Friday, October 24, 2008

What has happened to us?

As a society, I mean.

When I was in grade school (Good ol' St. Francis Xavier) we were expected to conduct ourselves a certain way. Period. Didn't matter if you were in 1st grade or 8th. You behaved at school or else.
If you got in trouble--and this was in the days where your teacher could physically discipline you, and trust me, the nuns (old school nuns imported from Canada even!) did. But if you got in trouble, you got in trouble twice, once at school (complete with discipline) & again at home when your parents found out what went down at school.

Were we abused? Far from it! By the time we were in high school, it was obvious who had gone to public grade school & who had gone to St. Francis. I'm not saying public school kids are thugs, but in this instance there was a distinct difference in behavior. A lot of the ps kids were well behaved but all of the trouble makers in school? PS kids.

A woman who used to live here (we were in MOMS together) is now subbing in her hometown & reading her blog is frightening. The behavior of these kids is horrific. As a Catholic school kid herself, she sees the change in society I just mentioned.

Parents don't seem to want to take responsibility for their child's bad behavior. It even carries over to toddlers. Your 2 yr old wants to take her clothes off all the time? Oh, Sensory Disorder! Your 4 yr old is acting out in Prek? ADHD!

I may or may not have made excuses for the Wee One's bad behavior when Hunter was gone ("her father is deployed"). Nah, I'll own it--- I did. Looking back, I can trace her behavior to occasions in her life where things were upsetting (Hunter being gone). A lot of military wives can't handle it when their husbands are gone, yet I expect a 3 yr old to carry on as if nothing had changed?

I would find a little extra attention & saying "it's okay to miss Daddy, I miss him too" would help. We survived & moved on. And without medication!

Why is it that we are so quick to label our children? Is it out of fear? Are we worried that those around us will judge our parenting abilities? Will we be sent to Remedial Parenting 101? Some of us could use that class!

I'm not a perfect parent & I don't have a perfect child. Far from it. But I TRY to be a good mother. I believe that children will rise to your expectations, regardless of what they are. If you expect your child to behave a certain way, be it good or bad, they will. If you call your child a demon, guess what you have on your hands!

Praising your child, catching them doing something right goes so far in their eyes. They believe they have self worth & their self esteem rises. If your only interaction with your child is to always tell them "no, NO, don't that/brat/ etc" guess what they're going to think. Very quickly they will learn that any attention, even negative attention is good.

Please know that I don't think all kids whose parents seek diagnosis are just posterkids for bad behavior. I just really think (and this is MY opinion & if I can't express it on MY blog then where can I?!) that as a society we're looking for answers that don't go beyond our front door.

*stepping off soapbox*

On a semi-knitting note, I'm mailing out my Favorite Things box today! What a fun swap!

MIL & FIL arrive on Sunday!


Kristyn said...

Amen sister!! People would rather label kids because it is easier. If you say my kid has ADHD then the parents don't have to take responsibility for the child's behavior. Also, I hear from a lot of working parents that they feel guilty so they do not discipline their children when they are at home. Since the kids are in daycare they want home to be a fun place. And don't even get me started on the whole "everyone always has to win" thing. We are raising a generation of children who have no idea how to survive in the real world.

lauriec said...

You know, I'm all about home being fun but there are rules to follow.

And yeah, that "everyone on the team gets to play/everyone is a winner" drives me nuts. When I was little, if you weren't good enough you weren't on the team & you tried out the next year.

Dorothy said...

As a teacher - YES! YES! YES!

When was it that a child misbehaving in school became the teacher's fault, and not the child's?

We all go through times when we excuse our child's behavior, but excusing constantly does not help them prepare for life!

Jane said...

AMEN! Parents tell us to 'fix their child' but won't accept any responsibility for why their child needs to be fixed! Yes - there are legitimate disorders, but children still need to learn to behave and not use their disorder as an excuse. And we do adapt for them - allow lots of movement, etc. quiet spaces, etc. whatever it takes. You would not believe the verbal abuse some teachers take from parents! Having said that, there are still many supportive, caring, parents out there - and it shows in their children. I have a feeling it will show in yours!

bookwyrm said...

Family routines go a long well to helping children cope and behave properly...and we have a lot lacking in the family routine department today.

Just as an aside...I have seen a lot of misbehavier in private schools too...and often it is likely to be covered up if it is from a wealthy patron or benefactor of the school. I don't think this is a private vs. public school issue...but a family issue...and schools of all kinds have to cope with the disintegration of American families with rules, routines, and respect for each other. I'm stepping off my soap box! (grin)

We need a "back to basics" family intervention for America! Lord knows we are not perfect either, but we earnestly try...

lauriec said...

I'm not saying private school kids are perfect---obviously there are plenty of public school kids who are brought up to respect their teachers, behave like ladies/gentlemen, etc. I had a lot of friends in hs. who had gone to public school & were great kids.

I agree, the American family has issues. Too many parents rely on teachers & babysitters to teach their child manners, discipline, etc. Not knocking families where boht parents work but I think a lot of parents get so caught up in what needs to be done during their free time that they're taking away from their children.

NH Knitting Mama said...