I recently wrote a piece on why today’s Teens (Generation Z) have a reputation for being:
I will admit there are some teens that defy this pathetic reputation. Thank goodness we still have teens being inducted into the ranks of Eagle Scout, The National Honor Society, etc…
Someone’s gonna have to sign our SS checks in 10+ years.
These hard working, volunteering, high achieving, scholarship winning, stellar athlete, good-grade getting teens are out there. I see their parents proudly posting their achievements on FB everyday!!
And how does this happen… ???… was the kid just born that way...???… was it Healthy Neglect on the part of the parents…???… Fate…???… Luck…???… All the above?!?!
But what about today’s Spoiled-Brat-Teens??
Well…I blame their Parents:
The Parents who were born on The Baby Boomer & Generation X Cusp.
Known for great success in educational, financial and social arenas.
Portrayed as a powerful generation of optimism, and high, over–achievement.
(of which I am a guilty member)
We were given all the resources to be perfect parents and successfully raise the perfect kid.
We just can’t bear to see our children fail.
We’ll do anything to save our children from experiencing the pain, discomfort or direct consequences of their bad choices. Because that may indicate we were bad parents!!! (Gasp!!!) So, we Over-Parent!!!!!
Are we helping… or hurting??
Them = hurting
Us = hurting
Society = hurting
Gen. Z is going to be running this country one day. A scary thought?? Damn right!!
And if they have a fighting chance of changing their flawed character and bad reputation…
the change is going to have to start with us, The Parents.
LET’S EXAMINE TWO EXAMPLES WHERE CHANGE CAN START :
1. Parental Portal
2. Home Chores (next Blog)
The Parent Portal is defined as a tool for parents to stay informed and engaged in their child’s education.
Teachers post EVERYTHING on the Parent Portal: from grades to their daily lecture notes.
So, at any minute, The Parent can have access to a virtual seat right in their child’s classroom.
Is this a good or a bad thing???
Elementary School = good
Middle School = possibly good
High School = BAD!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the importance of parental involvement in their child’s academic development.
BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET”S HOPE BY HIGH SCHOOL WE CAN STOP HOLDING THEIR HAND!
(Yet how many parents are going to feel responsible for filling out those College Applications……????)
This September I attended an Open House for my youngest child…
who is a junior in high school and every single teacher gave the same speech.
They encouraged us to check the Parent Portal “regularly” (daily), so we could help our kids remember their daily homework assignments, exam dates, project deadlines, etc…
They reminded us their lecture notes were also posted, so we could help our teens understand the subject matter if necessary.
I jotted down their recommendations “word-for-word” like all of the other high achieving dutiful parents at Open House and finally I just wanted to scream: “EXCUSE ME…… ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!?”
I AM THE PARENT… NOT THE STUDENT!!!
Been there…did that. Got the T-shirt AND the Diploma… On my own, Thank You Very Much!!!
My day is pretty busy as it is, and I certainly DO NOT have time to micro-manage my teen’s school day.
So, why do High School teachers feel it is the Parent’s responsibility for their student to succeed????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Why is the “Student” disappearing from this picture??????????????????????????
Student <—–> Parent
We have no one to blame but ourselves!!!
Beginning in Elementary school, we conditioned our kids and the school system, to count on us to Save The Day!
Remember the Sugar Cube Igloo our kid had weeks to complete that was built the Sunday night before its due date, with an architectural structure worthy of our mechanical engineering degree.
Same goes for the authentic Iroquois Longhouse complete with working fire-pit… the essay on Amelia Earhart and the book report & diorama on Moby Dick…
God-forbid the kid suffer the consequences of having zero interest or followthrough in completing their school projects… mom &/or dad will swoop in at the last minute and make sure the kid arrives to school Monday morning with a finished product worthy of an A+.
Problem: By high school these coddled kids, (who have never suffered the consequences of their bad decisions) are… Lazy and Apathetic.
Cause: The Parent believes it is their responsibility to guarantee their kid is a successful student, ultimately proving they’re successful at parenting.
Solution: STOP!!! Let them Fail.
We may ALL have to experience the discomfort of growing pains during the process of change…
but in the end it will be well worth it!!
Honestly, our future depends on it!!
LET’S STOP TRYING TO SAVE OUR KIDS FROM THE PAIN OF THEIR OWN BAD DECISIONS….
When we back down, teacher’s can then start to hold the students solely responsible for their own choices!!!