Oh Puleeeese, give me a break. Our schools and teachers are no worse than they were twenty or thirty years ago. What is worse, MUCH WORSE, is parent involvement or the lack there of. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have seen some parent drop their child off at the Tae Kwon Do school where my wife, daughter and I used to attend, and then go shopping. They were using the Tae Kwon Do school as a babysitter. Now I’m not suggesting that every parent should take up Tae Kwon Do. What I am saying is that your child would probably enjoy having you there just to watch them, regardless of the activity. Just show them that you are interested in what they do and that you do care.
When you put your child’s best interest fourth on your list of priorities behind your professional life, your social life, and your love life, what in heavens name do you expect? I can just imagine how many of you are reading this, and calling me several different names right about now, most of which are probably not printable. While it has yet to be determined whether I am an “idiot” or not, it does not change the fact that a large percentage of you think that the schools and the teachers are responsible for teaching your child courtesy, manners, respect, and responsibility. They may help in this respect. But the primary responsibility is yours as the parent. While this may be a bitter pill to swallow for some of you, it is YOUR job to teach your child these attributes. That teacher’s job is to teach your kids how to read, write, and add 2 plus 2 to get five. Excuse me, I meant four. A little Freudian humor there.
It is also your job to teach your child how to avoid becoming the target of a bully. The number one way to do this is to start helping them to develop true self-confidence when they are very young. This has more advantages for your child than I can even list in this article. It will have a major effect on their school life. They will be more popular, more respectful of everyone around them, including you, and it does wonders for their sense of responsibility. If you do not have the time to do this for your child, then what do you have time for? Your child should be the number one thing in your life above your job, your love life, your social life, even your religion.
Yes I know, a large portion of you are saying that we both work and we just don’t have any extra time. This may or may not be true. The fact of the matter is those children deserve to be numero uno above all else. I am well aware of how difficult this can be at times. My wife and I have a daughter, and she has always, yes I said always, been number one on our list and she always will be. I became acutely aware of the effect that this attitude had on our 15 year old daughter when I overheard her telling a friend of hers after this friend had made the statement, “Boy, your dad sure is strict.“ My daughter responded by saying “Yes he is. But he’s also fair.“ What more could any parent ever hope for? If you are incapable of or unwilling to do this then you might want to take a serious look at whether you should even become a parent. Yes, I am well aware that this is a very bold statement. But I could not be more serious.
Now here are some other things to think about. If you put your child anywhere but number one on your list of priorities, you are teaching them several things. Most of which you are not going to like, and I am well aware that this is NOT your intention. But remember the old saying about the road that was paved with good intentions.
Okay, so what are these things that you are inadvertently teaching them. These are not necessarily in order of importance. First, you are teaching them that you place a higher value on things instead of them. Second, you are teaching them that family members are not as important as your job, your social life, or your love life. This will show up in about thirty or forty years when you need their help more than they need yours. But remember that you taught them your priorities so where are they probably going to put you on their list? I bet that even you could figure this one out. Besides, what are you complaining about? They are doing just exactly what you taught them to do.