A+ At All Costs: Helicopter Parenting Goes To Court
Helicopter parents need to land somewhere else. I understand that you need to protect your child, however, is it because of issues you have, or is it genuine concern that you hover over them?
It wasn’t so long ago that children actually had to be responsible for their own actions. They were required to do their schoolwork before playing outside. They couldn’t play sports unless their schoolwork was complete. If they had a bad day in school, they lost the ability to do anything fun. We now plainly see a shift in thinking. It is now the Teacher’s fault if the student is not effective.
As a former teacher, I heard complaints about all the out of school requirements for students. The truth is, if you sent your child to school with the ability to listen, stay in their seat, and not hurt other students, then teachers would have more time to teach. If the classes weren’t brimming to the point of overload and the teachers had the supplies they needed to be effective, there would be a change. If you let your child do their homework and complete their own projects, they would actually learn something.
I can’t tell you on how many papers I wanted to write, good job Mr. and Mrs. So and So, you have completed a wonderful project at the third grade level. I would receive letters stating we had to help because they didn’t understand the directions. I offered the advice of "explain the directions, don't do the work."
I have caught myself working on my son’s project so it measures up. Then I took my project and threw it in the trash and I told my son I completed second grade so it is his turn. It is wonderful to give your child examples and scaffolding but not to do the work.
As a helicopter parent, you need to understand that your child requires your guidance. You can’t go to bat for your child when it isn’t appropriate. If your child earned a bad grade and you're now concerned, maybe you should have been on top of their education prior to the end of the 9 weeks grading period. If they are failing, then get them tutoring. If their behavior is poor, seek help. You excusing both as someone else’s fault furthers the demise of your child.
I am appalled by the latest news story where a parent is suing the school district over a C grade. The circumstances are unclear. It appears the student missed a lab while going to a court hearing that they didn’t need to be a party for. The student was not able to make up a lab and subsequently received a C. The parents claim this student will not be able to live their dreams or attend the college of their choice because of a C.
I am unclear about the final grade in the class. Usually grades are done by the marketing period and then averaged through the year. Here's how I'm figuring it if the student received a C in one marketing period, then A's in the other marking periods:
Each A is 4 points and a C is 2 so the math would be 4,4,4,2= 14/4= 3.5. It depends on the school district but usually a 3.5-4.0 constitutes an A for the overall grade.
These parents are demanding an A+ for the class. They have decided to sue for this A+ in addition to $10,000 for their troubles.
I am a mom to three children and I understand that their actions need to have natural consequence. If you take away all the consequence, you are not preparing your child for the world. If you resolve every issue, you will leave your child without the ability to cope or determine ways to resolve issues.
In the end it is about supporting your child, not hovering over every move they make and correcting them before they fail. Failure is a part of life as is disappointment. I encourage parental involvement in education but I also encourage supporting the educators who work tirelessly to promote academic fairness.
There aren’t different rules for your child over others. If it is in the syllabus, than the consequences are the same in the end. Your child isn’t different from the other students. They are required to follow the guidelines, and you can’t change that, nor should you try.