Monday, August 4, 2008

Guest Post from Dana!

Hey Guys.... It's Dana from Just Talk. I'm Guest Blogging for Danielle today while she is off enjoying her lovely vacation!

I was trying to think of a good parenting topic to write about and I started thinking about things I have observed while being in the classroom!!

While you all love your kids, in this day and age of two working parents and insane schedules, people tend to cut corners and neglect important things because it's easy.. Being a teacher I see these things each and every day, and unfortunately it makes my job a little harder!

Today I'm blogging about the 10 Mistakes parents sometimes make and I see very often being a teacher...



1) Spoiling kids - There is no doubt that parents love their kids and want them to have all the things they didn't. However, this comes at a price. A ton of well-intentioned parents have ended up spoiling their kids to such a degree that the kids aren't even happy with all the stuff they have.



2) Inadequate discipline (which I see A LOT of at school.. And come on people this makes my life hard, very hard - LOL) - When you're too tired or lazy to discipline your kids, and you pass the little devil you've created on to your relatives, coaches, teachers, and his friends' parents. It's not OK to let your kids treat your house like it was a Bouncy House because that's exactly how they'll treat other people's homes. They should also be much better behaved when they leave the house and visit elsewhere. I know my mom used to scare the crap out of me so I would behave in public or at a friends house and I turned out fine.. I think so many parents are afraid to discipline their children because they are afraid the child won't love them as much.. But you are really doing a disservice to your child by not teaching them right from wrong! And I've found if you don't discipline your kid, someone else will—and you won't like it! That's when it makes it hard for me - being a teacher some parents think, "Oh, not my child!" or "He's never done that at home!" and I think to myself "Well, if you disciplined him/her once and awhile then they wouldn't react to me saying NO!!"



3) Failing to get involved at school - School is where your kids will spend more time than any place besides your home. It's also the place that will have the most responsibility for shaping their life—from teachers and their peers. That being said, how can you not want to be involved in what's going on there? It doesn't matter if it's you or your spouse: Your family needs to have a presence at that school. And don't use work as an excuse—take a vacation day if you need to. You'll see immediately that it's time well spent. You should also have at least an e-mail relationship with their teacher. It's a great way for that teacher to see that you're interested in your child's development, and the teacher can alert you to anything concerning that may be going on with your son or daughter. Your kid's teacher may take a much more active role with your child if they know you're keeping close tabs.



4) Praising mediocrity - While we all want to encourage our kids to do well and build their self-esteem, there is a point of going too far. Building a child's self-esteem is great, but having a big party for a mediocre accomplishment skews what they view as a real achievement.



5) Not giving kids enough responsibility - Your kids shouldn't be expecting any payment for doing chores around the house. It's a home, not a hotel. That being said, an allowance is a great idea … for extra work. They should be pulling their weight as part of the family. If they grow up without enough responsibility, how in the world do you expect them to hold down a job, or get through college? When they get "of age," make sure they're taking some of the burden off you around the house—from unloading the dishwasher to picking up dog poop in the backyard. While they're not your slaves, they sure aren't on vacation, either.

6) Not being a good spouse - How you treat your husband or wife is very important to the way your kids will develop relationships, especially as adults. If you treat your spouse poorly, or if your only way to settle any kind of dispute is to yell and scream at each other, you're teaching your kids to handle themselves the same way. Kids learn from watching you much more than they learn from listening to you. If you treat your spouse with love and respect, it will also show your kids the value of their family. It will also make them feel their family is a safe haven in what can be a dark, scary world.

7) Setting unreal expectations - I see a lot of this at school and it really bothers me! When dealing with kids, you need to set reasonable expectations for them—especially the little ones. If you want to go out to a nice dinner and expect your 2-year-old to sit there like a little prince, you are setting yourself up for major disappointment. Also, if you have visions of a football star and your son weighs 80 pounds and likes to play the clarinet, you need to reset those expectations. Don't have unreal expectations for your kids: The expectation you should have is for them to be happy. There is so much stress out there in the world when you grow up - just let them be kids for as long as they can!!

8) Not teaching kids to fend for themselves - Many parents tend to baby kids these days and cater to their every need, and that eliminates the value of hard work and becoming independent as they grow into adults. I fear that we're raising a generations of wimps. Kids nowadays expect everything to be done for them, from cleaning their room to band-aids for hurt feelings. Teaching them to toughen up and do things on their own doesn't mean that you love them less; it means you love them more.

9) Pushing trends on kids -Let kids be kids. Parents shouldn't push their trends or adult outlook on life on their kids. Personallly I think it's a little trashy! Just because it was your life's dream to marry a rich guy doesn't mean we need to see your 4-year-old daughter in a "Future Trophy Wife" t-shirt. The same goes for the double ear piercing—that's what you want, not them. Teaching kids about your passions is great, but let them grow up to be who they are. And yes, this goes for you pathetic stage parents as well. It's hard enough for kids to figure out who they are in the world without you trying to turn them into what you couldn't be.

10) Not following through - I have trouble with this one sometimes. If you're telling your kids that they'll be grounded if they paint the neighbor's dog one more time, you'd better follow through. Unfortunately, following though on punishments or promises makes your life a little more difficult, but building trust is what's most important. If you're not true to your word, your kids will assume anything you say is just talk. Then you have a real problem on your hands. You'll also end up with kids who don't trust their parents.

What do you think? Any of you teachers out there run into the same problems I have? Or how about you parents, did one of your children's friends ever come over to play and totally disrespect your rules or your house!?! I want to hear your stories!!! Bring them on - and thanks for listening today!!

Dana

13 comments:

Future Mom (Heather) said...

hi dana! thanks for guest blogging for us :)

regarding the #1 problem of spoiling their kids...
I think that parents are spoiling their kids at a majorly high rate these days! I was watching the show my super sweet 16 yesterday & these brats want everything handed to them including money, mercedes, clothes, etc. for no reason. They just think they are entitled to everything.

I think a lot of parents are giving their kids more stuff to make up for the fact that they are working a lot, and not spending enough time with them. They think the stuff will make the kid happy since they can't be with them as much as they would like to.

This starts competition at school or camp about who has what & it is not healthy for the kids. I know kids that cry when they get home from school because their friends have all this stuff that they don't. Why should kids have i phones and flat screen tvs in their rooms? It's totally insane!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

These are really great points and although I am not a teacher, I have children in school, so I do feel for you!

Steph

Lori said...

I agree with your points. I certainly think about a lot of this while dealing with my own children

JMBMOMMY said...

Couldn't agree more -- guilty as charged on some of these -- doing great on others....former teacher in my former life-LOL! Parenthood is an exciting journey--we are a work in progress....

MoziEsmé said...

Great post!

The one that really stuck with me was "praising mediocrity." It really is irritating when kids want to be acknowledged for every little thing they do, and then react badly if they don't get it.

I often wonder if I do this, though - it's so ingrained to praise every little accomplishment my baby makes.

La Petite Belle said...

HI Dana!!!!! Love this post. You are so right, I'm not a teacher, but as a mom I can tell you all of those are things that I have found to be challenges in parenting. I laughed about the future trophy wife shirt, OMG totally trashy!

Mrs. Domino said...

Wow, that's a lot to digest! All good points. It's easy to forget about how raising your kids affects their teachers, too!

Momma On The Go said...

Great post! I couldn't have written this post better myself. I can also think of at least one student or other child I know that fits into each category!

Rose said...

Great post! I especially agree with #s 2 and 4. I'm a middle school teacher and it's just nightmmare when you get students in their early teen years that have never been disciplined it makes your job sooo hard. If they don't listen to their parents, they usually don't want to listen to you. And like you said, their parents usually aren't happy when someone else disciplines their kids either. I have family members like that.

Praising mediocrity is a problem that I think is also creeping into our schools, and it's something I've had to deal with in my school.

Amber said...

I echo this, Dana!

Tipp said...

You ARE A GENUIS. You should seriously write a book like Tales from the teacher or something!

Mommy Mechanics said...

Great post! Couldn't agree more!

Steph Corwin said...

Really really wonderful. Every single point was right on. #8 especially. If kids don't learn to figure out things on their own it will affect them all the way up into their adulthood in their careers. This was so so great.