What makes a parent Bad?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by John Lee, Jul 31, 2015.

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  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    If you take these things at face-value:
    -eat fast food regularly (practically daily)
    -don't exercise
    -never read to child
    -don't unplug from technology (on iPad for probably > 4 hours daily)
    -don't provide activities: join no sports teams, club (boy/girl scouts), or community group of any kind

    If you take these things as truths, does that make you a bad parent? Like, if you did all these things for your child (i.e. to your child) but were kind to them, does that negate all the harm you potentially cause them?

    Edit: BTW, I'm not judging anyone here. I certainly do all of these things "in moderation" :blush: myself. Some maybe more, some much less. When I list these things, I'm doing so from personal observation.
     
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yes, there are lots of parents out there who don't give the mental stimulation that a child truly needs nor is more of a part of their lives than they should be. So, yes, I think it's considered bad or neglectful/lazy parenting. Doing those list of things you listed on a CONSTANT, OVERABUNDANT basis isn't considered good. Even the Bible says, "do all things in moderation."

    A good parent should want to provide as great a childhood and/or life in general as humanly possible for their child: Giving them a well-rounded life by exposing them to the riches in life (arts, culture, education, contentment, joy, stability, safety, etc.), so that they're hopefully positive members of society as adults.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It depends. I don't think fast food or exercise define good or bad parenting. Technology. ... Hmmm, kind of depends. Is the tech being used by the parent to inform themselves/relax/unwind without impacting quality time with kiddos? Signing kids up for clubs and teams can get expensive. There are other ways to engage with your kids and provide enriching experiences. I wouldn't judge a parent by your list 'at face value'. :2cents:
     
  5. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    Sometimes, parents just have to work to make sure their children have the things they need, food, a roof over their head, clothing, all that fun stuff. So sometimes, the things that you've labeled as making a parent a bad parent are just the norm in the house. Does that make the parent bad? I don't think so.

    I know that my mom worked a lot. We didn't really do a ton of exercising because our neighborhood was bad and it wasn't always safe to be outside without an adult and we ate a lot of fast food because it's what she could get for free from work. The TV was our babysitter. After my dad passed, there wasn't much reading to us because she didn't have time and she was exhausted. We definitely didn't join activities because they were expensive and that money could be spent on better things.

    Do I think my mom was a bad parent? Absolutely not. I think she did what she had to do as a single parent. I don't resent that. She loved my sister and I and we knew that.
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I would need more information. I'd need to know about the parent/child interactions. If the parent never has conversations with the child and doesn't spend time with the kid other than barking orders, then that I'd say that person isn't parenting well.
     
  7. John Lee

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    Well I can certainly see that. Again, I don't mean to say that if you ever give your kid fast food, you suck. Obviously, circumstances like that do play a role. And the hypotheticals I gave, are obviously notly hypothetical.

    Let me offer a parallel of the same person (as a dog owner), and with the same dynamics:

    The dog loves her, and actually every dog she's ever had, has seemed to really love her (e.g. very attached). She always has pitbulls.

    So, she:
    -feeds them your standard variety kibble every day
    -she never exercises them. They don't walk (at all), they don't play fetch, they don't go places, etc.
    -her standard way of occupying her dog is to give them a rawhide...

    And that's pretty much it.

    Is that a "bad" owner? They don't eat a varied diet at all, they don't get the vigorous exercise that (as pitbulls) you know they want. And in the end, they all die by euthanasia and the big C (cancer). But as I said, they love her. Is she a bad dog-owner?

    *Your counter-argument to me might be, "how can you know all that she does". All I can say is that I know, believe me.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Interesting question.

    However, many factors should be taken into consideration. For example, when I was growing up, cell phones and Internet didn't exist. My brother, sister, and I spent our free time outside riding bikes, skateboards, roller skates, or scooters. We unintentionally got lots and lots of exercise.

    Nowadays, considering we're in the age of technology--things are much, much different (I won't even begin to list the innumerable ways).
     
  9. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I think number one thing of a bad parent (I have no kids so I really shouldn't even respond) is rewarding poor behavior. (This is assuming all necessities are provided- shelter, food, love, etc)
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I agree, you shouldn't.

    ;) I'm (mostly) kidding. But, as you obviously realize, it's one thing to criticize from outside and entirely different when you're actually a parent.

    One thing you learn as a parent is that it's hard. No, I mean really hard. Any decision you make may or may not have lasting consequences, and it's difficult to predict what those will be. And they vary from child to child. One child will be completely fine with no (or little) exercise, and another would be bouncing off the walls. And one may get the exercise themselves and another may not.

    And that's every child, every decision, every day.

    And taking the "reward bad behavior" example (which sounds good in theory), sometimes you'll be put in a position of rewarding one kid by punishing another. Maybe both were bad. Maybe not. Maybe one doesn't care much about the punishment and seeing the other one punished is more than enough of a reward. Maybe one is especially sensitive and even a light scolding sends them into paroxysms of sobbing, to the point where you can no longer communicate with them.

    So, all parents are bound to make mistakes. Some of those mistakes would have been avoidable, maybe, and some were probably completely unavoidable.
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I think it is too simplistic to think any of these are the judge of a good parent. You can do all of these things and be a great parent or none of these things and be a lousy one.

    Being a good parent is all about building a relationship with a child, providing a nurturing environment, providing consistent, calm, caring guidance and as much stability, life skills and experiences as possible. It has very little to do with how much money or education one has. It has everything to do with the willingness to learn and grow as a person and a parent. Imo, it is the hardest job most people will every do, and it is impossible to really know it until you do it.
     
  12. bros

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    If the kid doesn't want to join a club, a parent shouldn't force them into it.
     
  13. John Lee

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    Do you really think that if someone DID all those things I listed, they could still be a "great parent"?

    In my example, she seems to have a fine relationship with her child in terms of "caring" and being nurturing... my niece LOVES her mom. What I'm saying is (as the smart adult): shouldn't you see that you are building a little butterball (poor diet/fitness) with average grades leading to a mediocre academic career (no emphasis on education) with ordinary skills (not building skills early on)?
     
  14. John Lee

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    I made the analogy to dogs too, because I happen to have a dog. I know that kibble is the fast-food of the dog world... and that is probably a primary cause of dog deaths from cancer and other diseases. As a result, my dog eats a simple homemade diet. Will it work? (i.e. will she avoid a death by injection?) Who knows, but at least I'm trying.

    Dogs also die of heart disease largely brought on by lack of exercise. Also (of course), it is a dog's nature to roam/walk. To deny that, you are denying a dog's nature. So I take my dog on daily walks, hoping to fulfill her needs.

    I know that there are factors (single parent, income) that affect a parent's ability to do what they'd ideally like to do. But absent of those conditions, I just don't understand.
     
  15. 4815162342

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    I think the age of the child plays a bit into this, imo.

    Personally, I think bad parents are the ones who "forget" their child in a 1000 degree car or beat them over potty training mishaps.
    What you described is just a parent who might not realize social interaction is valuable, or a busy parent who sees drive thrus as convenient (and thanks to pinterest, i wouldn't say cooking at home is always healthier. Hello you delicious fried pizza eggrolls)
     
  16. WarriorPrncss

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    I don't think that any of those examples by themselves mean a person is a bad parent. When I think "bad parent" I think:

    - Neglect (no food, only junk), no time spent together
    - Abuse (verbal, physical, emotional)
    - Exposing the child(ren) to inappropriate things or things that are bad for them all together, (graphic tv/movies, drugs, etc)
    - Not being present and/or letting the child "run the show" because they are too passive to speak up
    - No discipline

    I currently work in Juvenile Probation and the youth we have at our facility are always a combination of those things. And what's worse is that a majority are the way they are because their parents grew up that way--gangs, drugs, violence, and the list goes on. Another small group are the kids whose parents either turn a blind eye and maintain that their child is innocent and wrongly accused or the parent who is too passive to parent.

    I think A LOT of factors go into it and unless it's abuse, it's not just one factor.
     
  17. John Lee

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    I must say that I'm a bit surprised. I guess I was expecting more confirmation than anything else. It still dumbfounds me... I think we project our own 1980s, 1970s, 1960s expectations in upbringing into today's modern world. In the 80s, it was OK to drive around with your kids unbuckled in the car... heck, my mom used to have a regular dinner chair in the center console of our van, where my brother used to sit on road trips! Today I suppose, people would say that is bad parenting. Pregnant women would have cocktails and smoke casually back then... today, they'd be considered very irresponsible.

    So you can't project that stuff to today. Maybe your mom fed you lots of fast food back in the day or let watch LOTS of TV... it was harder to know any better back then. But today, it simply isn't the case. And yes--I get that there are life circumstances that dictate certain choices. That's not who I'm talking about.
     
  18. RainStorm

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    John Lee,
    Here's my list of what makes a parent bad:

    -Coming to school for a conference while high on crack... Eyes dilated and acting nutzy-cuckoo.

    -Mom gets arrested. The cops leave the 10 year old with her father. Different cops come for the father. The ten year old hides in the closet. They don't notice her. She goes to school for her free breakfast and lunch. Goes home after school, finds that there is a lock on the door and her folks have been evicted. She lives in the hallway for 3 days before she starts to smell so bad at school that we question her and find out what happened. She only comes to school for the free food -- she hates school. She goes with CPS, and is fostered in our district, so she keeps coming to school, but both parents stay in jail for over a year. Foster mom doesn't care what she does, she just wants the money. Child wears the same clothes everyday. Same problem with the smell. CPS says they have no place else to put her, because the child is violent. Eventually, child ends up in the youth mental health facility.

    -Having Dad come to school to meet -- running into another father at school -- they are in rival gangs, and start screaming obscenities at each other in front of all the children. One of them pulls out a knife, the other motions toward the gun in his waistband, and just then the police arrive -- all with children within sight and in danger.

    -Calling a parent at home to discuss a discipline issue, only to hear the parent drop the phone, grab the kid, and start wailing away on them, while the child screams in the background. Call CPS, they say call the police immediately. Call the police and they go to the house and break it up. Say there is nothing they can do because the parent "was only" hitting the child on the backside and back of legs with a shoe bottom.

    -Having a parent come in during instruction with a small baby in arms.. having a schizophrenic break, have her blocking the door (with you, the principal, and a room full of 7 year olds including her daughter) and screaming obscenities and swearing she was going to "kill you all" because the voices said we where hurting her child. (She held us hostage for over 2 hours, until finally the police broke the door down, and she was committed and received help. Children went to CPS, and we never saw the child in the class again.)

    All of these are true stories from my years teaching in the inner city. I would call all of these parents "bad parents." The whole "junk food" thing does not even begin to make the list.
     
  19. John Lee

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    That is a LOW standard. Thats like saying the only bad cooks are the ones who spit on food, or the only bad teachers are those who cuss on the job or have sex with their students. It discounts actual the poor practices in teaching, and just places a premium on extraordinary behavior.

    Teaching is probably a proper analogy. I guess I can see hesitating to call someone a "bad teacher", just because they aren't good at their job. I don't think I know a bad teacher; I know plenty of teachers who aren't good at their job.
     
  20. WarriorPrncss

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    I don't think that's a low standard if you consider your demographic. I also believe that there isn't one level to "bad parenting". It can be as extreme as some of RainStorm's examples or as "mild" as a parent who is lazy and ONLY feeds their kid junk and fast food.

    I feel like you're trying to fit all "bad" parents into one box and it's not a "one action defines all" kind of thing.

    The dog example, for example, some people think giving their pet people food is a great treat and shows their animal they love them--- while well meaning, dog's cannot process many human foods and can easily end of with pancreatitis, which can kill them. It doesn't make them bad pet parents, it makes them uninformed. I don't make my dogs food, but I buy a good quality kibble. I make sure they always have fresh food and water and that they all have busy rawhides and toys for when I'm not home. Do I take them for a walk and throw the ball everyday? No. Do I make sure I treat them well, including but not limited to proper diet, toys, bathing, etc? Yes. Am I a bad dog parent because I don't walk and play fetch every night? No.

    What it comes down to is your outlook. RainStorm has seen some bad things, that put things in perspective. Some work in more affluent areas where they don't see things and simple things come off as a much bigger problem than it is.

    It's all about perspective.
     
  21. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    John, if the things listed make you a bad parent, then at times I have been. I love my children. I try to support them without enabling them. I have two children that love showing, music, and hunting. My son plays golf and weight lifts. He played football. My daughter has played soccer, softball, and basketball. Only one season each. She hates sports and to her exercise is a dirty word. I bought her a fitbit and challenged her to walk. This is her only real form of exercise besides working with her sheep...which she has seven and it takes two hours to walk and exercise them. I allow some pop and chip in my home. I don't force vegetables down their throats. I am from the Paula Dean school of cooking. Most meals are homemade.

    I have had students whose parents had them on every sports team. They ate healthy, and had stimulation. But I still felt they were a bad parent. They treated their children like possessions and only wanted them to show off. If they weren't the best one on the team, the child was degraded and shamed. So even if they provide the things you listed, they could still be a bad parent in my opinion.
     
  22. John Lee

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    But if you did all the things I mention, are you not promoting mediocrity in your child's life? As a parent, are you effectively closign doors to your child's future?

    Here is what I envision for my little niece and their family, in the Year 2027:
    She will be (as a young adult of 20 or 21) a little meatball of a girl. She will be going to the local community college. And while people her age are enjoying life, traveling, she is stuck with the responsibility for caring for her (now) invalid, obese parents. She will have built some personality mechanisms to compensate for the weight/self-esteem issues she's lived with since the 3rd grade. Since shes forced to help support her parents, instead of being able to focus on her studies, she goes to work at the local Applebees as a waiter. And after a few years, she becomes a manager there. She won't have many suitors due to the various factors, so she settles for some guy that shows her interest that she knew back from high school.

    The story is just made up as I go along, but I don't think it is unreasonable. (i.e. It would be difficult to say that she would go on to be the Homecoming Queen at her high school, or that she will suddenly develop the study habits that will make her college bound). BTW, I'm not saying at all that those things that I mention are bad in/of themselves. I'm talking about options, and the courses of action that bring about those (limited) options.
     
  23. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    John Lee, do you have kids? I assume so, otherwise why would you feel any ability to judge how your niece is being raised. One thing I have been disappointed with since becoming a parent, is the amount of judging that goes on. I think we would all be better off, myself included, to realize that most parents are doing the best they can. Most are trying just to get through the day. Kids need love and to feel safe and it sounds like that is happening with your niece.

    Maybe that "meatball of a girl" turns out to love her body and have great confidence with herself. Maybe she goes to community college and becomes a manager and loves her job. Maybe she falls in love with the first boy she dates and they marry and live happily ever after. Seems to me these are all things that could also realistically happen. What she doesn't need is her uncle to already have written her and her sorry life off.

    If you think her parents are so bad, then spend as much time as possible with her and show her new experiences. Judging her parents as "bad parents" does nothing.
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Wow. :dizzy:

    I think that's pretty much all I'll say in writing. I can't believe what I read, though. :eek:
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

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    Because nobody ever overcomes any adversity? She's destined to have a bad life?

    My parents fed me healthy meals, rarely had fast food, soda, etc..., I had horses and rode a ton. I still gained quite a bit of weight as an adult. Maybe I am a meatball (really btw?!) but I started a new exercise plan in January all on my own. I've lost 19 pounds since then and I'm honestly in one of the best shapes of my life. I jogged for 20 straight minutes on Saturday. I have NEVER done that. I lift heavier than I ever have. How about instead of judging your family, you find ways to help? I wouldn't label them as bad parents by any stretch based on what you've told us.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I try very hard not to judge; I don't walk in anyone's shoes but my own.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    God forbid a little girl or young adult end up being overweight. :rolleyes:
     
  28. RainStorm

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    This.

    Sheesh.
     
  29. 4815162342

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    Community college is still better than no college.
     
  30. John Lee

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    Are you all kidding? If you don't think that being "fat" is an obstacle that has to be overcome on all levels, you are kidding yourselves. Overweight is one thing; obesity is quite another. And I'm not talking solely about attractiveness either. And saying that we shouldn't judge people--that is what people do! To say that we shouldn't judge is like saying "don't use any common sense". If I see a group of drunk kids on one side of the street and an elderly couple walking along on the other side of the street--I'm walking on the elderly couple's side. That "judging".

    What is funny about it, is that you are judging me based on my comments.

    There is a path that is created (by parents), good or bad. If the consequences of diet, exercise, building a foundation for learning are so meaningless, then what is the point of it all anyway? Why shop for quality? Just feed them crap, never exercise, pay no attention to school/homework. They'll turn out as well as if they were fed a wholesome diet, kept active, and encouraged in their studies.

    Why (since we're all educators in the education field) should we even fuss over curriculum, grading, planning... since it's so simple to overcome years of "bad" habits (teaching)? How would you feel if I sent "bad" teachers to teach your child every year of his school career? Would you say, "oh, they're not bad teachers and people shouldn't judge them." Or "I'm not worried about it because my little Johnny will still get into the university of his dreams."
     
  31. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Do you have any plans to help your niece? I'm a little confused as to the purpose of this thread. If you are looking for ideas to mentor/guide your niece, I'm sure we can come up with some ways that will not offend your sister.
     
  32. Gerelt

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    When they blame everything but their child on their bad behavior.
     
  33. TeacherNY

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    Bad parents to me are ones that abuse or neglect their children, don't get them the medication they need, send them to school when they are sick do they don't have to deal with them, etc. I don't think parents should be judged for minor things but they do add up. I don't think its valid to say people without children can't say parents are bad since people who are not teachers can say some teachers are bad.
     
  34. a2z

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    But where is that line between bad and adequate, John Lee? Is a child 2 pounds below obese the difference? Is the difference that the parents give some consequences if the child doesn't do homework, but doesn't push to enrich the child beyond what the school provides? What if the child is using learning videos all of the time because she likes them and is eating up information that way?

    Where is that line, John Lee?
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    From the Matt Walsh blog:

    "Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do. You shouldn’t scrutinize parents when you aren’t one, for the same reason I wouldn’t sit and heckle an architect while he draws up the blueprint for a new skyscraper. I know that buildings generally aren’t supposed to fall down, but I don’t have the slightest clue as to how to design one that won’t, so I’ll just keep my worthless architectural opinions to myself."

    Read more at http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/09...ds-sincerely-non-parents/#LpyU9mS8yyjPWqDr.99
     
  36. TeacherNY

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    The same could be said for teaching yet there are so many critics.
     
  37. WarriorPrncss

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    We are certainly not kidding... being "fat" and "obese" can be an obstacle based on what a person wants, but to be fair-- I'm overweight with muscle, which makes me "obese" based on the BMI scale and yet someone who is twice my size is also considered "obese". Not exactly the same thing.

    Right or wrong, we all judge, to a degree. The difference is engaging in talk with others or acting upon that judgment (as you are doing) and then accusing others of having an opinion based on YOUR question. So you didn't get the answers you were looking for? Don't ask a question if you aren't prepared for people to be honest and, possibly, have a different opinion.

    The path parents create is Nature vs. Nurture. Some kids are a product of their upbringing and others break out in spite of their upbringing. My childhood wasn't all sunshine and roses. My father was a jerk who was a drug addict and my mom did the best she could, but we often ate unhealthy or fast food. Am I a meek drug addict as a result? NO. In spite of my upbringing I became a different person, someone my mother is proud of. I went to college, I go to personal training I'm learning to cook and eat healthy and will instill that in my children. Instead of falling into the parent's patterns, they taught me everything I DIDN'T want in my future and for my future children.

    Not everyone is destined for greatness, some are meant to be "mediocre", but if they are happy and content, why should we judge? We can't ALL be the President or Doctors or Lawyers or Teachers, we NEED people in every field. (Pun, not intended).
     
  38. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 3, 2015

    Well I don't think people are being "honest", WarriorPrincess. Or at least not being objective.
    To build upon the example I gave above (about teaching)... Let's say your child had a teacher this year, who *you felt*:
    -was nice, seemed to care about the kids, and kids liked her
    -had poor classroom management: class always seemed in disarray, students were out of control
    -didn't cover the core material: just trotted out worksheets that you felt were busy work
    -didn't hold students accountable: kids could not-do assignnments, with no repurcussion

    And let's say the next year, the school shifted teachers around... that teacher got moved to the next grade, and your child was placed in her room again. You're saying that you would be fine with that set-up.
     
  39. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 3, 2015

    You keep talking about teachers/teaching; however, the original thread title is: "What makes a parent bad?"

    I hope you can see that many people are providing sound advice.

    I, too, am not a parent (as I know you're not, either). However, if I noticed that my (one and only) nephew was struggling in any way, I'd provide my sister and brother-in-law with support. Case in point: my nephew is entering first grade this month, so I sent my sister plenty of materials for frontloading. It made me feel good to be able to provide her with easy-to-follow academic materials that she has been able to use with him this summer (since she's not an educator). He's not floundering academically, but he's always hungry for knowledge (super bright kiddo).

    Instead of criticizing my sister from the sidelines, I have provided her with actual tools for success.
     
  40. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 3, 2015

    The reason I keep making analogies to other things is that (as czacza pointed out), parenting is supposed to be incredibly difficult... the implication being: if you don't have a kid yourself, you have no idea of what you are talking about. You all seem to think that habits like: diet, exercise, social interaction aren't particular.... I'm trying to show that they are important, and since we are all in the same field (with teaching and parenting sharing many similarities)... it be a good comparison. But continuing the point: when I see a mom who, when at a restaurant with family, props the kid in front of the iPad instead of helping the kid develop socially... that is not difficult. What is so difficult about driving up to the drive-thru every night, instead of planning wholesome meals. What is so difficult about *not* having to take your kids to little league practices or girl scout meeting and playing Farmville all night.

    As far as sound advice, I had to go back and scroll through some of the responses to see what you are talking about. :confused: Your example of support (point well taken) though, doesn't parallel my example in that your sister isn't struggling. I will say that (in my case) it is a hard to broach to woman (who is a nurse BTW) the subject that they are fat and lazy.
     
  41. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Aug 3, 2015

    Taking all these at face value... NO. Not a "bad" parent, but a LAZY parent.

    I think people are being honest based on their experiences.

    As for the example: it would fully depend on whether or not my child was learning and advancing through the grade level. If not, then no, I would not want my child in the class. However, is my child was learning the necessary skills, who am I to judge how another teacher runs their classroom? I also wouldn't necessarily consider that example a "bad" teacher, but rather, an ineffective one.

    You're trying to show us? You're trying to "prove" your point is what you're trying to do. You ask us a question and we gave your our opinions. There's a difference between asking an opinion and trying to sway.

    As for the iPad at the restaurant, I thought we weren't judging? And furthermore, you don't know what is going on in the family. Maybe that child is having a bad day and needs to disconnect, maybe the child is autistic or has another disability that make it difficult to sit and be forced to socialize, maybe the parent is letting the kid watch the iPad because the kid would be loud or bothering others if he wasn't engaged in something other than adult conversation, what if, what if, what if? There are SO many factors that could be in play, but you are an outsider looking in, sitting there trying to judge others' parenting.

    There is a fine line...

    Example: I was at my sister's house with her husband, my b/f at the time, my sister's friend and her husband and their 10 year old son. We were talking, joking laughing, and the topic got inappropriate. If it was just my gal pals, yes, I can joke about those things and it's all fine, but in front of a child? NOT OKAY. My sister's friend told me it was "okay" because he "knows about this stuff" and pressured me to stay in the conversation. I left the room and over the next month my sister and I had a huge fight over the issue: I thought that kind of talk around a 10 y/o was wrong and she said it was her friend's choice to let him hear that stuff. And she was right. It was her friend's choice, until she pressured me into the conversation. Do I think she was wrong for both? Yes, but ultimately it's her child, and it doesn't matter what I think because once I put my opinion out there it is no longer my place to push my beliefs and my idea of what parenting is on another adult.

    Edit:

    What if the kids doesn't WANT to do extra curricular activities? Wouldn't forcing a child to do something they don't want to be bad parenting?

    Also, have YOU sat down and planned out a weeks worth of healthy meals? It's A LOT of work. I am single and doing that kind of planning and prep takes work. I spent 3 hours last night prepping meals for 2 two days. And that didn't include breakfast.
     
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