As a teacher, I have always believed that our mission transcends the task of simply transmitting knowledge, and calls upon us to give children the means to succeed in life. I also believe that we should not limit ourselves to teaching our students the standard curriculum in Math, Science, and English, but should also give them the tools to be effective parents themselves when the time comes.
Regrettably, no one teaches us how to be parents, and when the time comes, we often confront the challenge by improvising and learning on the job from our repeated mistakes. As parents, we often go to one extreme or the other: We become overprotective of our children or give them too little protection. This leads to some kids being shielded from all their responsibilities and being unable to do anything on their own, and others being left to fend for themselves in the absence of any supervision. Good parenting requires us to strike a balance between protecting them and letting them discover the world on their own.
One of the major problems that I have encountered as a teacher is that of overindulgent parents, who—in their desire to protect their children—keep them in their comfort zone; this ends up sabotaging their academic achievement. I know from experience that there are some parents who often do their children’s homework, and other academic work because the youngsters are unable to understand the concepts in the work sent home by the teachers for further study. Worse still, since the teachers are under the impression that the students have already mastered the concepts, they do not schedule any further review of the topic. This does not help our students; it has the opposite effect because it encourages irresponsibility and deceit. These habits will, in the long run, end up hindering the chances of academic success.
Several research studies show that there is a link between overindulgent parents and deviant behaviors such as drug use, underage drinking, pregnant teens and affective disorders.
As teachers, we must contend with the myriad of excuses that parents give to explain why their children did not do their homework; some excuses are very creative, but most are very run-of-the-mill. Parents often make excuses to explain their children’s absence from class—such as medical appointments, family illness, unavoidable social gatherings. Parents should understand that by doing this they are not helping their children, on the contrary, they are hurting their children’s development. Every kid must learn to take responsibility for his own assignments.
Excuses are for losers
There is a proven recipe for success that I would like to share with you:
Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time. Arnold H. Glasow