I see too much sadness in students and in the press about divorce, single parents and the extremely saddening deaths of children at the hands of their parents. When we have children we have made a commitment to raise them, care for them, teach them and love them. Our children look at us with love, they give it unconditionally. We don’t get a free pass with their education, which I think some parents think they do.
Schools Are Not Babysitters
When a student goes to school they are there for 7.5 to 8 hours a day. They are there to learn, to be educated, not to be watched over like a babysitting service. To be taught what they need to get along in the world they need to come to school with the basic values of manners, being polite and respectful of others. That is a parents job that has to be done on a daily basis. I see disruptive students every day that just don’t understand how to interact with others. In fact, when I was at an elementary school I was a mentor to a student that didn’t have a father at home.
Parents Can Do It, Here’s How
This young boy didn’t have anyone to bond with, to talk to as a guy or to just throw a ball around. He was an at risk student with behavioral problems, but when we started we made a deal. We decided that we would eat lunch together 3 times a week, we would do whatever he wanted to do after that. It didn’t matter what we did, whether it was talk, basketball ( I suck at basketball), baseball, read or just sit and do nothing. I only had 3 rules that he had to follow. The first rule was that he had to be polite and respectful to everyone. If he wasn’t he had to tell me what happened and why. Second, I wanted to see his homework and class work at the end of the week. Lastly, he had to read me 2 pages of a favorite book of his each time we ate lunch.
This plan I had isn’t any different than what I do with my 6 year old. My wife or I eat lunch with her once a week at school, we play with her every night, we read with her every night, we look at her work every night. My daughter, while just in Kindergarten is in the top reading group, is polite, likes school, likes to learn, likes to do her homework and class work and LOVES to play with us. To me this is just the basics to raising a child that cannot be overlooked. There is a lot more that a parent has to do to take care of a child, but that is another post. The one thing that I would like to add here is that patience is important. Your child is just learning, they are not you, they do not know better. That is what you are there for, to teach them right from wrong. Treat them like a person, don’t look down on them.
Hey What Happened to That Kid?
Oh, I left you hanging with the student I was mentoring didn’t I. Well, at the end of the school year he was a better student grade wise, he wanted to read more, we played basketball with the other students instead of alone and he would always make sure that he came to say hi to me every day. As a reward, I bought him a basketball, because his favorite book was about Michael Jordan.
He was a good kid that needed to attention that he couldn’t get from a father that wasn’t there. We need to be there for our children, don’t forget that your family is your job too.