Tweens Acting Up At School. Are Parents to Blame?
Recently, I was at open school week at my daughter’s middle school. The one week of the whole school year where the middle school principal dares to put the entire school on display and review. Parents are invited to come observe their child in class.
And what a display it was.
From the “mean girls” to the bossiness, to chatty boys, rough housing and straight rudeness—it was an interesting sight for sixth graders. And by interesting, I mean shameful. If I go back next year, I’ll be sure to bring a Xanax. And my daughter attends one of the city’s top schools.
Am I the only parent still teaching my child good manners and behavior?
You’re probably thinking that my kid was behaved because I was there visiting the classroom. Well, I’m actually saying that because at every parent teacher conference that week each teacher mentioned how well-behaved my daughter is and how they wish other kids were more like her.
Yes I’m a boastful parent. But I’m also a concerned one because I send my daughter to school with a respectful attitude and a mindset for learning and she ends up in a classroom with a lot of kids with an exact opposite agenda. My dad would call them knuckleheads.
I don’t blame the kids. I blame the parents. For not teaching their children how to behave in school and then holding them accountable when they don’t do it. When I was growing up, a poor behavior report was worse than getting a bad grade. My parents felt they could understand a low grade in a weak subject or a bad test performance, but to them, there was never an excuse for bad behavior in school.
More importantly, we were taught to respect authority figures-- from the neighborhood elder statesman, to the teacher, to the police.
Instead, I see a lot of parents empowering their child’s bad behavior and discrediting the teacher before they address the child. That only helps the child get the message that they are in the right.
They don’t respect adults and then ultimately they don’t respect themselves. It’s a sad cycle.
I was so stressed after a half day of sitting in classes and I felt pity for some of the teachers and shock at some of the children—again, these are the kids of some well-off individuals and I couldn’t help but feel that sometimes when parents devote a lot of time to having homes, cars and “things”, they forget the most important thing our children need is our time, attention and direction.