If you are or ever have been prone to listen to me, please do it now. Read this article- A Lost Art: Instilling Respect. This is one amazingly articulate and spot-on commentary that is so incredibly timely to what has been on my mind most recently and has especially grown in the last ten years of my preschool-teaching experiences. One great thing about not being in the classroom right now is definitely not having to struggle with the few parents (but more and more each year, it seems) who fit right into this mold. Okay, enough banter from me, go read it, then come on back.
Back already? It was great, right? Now don't get me wrong- I don't believe that parents should be drill sergeants (although sometimes I feel like that's the only way to get someone around here to actually listen to my directions...), but goodness gracious, parents being afraid of their children's reactions? That just drives me crazy. The parents that just keep saying the same thing over and over and over and over to their kids without any ooomph or action behind their words. What in the world do they expect? I know that I have put it plainly to J (many times)- we are the parents, he is the child. That's that. There are times that it simply comes down to the fact that we are in charge, and he is expected to listen to our directions.
The praising issue brought up in this article is another one that I find so interesting. I've been collecting articles- from parenting magazines, from ECE journals, from newspapers- for the last 10 years, and this topic has its own folder. Periodically, I'd pull one out and post photocopies in our parent area of the classroom. The need to constantly tell our children that they are the best is one I can't understand. Again, I fully understand the role parents play in the development of their children's self-image and self-esteem, but this practice is actually so counterproductive, it's amusing!
Okay, you've read the article, and it is definitely more articulate to the issues than I am capable of being right now, so you pretty much know what's going through my head. I'm just hoping this article gets in the hands of those who need to read it the most. (Boy, that sounds terribly judgmental of me, but I stand by my observations of many, many families over the years!)
**stepping down from my soapbox, hoping not to fall on my butt**