When Bad Parenting Happens to Good Kids
Picture it: a quaint looking school, with a young studious looking girl [who could also be described as a young girl wearing coke bottle glasses and still missing some big kid teeth] sitting quietly in her seat trying to absorb the day's lesson. Meanwhile, paper is flying, kids are running in between desks, there is a haze in the air from chalk erasers that are being clapped together and that smell is definitely a kid that wet himself. And the teacher is standing there with the blankest expression a person could have.
Now as a girl with a 103 average, I was one who absolutely loved school. How can you get better than a perfect 100? A little extra credit by me the ever eager student. But the chaos in my class was definitely cramping my style. And what’s worse my teacher, who had no control of her students, actually lashed out at me, one of the few students who really wanted to be there and to learn. Imagine my surprise when the teacher who felt that the only student that she could control, the one who was actually trying to help her to reign in the chaos, tried to make an example of moi. As I was picking up the spit balls that were littering the floor around my desk she berated me for standing up during class. And demanded that I write 100 times “I will not stand up at my desk” for homework. And mind you she did this as text books were being dropped loudly on the ground, kids were wrestling and there was general mayhem in the room.
That night I announced to my parents that I would not complete the assignment. I was bracing for some punishment but what I got was support. What I also got was a transfer to another school thanks to my parents who reckoned that enough was enough. This experience stuck with me throughout my life. When I transferred schools I learned that my reading was two grades below the rest of the students in my new class. The girl with the straight A average was devastated. Thanks to the help of my new teacher who spent the next month tutoring me I quickly caught up with the rest of the class and was soon an honor student again. The education that I was receiving at my previous school where I earned straight A’s was simply sub-par. And I blame it largely on the undisciplined children who made it difficult to learn and to be taught.
Now as a parent I view this situation so differently than I had in the past. In reality although things turned out well for me, what about those other students? What about those unruly kids who made learning a challenge not only for the other kids but for themselves as well. The kids who obviously suffered from a severe lack of disciple or guidance in the home and “showed out” in school.
As a parent I now realize the many challenges we face to raise and provide for our kids. The backgrounds of many of the kids that attended that school included financial hardships on the parents and often single parent homes. When parents are out there making a living sometimes it is difficult to be in the home making great children. And some parents were just kids raising kids and didn’t have the skills necessary to support their children.
This is not to let the parents off the hook. But some parents simply need help and guidance themselves when raising their children. Sometimes bad parenting happens to good kids. I believe that almost all kids are good. But all kids need some good old fashioned discipline, love, guidance and support. And what I learned from my experience is that parents do also.
Tune in to Lifetime's new parenting series "America's Supernanny," premiering Tuesday, November 29 at 9/8c. Watch a preview:
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