Don't blame the kids, blame the parents

Sometimes my school experiences really do give me an insight in to another world which makes me wince at times.

Take for example an and of term experience I observed. At the end of the final school day for one particular year six girl as she set off across the playground to go home for the very last time, I overheard her mother repeatedly goading her to "Go back and tell your teacher what you really think of her". The girl, to her great credit, refused and looked slightly embarrassed, but the mother continued to pressurise her daughter to tell her teacher "how much she hated her" and "there's nothing she can do now, she can't punish you because your leaving school".

The girl might have had little love for her teacher. As I explained to a mother once at a parents evening when she explain that her twelve year old son "doesn't really like you very much", teaching is not a popularity contest and as long as he is continuing to learn and is making good progress I won't be losing any sleep over it. As it happened, by the end of the year the boy had changed his view of me, but had he still not liked me I would have been surprised to get an earful of abuse from him.

This is the first time I overheard this sort of "parenting" before, but it is little wonder that some young people are brought up with a deep and entrenched inability to respect authority if some parents try so desperately to make their children behave as if it is alright to be abusive, rude and downright disrespectful.

We've all had a belly full of someone in our time and have learnt to bite our tongues. Over officious staff, a call centre that keeps you waiting, a policeman who stops you for no valid reason or simply a bloody useless boss (I have had plenty of them, but not at my current school thank goodness). However learning to deal with these people in a polite way is what makes society a more cohesive place. It is part of growing up to learn how to deal with people as human beings and with resepect.

Let's not blame the kids. It's those few parents who teach their kids to be so rude that should know better.


Bill Quango MP said...

Its grudge culture.
Blame 20 years of Eastenders with people shouting their trivialities at each other every episode. 1st reaction is always a shout up.

However, worse was I heard one dad telling his son that staying on after 16 was a complete waste. The dad had done fine [ builder] and he said school teaches you nothing.
That was a few years ago. Wonder how that Dad's doing now the housebuilding recession is on.
He can always fall back on....

Norfolk Blogger said...

Not disimilar to the parent a few years ago who asked me not to push her daughter too hard in class as the mother explained "She'll be quite happy with a job in a shop like me when she is older".

Alexfromnorfolk said...

I hated school, but I had the upmost respect for the teachers that demanded respect.

I know what they were trying to do....teach.

Unless the child can be told that education is the gateway to life and living, what hope has our society when kids are becoming ever so alienated by their own actions.

Shame on those parents.

Anonymous said...

I've told a few teachers where to go in my time as have my parents, and while I'm not advocating graduitous rudeness, I do think that if you're not from a nice cosy middle class background then assertiveness is a skill that you absolutely have to learn if you want to get anywhere in life.

Also, what is wrong with being a builder or working in a shop? I admit that those parents don't sound very supportive, but maybe they realise that their children don't have the academic potential to go on to be a doctor or a lawyer, as not everyone can. Some people just don't have the ambition for anything other than a good honest job, and its a shame that the education system makes these people feel excluded by sneering at this.

Norfolk Blogger said...

There is nothing wrong with working in a shop, but this girl was capable of so much more than that yet her mother's low expectations were dragging the child down.

Laurence Boyce said...

Deplorable attitude and I fear all too common. Don't let it get you down Nick - you're doing a great job!