Bad parents

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Resentful, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Resentful

    Resentful Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2013

    Another thread got me thinking. IMO, parents have less and less blame now a days. Kids doing something bad? Probably, the teacher's fault. :rolleyes:

    What do you think make someone a bad parent?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 18, 2013

    I like to think parents are doing the best they can.

    Are you a parent, resentful?
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I think in some schools, there are trends of absent parents or parents who are too busy making a living to parent the way I wish they could. I admire the paents who are out working their tails off to provide for their families even when their kids may be being raised by older brother or sister. Those parents are just doing the best they can.

    But then...I've taught at schools were moms made their livings on their backs, dads were high up in gangs, and there was even a grandma who sold drugs out of her house. Then there were parents who just basically ignored their kids.
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jan 18, 2013

    I think the vast majority of parents are doing the very best that they can. They don't always parent the way I do or think that they should, but I also don't know everything that is going on at home.
     
  6. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Jan 19, 2013

    Having uncooperative parents can certainly make your job miserable, feel overwhelming, and raise your stress level large amounts which are changes to the job.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 19, 2013

    I'm pretty angry with the parents of one of my students right now. They are going through an extremely acrimonious divorce right now and have put their 3 children solidly in the middle. Threats, accusations, late night calls to the police, new live-in partners, and lies have been the order of the day for the past few months. I've known this family for a long time so know that they aren't bad parents, but they are making some very, very unfortunate choices right now.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 19, 2013

    So true, so true.

    I think it is our jobs to help children learn to value their education. This means different work on our part for each child because each child that doesn't seem to value education has a different reason for exhibiting that behavior. Sometimes, they do value the education, they just don't have the current skills to exhibit the right behaviors and actions, words, and tone actually make them devalue the education.

    Having uncooperative parents changes the job when the expectations is that the family will be supplementing the education so much that they only way any of the students learn is by what extra is done at home. I've experienced schools like this where 40% of the parents are tutoring or hiring tutors for their kids, and these kids are the ones ending up being successful. Without this parental input, the only ones that would be successful would be the ones that really don't need to be taught because they pick up everything so quickly with just a small presentation.

    Your statement shows me that you believe that you are the primary force driving the academic content these kids will learn. It is your job to facilitate their learning in such a way that teaching also means that something was learned. This is what school was about since when it started, many of the parents were illiterate. It was the schools job to academically educate the student.
     
  9. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jan 19, 2013

    Not sure if I made a post and it was deleted, or something else. Anyway, the main point I wanted to get across is to be aware that teachers get four or more years of education, student teaching, and on-site mentors. Parents typically have no training at all, only the models around them.

    Also keep in mind that parents are usually doing it as a second "job" -- they have to have something else that provides them an income. This limits the amount of time and energy they can expend on parenting. So you may think, "Well, I only give 20 minutes of language arts and 20 minutes of math HW per night", but the parent of 3 is thinking, "Okay, that's potentially over two hours of work for me supervising, explaining, cajoling my kids to do the work, etc." Add in any extracurricular activities, making dinner, getting them ready for bed, any cleaning that needs to be done, etc, and it starts getting quite busy.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 19, 2013

    Very true!! I have become a much better parent since went though my credential program. And, I'm kinda ashamed, but I think I'm a better teacher than parent. For example my students never get me upset. Even the worst offenders get me as a calm, objective teacher, who assign an appropriate consequence, without getting emotional, stressing, raising voice, nagging, etc.
    When my daughter does something very wrong, I can quickly stress out, become upset, nag a little, go on and on, and actually I'm not very consistent with my approach. It has helped me to get into 'teacher mode' to become a better parent.

    I'm from a culture where teacher never expected any help from parents. It was a given that the teachers are the professionals, they handle everything at school, and the parent handle the parenting on their own time.
    Here, I think that if a parent stays on top of the student's behavior at home, carries out consequences and works with me, great. If not, I gotta do what I gotta do. These were my experiences / attitude during student teaching.
    Working at the lock up, we don't have to deal with parents :) The parents are probation, and they're the best.
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jan 19, 2013

    To me, a "bad parent" is someone who physically or emotionally abuses their child, is neglectful, allows them to live in filth, or does not provide food and clean water for their children.

    A parent who doesn't return my phone calls or complains because their kid doesn't have an A or tells their kid that they don't have to follow my rules or procedures is just a pain in my *** - not bad.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 19, 2013

    Can we define "bad parent"?

    I agree that it isn't necessarily all that helpful to try to dissect the reasons behind why some parents are "bad", because there isn't really anything we can do about it.

    With that having been said, I am not sure about the answer. Sometimes I meet parents who are just so very young. I wonder if maybe they just don't know how to parent. I suspect that many of them come from young parents themselves. It's not that I think young = bad. It's just that I think that it must be really hard to be a teen parent, really hard to guide someone else's life when you haven't really even lived your own yet.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 19, 2013

    There's a lot of bad parents out there who are bad for various reasons: Being emotionally and physically unavailable or distant, being unencouraging & unmotivating, etc. are just a couple out of many.

    To add to this, I'm sure I could be upset with a whole bunch of parents if I was a fly on the wall at their house & saw how they really lived & how they raised their kids, but then I'd be mad 24/7. All any of us educators (& anyone else who works with kids) can do is our best job with the students that are under our care/responsibility.
     
  14. John Lee

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    Jan 20, 2013

    If I had to name one thing: IGNORANCE. I don't know how many parents regularly feed their kids fast food (e.g. my SIL). You are basically hurting your kid everytime you eat crap like that, and feed them that. (I'm not saying I never eat FF... but I do know it's not meant to be a staple.) They buy their kid all kinds of bright-colored, large, plastic crap (Barbie houses, Tonka cars, this and that...) Without a thought to anything: Where are you gonna put all that crap (eventually), why am I buying this, where is it made, what is the alternative? e.g. As someone who's around kids all the time, I'll tell you that kids don't need that gaudy crap... a kid can make a stick or a feather into the greatest toy ever. Again, ignorance.

    And lastly, I don't think a lot of parents think enough for themselves. So many of my friends (who are parents now) basically turn off their own personal lives as they've become married/parents. I just talked with a buddy last night, who constantly bemoans "how old we are" now. So many of my parent friends now, post on their FB about the soccer game or some other thing that their kid is doing, and that's fine... that's what parents do! But it should not come at the expense of their own development as people. I think we are a generation that is stunted in growth intellectually in some ways too. e.g. I find grown men wearing sports jerseys of their favorite team/player, to be a sign of that kind of immaturity.

    People aren't thoughtul. Maybe it's to go-go-go nature of our society, where you are lauded for "achieving", and posting it on your FB. There is nothing wrong with living humbly. yet in our society, you are considered a bit different if you do. Instead, you're supposed to have a bucket list, and do all kinds of things that are conducive to a consumptive, fast-paced, post-on-FB life. There is no time to stop and think. Parents think that putting your kid in traveling sports teams, ballet, Kumon, etc. is what you are supposed to do... but where is the time for your thoughts, your development?
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 20, 2013

    This seems very judgmental. My sister, on most days of the week, cooks at home and feeds her three kids very nutritious meals. Once or twice a week, they eat at Chick-fil-a or McDonalds or some other such place. My nephews are active boys, get plenty of exercise, and are very healthy. When they do grab fast food, they choose healthy options (milk, fruit, etc.) instead of fries and soda.

    They have some toys. Right now, they have no electronics, but they are considering getting a Wii to play together as a family. Their toys are made of plastic: Legos, board games, instruments, etc.

    My nephews are in a lot of organized activities: different sports, music lessons, etc. They also spend a lot of time being kids: painting, drawing, reading, being messy boys, etc. All three of the boys are ahead of their age on most scales of mental development. They are as well adjusted and well behaved as you would expect boys of 3, 5, and 7 to be.

    Each family needs to do what works for them, and we need to be careful about being judgmental of other people's parenting methods.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 20, 2013

    :thumb:
     
  17. John Lee

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    If it seems judgemental, it is only because you choose to get defensive about it. How do you suppose we get to the bottom of anything, if we don't take anecdotes and draw conclusions? Isn't that what being judgemental is about, the manifestation of our observances? Calling a bad parent "bad" is judgemental. Calling my post judgemental is judgemental.

    Eating fast food (e.g.) regularly is a terrible life choice. Not just bad parenting... it's a bad life choice. That's not a judgement... that's fact* (*not actually a fact A to Z; just a figure of speech). If your sister is the 1% of people who go to fast food joints for salads--hats off to her. But there is a large group of folks who do go to fast food joints and eat non-salad dishes. And IMO, doing so is a symptom of bad parenting. Call that judgemental I guess.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 20, 2013

    Eating at a fast food place does not make a parent bad. I myself refuse to eat at such places, haven't for 10+ years and I agree with you about how bad fast food is. My daughter's father goes there all the time and take the kids. Does that make him a bad parent? No, it's the other things he does.

    As far as buying all the toys, and everything you mentioned in your first post, I agree with you, those are not good. Those things are the product of today's society. But none of those things make a parent bad, in my opinion.
     
  19. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2013

    But it's not a fact. I lost 55 pounds in six months and mostly ate fast food every night. There are smart choices to make at most fast food places. Even the occasional burger, in a normal portion and as part of a balanced diet, isn't going to immediately harm anyone. A guy even made a movie called Fat Head that talks about this.

    There is a difference between saying, "Eating fast food all the time could lead to other health issues and there may be a healthier option," and using words like, "terrible life choice," "bad parenting," etc. That's the difference between being observant or discerning and being judgmental. There are plenty of parents who are the opposite of ignorant, who have all of the information about all of the choices they make and have college educations, and still choose to eat fast food, buy their kids toys, have scheduled activities in their child's day, etc. That doesn't make them ignorant or bad, it just means they made different choices than you would.

    I forget, or maybe you've never mentioned, but do you have kids? I am always extremely careful when I give advice about parenting because I do not have any kids of my own. I have a degree in early childhood, and I'm certified to teach k-12, but I have zero actual parenting experience. I would never offer unsolicited opinions about how to parent a child, and when I asked for opinions I choose my words very carefully. It's easy to sit back and have opinions about other people and something else entirely to do it yourself. That's also part of what makes blanket statements like that judgmental. (Please note that I am not in any way saying that people who don't have kids are less effective teachers, just that we should be extra careful about judging what we haven't been through.)
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2013

    But there are those that use 'bad parent' to skirt doing that in their classroom, which is fueling the teacher dislike that is seen.

    Students aren't reading well. Oh, that's the parents fault. They didn't read to their children enough and aren't doing extra to make sure their child read. Oh, wait, you did read to them? Well, you must not have made it enough of a priority because if you read to your child more the child would be reading without a problem because I AM teaching reading. If the parent isn't going to do their part, how can I be expected to get this child reading at grade level. I've heard it time and time again.

    This is just one fine example where good parents are getting labeled as bad parents so that an issue doesn't need to be addressed. What I've often found is that some will take whatever the families tend to be doing (after school sports or clubs) and turn it into a bad thing when kids aren't successful. I'm also not saying there aren't parents that are really detrimental to their children's growth and development, but many times this extreme level of what is acceptable is created as the way a parent should be.
     
  21. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    OK, I stand corrected. Fast food is NOT unhealthy! :dizzy: I don't know how I came to that baseless conclusion.

    I'm a bit at a loss, in trying to explain this because there certainly will be the rare case here (on A to Z) who will dispute it but, look... I'm not saying that eating fast food is bad in/of itself. (I said I personally do eat it on occasion.) And yes, I suppose there are choices on the menu that are relatively healthier. If that is the case in your situation, then the idea doesn't apply to you. It doesn't disprove the fact though, because NEWSFLASH: There are unhealthy foods in fast food establishments. And double newsflash: They are the main choices on the menu (not saladas).

    As to MissCeliaB's post, 1) I'm not a parent. That doesn't mean I'm not correct. You cite for me a difference between being observant and being judgemental... it's the same thing. If I told you that I pour a shot of whisky in my hyper kid's milk every night, are you going to be non-judgemental and say, "that could lead to health issues later..." or are you going to say "that is bad parenting."

    I have a friend who has two pitbull dogs. Like all pitbull dogs, they are very vigorous dogs... nice dogs, but very full of energy. When she brings her dogs over to my place, the dogs will often be bouncing off the walls, tussling, play-fighting, etc. What does she do about it? Does she ever take the dogs for a walk (to release some of their energy)? No. Does she take the dogs some place to run/play fetch? No. What she does is (when the dogs get overexcited)... give them a Milk-Bone. And tell them to calm down! (as if they can reason... "oh, ok... I'll calm down now".)

    Now, if I don't have a dog (non-dog owner), can I call that bad dog ownership, or am I being judgemental? I suppose I'm about to be told that Milk-Bone makes grass-fed milk bones that are a healthy choice and are own to calm animals, but that aside...
     
  22. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2013

    I'm sorry that your friend has not trained her dogs according to your standards. If you don't like the way they behave, don't have them at your house. Dogs play, whether you take them for walks or to dog parks or not. If you feel your friend is criminally neglectful or mistreating the dogs, please call animal control.

    Observant and judgmental are not the same thing. Your example with the alcohol in the bottle is a clear case of a criminal act and would result in criminal charges (there are similar cases in the news all the time) so that's a poor example. Certainly society can judge a person who legitimately and criminally endangers the life of a child. Feeding a child fast food and buying a child toys are not cases of neglect or abuse. It's fine to observe someone making those choices and say, "I don't agree with that, and it's different from what I'd do in that situation." Just because it's different from what you would do doesn't mean it's bad, except for in the case of abuse or negligence.

    I'd really like to drop the whole fast food thing, but the debater in me just can't drop an argument like that. I never said that there weren't unhealthy menu items at fast food places. There are unhealthy menu items at most places. There is unhealthy food in the grocery store. There are many, many reasons why these unhealthy options are cheaper and easier than healthier options. There are many reasons why people choose these unhealthy options, and many of them have nothing to do with laziness or gluttony or even ignorance.
     
  23. John Lee

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    But you and I both know that the connotation of fast food is in the level of unhealthiness that we generally attribute to it. We don't equate fast food with salads because that's not what we mean when we evoke it as a talking point. We realize that fast food has correctly become a target and a buzz word for unhealthy eating habits that have eroded health in this country. I shouldn't have to explain that, and defend it vs. rogue fast-food patronizing families who happen to bring celery and carrots to their favorite fast food joint. That might be you, but that's not what the typical fast food patron does.

    As to my dog example, did I say she was criminally negligent??? I said that I consider it bad dog ownership to never exercise your dogs... making the point that you can "judge", even if you aren't a dog owner (or parent). I also made an example about giving alcohol to a kid... since you want to try and dismiss it by citing criminality--replace whiskey with Nyquil. What if I give my kid Children's Nyquil every night so that they calm down? What if, instead of having to spend time with my kids, I buy them a PS3 so that I might have my home time to myself. Is that "bad parenting?" Or are you being judgemental?
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2013

    Slow cooked food at sit down restaurants typically have larger portion sizes and more calories than fast food. Also, most sit down restaurants serve fast-food like food on the children's menu. So, why don't you just say it, you can't stand that the kids eat out all the time and food made at home is much better. But wait, many people make processed foods at home which is equally as fatty as fast food or child menu's at sit down restaurants. Plus many homemade dinners actually do have tons of fats and calories unless you choose to learn how to cook in a light and healthy way. But that is also suspect now because the claims are that most foods have way to low of nutrient levels or contain pesticides. So, get to it. Moms should have to cook organic foods form specialty markets where the food is known to be optimally nutritional. Portions should be strongly controlled.

    As for entertainment, kids should not have the things that are popular now. They should be raised in environments with no tv, not video games, and no popular toys. They should have books and nature so when they go into society they haven't a clue about what others are talking about. They will be better off in the long run.

    Oh, yes, the things parents do wrong.
     
  25. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    The bottom line is, judging parents and say they're bad does not make a teacher's job any easier. Teachers need to do what need to do with what they've got. If they have perfectly well behaved kids, well then great. If they have a bunch of behaviorally challenged kids who have been abused, neglected, emotionally abused, etc, it would not help to blame the parents. It helps to understand the background and how the home life is, but judging it will not help.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    But you can also have behaviorally challenged kids that haven't been abused or neglected, etc. Sometimes kids just take longer to learn impulse control and some have underlying deficits. Some have undiagnosed medical issues such as sleep apnea or seizures that are so unnoticeable that it takes years to diagnose.

    I agree, work with what you have and keep blame out of it. As soon as blame enters the equation, there becomes a reason for not having to keep trying to work with the child.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I know, and agree! My point was that a lot of people see 'bad' kids as bad, and not always thinking of the reasons behind the issues. Sometimes kids are problems because the parents spoiled them, haven't held them accountable and make excuses for everything. Whatever the case is, blaming the parents is not the answer.
     
  28. MissCeliaB

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    You seem to be very unhappy about the way society is today. I'm basing this not only on this thread, but posts you've made in other threads. So, my question to you, and to all of us, is: what are we doing about it? Are we supporting (with time and money) programs that educate about nutrition? What about community gardens? Are we talking to our politicians about the impact of corn subsidies, and what that really does to our food supply and economy? Are we supporting laws to increase maternity/paternity leave? What about access to healthcare and mental healthcare? What about living wages? If we aren't doing our part to change the parts of society that we don't like, then who are we to judge those whose choices we wouldn't make ourselves?

    I try not to judge, at least not when a person is not making choices that are illegal or immediately abusive or neglectful to others. Maybe it's a woman thing, but I think the so-called "mommy wars" have gone on long enough. There's no right way to parent. Work or stay home? Breast feed or formula? Spanking, time-out, or some combination? There is no one right way to raise a child, and parents need support, not judgment, especially from those of us who come closest to loving their children as much as they do. Blaming the parent does nothing to help us in the classroom.
     
  29. John Lee

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    I hate to tell you this, but you're judging me, calling me an unhappy person based on my posts and jumping on the opportunity to try to confront me on it.

    I'm not trying to engage you in a circular argument; I'm trying to point out to you that being or not being judgemental is semantic. I might call it observational, or sociological... you call it judgemental. Whatever we call it, you and I and everyone here does it, because we naturally come to certain conclusions based on our experiences. That's what we do as people. Don't waste time (especially on an online forum where nobody knows anybody else anyway) being politically correct. Who the heck cares???

    You say parents need support--I agree. But that's not some generic term to me, that amounts to nothing. I think (part of) that support should be in form of INFORMATION (i.e. become less ignorant).
     
  30. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I did not call you an unhappy person, I said that you seem to be unhappy about the direction of society. Those are not the same things at all, and continuing a conversation with a person who doesn't distinguish the difference in those seems fruitless to me.
     

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