids have no business having them b/c they have no idea how to effectively raise them into good humans.

parents are facilitators not tyrants, autocrats or emperors. or queen bees. we have children to promote the human race and improve humanity in general, not to meet our own needs. they are not our possessions - they are tiny seedlings that g-d has entrusted to our care, to nuture, love and to show to nurture and love. ownership and control never factor in. g-d allows us freedom to choose. and we fail as parents if we do not remember this very important fact.

you are right - parents have a responsibility, where their kids' learning is concerned. it starts with us - the way we lead by example, the time we spend with our kids and the education we afford them each and every minute of their day. schools and teachers - these are just tools. we are the real educators.

personally i don't believe in censorship. how do our kids learn to make the appropriate choices if we are controlling everything that comes in contact with them?

i think teaching the appropriate values and explaining why we think certain choices of movie or music is no good is better than just telling them they can't see or hear it. ie - watch or listen to the offending song/movie with them - and they will gain so much more from the experience. we all know what kids do we tell 'em not to do something.

case in point - my parents stubbornly insisted abstinence was the only choice forme - a headstrong a 16 year old girl. hmmm - funny that ... my son arrived a mere year later.

i guess i am just saying it is not our job to decide things for our kids. its our job to teach them values, teach them how to be a good human. and TRUST them to make the right choices.

the art of parenting is balancing the primordial urge to control, protect, shield our children with the necessary developmental requirement of letting them be themselves.

you've likely heard of barbara colorossa? she wrote an excellent book about parenting and kids.

i think if parents spent more time conveying the lessons of humanity and life and less time trying to micromanage their kids perhaps the outcome would be better.

just my two cents' worth.

one final thought. in health care we have a concept knownn as 'informed consent.' the 3 criteria to be fulfilled in order for a patient's consent to be considered informed are: (1) knowledge of the procedure/treatment - what exactly is being done? (2) knowledge of the side effects/risks of said treatment and (3) knowledge of what would happen to the patient's condition of said treatment was not done.

i think this concept of informed consent can be generalized and utilized as a tenet of living.

sorry to be so long. my son is going to be 21 in less than 8 weeks' time and he is a good boy. clearly, despite the unusual life circumstances and personal turmoils of his early childhood, the way we raised him worked. he is a compassionate loving human. that is the best reward for us.


the pink reefer said...

"a curriculum of empathy and understanding and moral values should be ingrained regardless of culture"

that is the curriculum of parents, not any institution. parents teach this curriculum by being. and so, every parent is the primary giver of knowledge to their children.

when my son wanted to know anything ... anything at all ... like, why is the sky blue ... he would ask his dad or me, not his teacher. my dad, not my grade 3 math teacher, made me the multiplication wizard i still am to this day, by spending time personally teaching me these things. that is the way it's meant to be, i think.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Lux- yes...the system needs an overhaul- and I do agree that moral values should be reinforced at school- and should begin at home.

I feel so overwhelmed at what all our teachers are expected to do...and the kids they have to work with- who have no moral foundation at all.

I so value you and what you do...and your insights. Well said friend~

Now if we could just run the world!
Hugs :)

Pink- It's the same with my kids...even now---anything they want to know- they know I either have the answer, or can find it :)

I also agree that "informed consent" is a smart way to approach kids. I find that I spend (and have spent) a good deal of time explaining things to my children...and often good examples arise in other places. I hate to say them "Cause I said so"...on the other hand there are times when they have to trust my judgement on things.

I also think that I had to drop the fantasy of being a parent and become very real. They will screw up, they will make I going to help them, and listen, or be judgemental and look the other way?

Parenting- as I have said before, is not for cowards-

Thanks for your comments here~ :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the pink reefer said...

to anon - sort of a smart ass, aren't you?

at least have the balls to name yourself before you go cutting down others. only cowards cut others down anonymously. are you a coward?

you think you're so smart? before you knock the way luxie expresses herself, perhaps you'd like to be sure you're spelling grammatical correctly? ummmm ... because you didn't.

the way i express the name of my creator has nothing to do with censorship! it has to do with respecting his name.

you are sheltered, or naive if you really believe that schools are doing their part and that kids will turn out fine. do you even have kids of your own?

oooooh .... grrrrrrrr ... sorry mayden ... i had to say it>

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do have children...and they do just fine in the public schools...I belive my oldest son just recieved a 4.32 or a 4.33 [honestly I don't remember] in a high school specializing in engineering and sophisticated mathematics.

And I do apologize...I was a tad harsh. I shall erase.

Mahat Ma Ghandi

the pink reefer said...

parenting certainly is not for the faint of heart, i agree. i also think that, at a certain point we as parents will have to realize and accept that the values of our children may be vastly different from our own. and that's ok. all too often i think people view parenting and dominance/ownership as one and the same.

i think the fantasy of parenthood is that kid will turn out just the way we dream, just the way we envision. like ... when you're building a new house and picking out all the stuff and deciding how things we look, etc. kids are not a design project. they are them. they are different from us. we screw up. they will, of course. so what. that's life ... a succession of screw-ups through which we - hopefully - learn to make wiser choices. oftentimes i think parents have screwed up far worse and more often than any kids ever could.


Anonymous said... are you saying that parents who truly believe the school system works are naive or just screwing up?

It sounds like a sarcastic question I know, but I'm trying to get a feel for what you're saying while I fumble through trying to figure out how to delete my previous inappropriate comment.

-Arthur Feidler

the pink reefer said...

the naivity of believing in a school system is not necessarily connected to screwing up. i just meant parents screw up too ... (everyone that i know that is a parent, self included, falls into this category of screwing up

re: school system. i just meant i don't think it serves humanity .... as well as it could. many kids have learning styles and needs that school systems are too inflexible to meet.

i remember in my day, being persecuted and having my hand slapped for being left-handed. these days it is any children who possess active minds - they get the ADHD label and teachers treat them accordingly.

i attended 50% public schools and 50% private schools in my schooling. i have to say my learning needs were met by the private school system. i wonder what the difference was ... i guess ... compassion for learning, as opposed to mere filfillment of requirements. i dunno.

i don't see schools as anything more than tools for the sharing of knowledge and information and for the learning of how to learn, sort of. school is not where a child learns to be a good human. its often where s/he feels like s/he learns that s/he is not! that's where i'm coming from.

sorry, too to be a little harsh. i guess you yanked on my chain a little without knowing.


Anonymous said...

Fair enough. I believe the answer to why you received more attention - or at least more productive attention - at private schools is sheer numbers.

Most private schools tend to have smaller classrooms...or if not smaller, certainly a more captive audience given the expense parents go through to send them there.


-Abe Lincoln

SJ said...

You are not being fashionable you are supposed to blame genetics, psychology, Evolution, Creation etc. Taking responsibility for kids *gasp* you are kidding right ? :)

Mayden's Voyage said...

Oh my... I leave for a few hours and look!

I heard a program earlier today that centered on the nations problem with public schools- and the best option it seemed to me centered around the school voucher programs. There is no competition in our school system- and if parents could choose with dollars (alloted tax-payer funds) which school they wanted their kid to go to- I think we'd see a huge improvement in the educational system.

Good schools would be able to command ggod teachers-
Poor performing schools would have to scrap what wasn't working and model themselves after shcools that were performing well.

I know there will be people who argue with the voucher program- but to me it makes the most sense of anything I've heard so far. It's my money, these are my klds- give me the choice to send them where I think they will get the best education-

Hugs to all of you :)
That would be my slogan if I ran for President- BTW-


Who knows- I might even get lucky! :P

puerileuwaite said...

Seems like a lot of work.

Just sayin'.

Mayden's Voyage said...

You ARE fixed, right??? Please...tell me you are.

I'm fixed- there's no shame in it! :)

Baron Ectar said...

"A Better Nation Through better Parenting"


I vote for you to write the syllabus!!!

If my teacher ever had to call my dad - well lets just say that a shed and a switch would have been m greeting when I got home.

/t. said...


not only
is it the right
thing to do, and so worth doing for that reason alone, but nobody else (even the most committed teacher) is going to do it better

hurrying, first thots, haven't read comments -- if i'm parroting anyone, apologies


Lee said...

Mmmm...the conservative government's seem to like out sourcing everything so it follows that raising children and teaching them love, morals and faith should go the same way. It's wrong. But it does follow.

DykesDog said...

This was the case where my youngest kids learned from the oldest. My oldest was in trouble once in school. She was in more trouble when she got home. My other three learned from MY PARENTING Skills ... they have never been in trouble in school!

puerileuwaite said...

Is there an echo in here? Why does /t. insist on parroting me? Maybe I shouldn't mind. Perhaps it IS the sincerest form of flattery.

iamnot said...

You're right on about the problem, but I'm unconvinced about the vouchers.
If you think that's from the conservative need to up your meds.

freya said...

mayden goedness is reward of itself. amen then.
and dank u for maaking the chocolade. i maak for you a Kerstmis ball looking just like K9 okay? i sent it soon.

vaarwell voor nu,

Libby said...

Cora, I think you've made all good points...I vote for you!!

Mayden's Voyage said...

Libby- Well- I've at least got you! :) I do think that if I ever run for Public Office that public school education would be my main platform for really gets my blood moving.

Freya- Thank you friend- I can hardly wait :)

Iamnot- I guess my perspective on vouchers is that it adds competiton- and where there's competition with goods and services- it usually brings about a positive change. Education is a service we pay for- hence my viewpoint...but for now it's still an unknown- isn't it?

Pug- Hello- hello...fixed, right? :)

DD- Exactly! I get so tired of parents that go around blaming the schools- or scratching their heads over poor behavior- and not once taking their own parenting into account.

Lee- I guess we'd have to chat about the differences between a conservative government- and lets say...what? Muslim, communist, socialist governments?
The indoctrination of children- and brainwashing of kids in other nations is undeniable...with morals like "kill the infidels", and "the individual is not important!" - whew! No thanks.
Parents don't have a say in Asia, or middle eastern countries about what their kids are taught- heck some girls aren't even allowed in school.
I suppose conservative government has it's flaws- but good heavens- I wouldn't choose to live anywhere else~

Baron- Your dad had a switch too? Ouch that thing was awful! :)

SJ- sorry I missed you...if you catch me being fashionable and blaming the system- shoot me :)

What can I say? You stirred the pot! The next post will be less controversal- I think.

the pink reefer said...

mayden, lets not kid ourselves. our education system sucks - plain and simple - in comparison with many other countries.

i dearly wish that my son had receiving a european education, (he could have, very easily had we not been misguided by intentions to integrate him into north american culture), as opposed to a north american one.

i know, first hand it is far superior. and i don't think that's a elitist view ... just a practical one. i think this speaks to the fact that culture defines an education system in a most fundamental way.

as far as vouchers for education ... i am always on the side of choice. perhaps that is why private schools have a reputation for being so effective in delivering education ... because they have no complacency where enrollment is concerned.

i am not exactly sure why government is expected to deliver services such as education and health, when it has demonstrated quite clearly it is really not competent at doing so.

is that good business sense? and ... who funds this 'business' of society? well ... we all do! so ... i think there is nothing wrong in wanting choice to apply one's dollars to one's choice of education.

Mayden's Voyage said...

You know Pink- I really have no idea what a European education is like at all...sad to say- but I will look into it.
I don't think your opinion is elitist at all- well said and it's given me something to think about.

I've read a lot about CS Lewis- and his reflections on public education (mind you this is in the 1908- 1916ish)- were pretty bad. I'm sure things have changed since then. It is worth my time to see where other places do it better- which would not be China, or South Africa...which I saw first hand.

Thanks for being here :)

X. Dell said...

Parenting is such a hard job to do that I could not judge a parent too harshly for anything other than violence and abject neglect. These problems are compounded if the family's economic situation is such where both parents have to spend considerable amount of time outside the home.

Part of the problem with some of the discussion here, is that it is ahistoric. The nuclear family as we have idealized it is a relatively new phenomenon in our cultural experience, as it begins to flower in full force only after World War II. Many people grew up in extended families (myself included) until way into the 1970s. With that kind of support--when grandma, grandpa, aunty, uncle, older cousin, etc., could spend more time with a child and provide a much more supportive atmosphere.

The reason for this is obvious, especially in light of decreased real earnings for adults across the country that really began in the 1980s. So if parents seem a little lax, then one can see why. I don't think damning them is particularly helpful.

Secondly, parts of the discussion here are problematic because some are assuming a cliche to be true when all emporical evidence indicates the contrary. About five years ago, my father, a retired teacher, helped to conduct a study that has been paralleled in many states, with similar results. The plain fact is that public schools in Ohio and elsewhere are outperforming private schools. That's not to say that there aren't public schools with systemic problems that vary from state to state. Nor is that to say that there are private schools that foster academic excellence. But the whole of these studies show that some private schools (especially corporate ones like Edison) are cooking their numbers in order to force their way into communities via voucher programs. Many of these schools (1) teach to test--which is a lousy way to teach; (2) have a tendecy to attract a system's best students, but only perform marginally than public schools on the standardized testing that they teach to; (3) get rid of students that are performing below B level, an option not open to public schools. Furthermore, short-tem gains are often offset by long term educational goals. Voucher funding educational programs pioneered by Edison and copied by other private schools showed substantial advantages in reading vs. public school in the first grade. But by the fourth grade, those same students who tested better than their public-school peers were two grades behind.

I don't see private education as a panacea for what's ailing public schools, for both lack curricula designed to foster critical reasoning skills. Perhaps that's a long standing problem, judging from the fact that many adults understand critique as simply liking something or not liking it.

I also don't believe that life lessons, like any lessons, are only within the purview of EITHER the home or school. The key is reinforcement of values in as many areas of life as possible.

Lee said...

I wasn't thinking externally - by conservative I was meaning in the sense of your Republican Party or Australia's badly misnamed Liberal Party.