What's w/ Little Kids Today?...& Their Parents?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Two days in a row, I've heard outrageous news stories regarding the actions of very young kids. Yesterday, a 4 year-old gets a gun & shoots his babysitter who accidentally stepped on his foot.

    Today, a 6 year-old took his mom's car for a 10 mile drive & ends up driving into a tree. He says he learned to drive from playing video games such as Grand Theft Auto, etc.

    I question the parenting abilities of these kids' parents. This is scary! :unsure:
     
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  3. New3rdTeacher

    New3rdTeacher Comrade

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    I was shocked when I read the story about the 4-year old. Parents don't give their kids guidlines or anything to follow. It's disgusting. Parents complain if you give their kids more then 4 pieces of homework!
    It's very scary how parents are (or are NOT) doing their job!
     
  4. Turtle321

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    Part of this story appalled me... a 6 year old (K-1st grade??) was able to do this because his mother was SLEEPING. This parent should have gotten her butt out of bed and said "Good Morning", made sure there is breakfast for him, his backpack was ready, clothes ready...??? Show an interest in your child!! If the kid missed the bus then, (it happens :eek:) then SHE should have driven him to school. What is with these parents these days???
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    She might have been sleeping off a drinking binge and the kid knows she gets mad if he wakes her up. So sad.
     
  6. Turtle321

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    How unbelievingly sad.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    My mom used to work in an elementary school and saw kids as young as 6 years old bringing in cold leftovers from their fridge (like a chicken leg) not even wrapped in anything. Just rolling around in their lunchbox. The parents just told them go get something and bring it to school. One kid said his mom was on the couch having a cocktail and didn't have time to make him a sandwich. Crazy!
     
  8. Teacher_Lyn

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    I heard about the shooting but not the driving *shakes head* I have NO clue what parents are doing these days. All I can think is that many of them are young and dumb (not that EVERY young parent is dumb. I've got two 25-year-old single Moms for friends. One lets her kids run amok. The other is responsible).

    Also, drugs may come into play here. I work in an upper middle class school (average house is $700,000. Average apartment almost $2,000) but I have several kids who are the children of current and former drug addicts. Some have been taken away from their parents and live with Grandma or other relatives. It's so sad. :(
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Stories like these are so sad. :(
     
  10. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    That made me think of how today a student told me her mother has her start the car in the morning. I know it isn't as extreme- but who would think it was safe to have a fifth grader do that. Perhaps some people would, but I don't. JMHO...
     
  11. Teacher_Lyn

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    You have GOT to be kidding me. Good Lord. Okay, now I have to share my parent horror stories. I have two.

    1) I had a little girl named "Mary" and her sister "Jane" was in the other second grade class. They used to be late for school most days because they shared a bed with their Mom, but whenever "Mommy's special friend" would come over, she would have them sleep on the floor outside her bedroom door. Since the alarm clock was in Mommy's room, they'd oversleep.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    2) Then there was little "Susie" who was about 7 and used to miss a week of school at a time because she'd have to stay home to care for her baby brother whenever he was sick, then she'd catch his cold and end up having to stay home alone another couple days herself.

    She was a brillant kid, but Mom refused to let her go to a summer enrichment program at our school because Susie had to babysit all summer while her older brothers got to work and go to camp. Excuse my bluntness but that REALLY REALLY PISSED ME OFF, especially making her stay home!!! :mad:
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :eek: Teacher_Lyn!!

    I could see having a middle schooler (7th/8th) start the car for me if we were running late; however, there would be very strict instructions!
     
  13. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    I know right. But even that seems quite a bit risky. I remember my Mom gave me the key to turn on the radio while I was waiting for her in the car (she put the garage door up halfway) and I accidently put the car in reverse and backed it into the garage door. She was really mad.
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    People like this don't deserve to have kids whatsoever, but you can't tell them that! :mad:

    I wish I could take all kids away from unfit parents, but then you know how many would be in the foster care system? Millions upon millions!
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'll tell you a couple of stories. When I was in the 7th grade, my mom worked downtown of our hometown (pop. 7000 so not very big) which was within walking distance of my school. On days that I had practice after school I would walk down there and ride with her after she got off work. One day practice was cancelled so I walked down there early. I was hungry so I asked mom if I could walk down to the store to get a snack and put my stuff in the car. She gave me the keys and some money and told me to be careful. Well when I got down there, it was raining HARD....so what did I do? I put my stuff in the car, got in the driver seat, and drove to the store in the rain to get me a snack. Mom never knew a thing until I told her a few weeks later. (I could never keep anything from mom for very long!).

    We lived in the country as did my best friend. We lived a mile from each other down a dirt road so if I wanted to go to her house, my mom would let me take the car to my friend's house as long as I stayed on the dirt road. Well there were 2 ways to get to her house, the short way was all dirt road, the long way involved getting on a highway (not real busy). Sometimes I would go the long way just to get on the highway. :)
     
  16. Teacher_Lyn

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    Jan 7, 2009




    WOW! You really are a small town girl! lol. My cousins in South Carolina were able to drive by the age of 12. My uncle didn't like them driving on main roads, but they used to drive on the back ones to other people's farms and stuff. GRR! I hate being a surbanite. I didn't get behind the wheel for the first time to drive until I was 15 and 7 months old (that's right, my parents made me wait until I was old enough to get a learners' permit).

    I had my liscense at 16, but Dad made me wait an entire year before FINALLY giving me the keys and letting me drive to school. He really wanted me to wait until 18, but Mom was like, "DANG IT, just give Lynn the keys already!" :too funny: His face was priceless, but he gave me the keys.
     
  17. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Woah stg, it's a good thing nothing ever happened during those drives. I've never experienced that, living in a major city my entire childhood & pre-teen life.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Yes I was very lucky that nothing happened!
     
  19. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    But it is different in the country. I know more than one family with a large farm/property, where they let their kid practice driving.
     
  20. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I was lucky that a cop didn't pull me over during my trip to the store in town either! Of course my mom worked for a lawyer.
     
  21. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    My brother could drive when he was 6. And I mean, he could really drive. We had an old farm truck and sometimes we had to do chores on the other side of the farm. He would drive me, because even though I was 4 years older, I was afraid to drive.

    I feel like I should think it was really irresponsible on my parents' part to let him do this, but it just seems so normal to me because it's just what we did. Of course farm life has given me quite a few beliefs that probably aren't popular.
     
  22. Turtle321

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    :eek::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::toofunny:
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I haven't read any of the responses, but I have a pretty good idea what's with parents today.

    They're up against a culture that is against everything they want to stand for. Popular culture glorifies just about everything that is anti-family. Take a look at what's on TV at 8pm-- the "family hour" of old. Take a look at what's hot in terms of music or reading material or video games-- you'll have to look pretty hard to find things that are family centered.

    They're overworked and under-rested. Lots of them are single parents, raising their kids alone. The whole "it takes a village to raise a child" thing doesn't help when you're working 2 jobs and then picking up your child at daycare. Sure, you would love to sit and read your child a story. But the only time slot you have open is after job #2, and your child is asleep by then.

    And if they are in a stable relationship, they still have a lot of juggling to do. When their child gets sick-- who calls in sick this time? Do you split it evenly, and jeopardize two jobs in a fragile economy or put have one spouse take all the days, and really roll the dice that you'll soon be on one income. Who will be home in time to get the kids off the bus? Who works with Johnny on spelling words and who does the project with Susie? And where on earth are they going to find the $1000 to pay the sitter this month? Which will it be after dinner-- help Joey with his homework or do the dishes or perhaps the laundry before they collapse into bed.

    They're worried... about a lot! About whether they'll have a job next week--literally. About all the infuences on their kids. About whether the car will last another year, or whether the dryer will conk out. About whether their kids' school is still "good" and,even so, if their kids' friends are good. About whether or not their child is falling through the cracks. About the difference between a learning disability, a bad teacher or a lazy child.

    They're getting conflicting messages. All the psychobabble for the past 20 years has told them that their kids have very fragile egos. So they did what the professionals told them, and have rasied a generation of kids who understand only "ME!" Now the pros have no answers for them.

    Their kids come home from a school that nowhere resembles the schools they remember. The kids don't have to memorize, they have to "understand." Yet, for all their understanding, these same kids don't seem able to do the work that's required of them. So parents worry about what will happen to their kids-- will their kids learn enough to be competitive in a global economy. Their kids spend their days on a computer, yet can't detemine sales tax. They have incredible equipment, yet they can't write a coherent English sentence. Every sentence they write has abbreviations in it, and their kids don't know "their" from "there" from "they're" or "to" from "too" from "two." And the errors aren't getting corrected, so either those distinctions aren't important anymore or the teachers themselves are too uneducated to know better. And the parents aren't sure which battles to choose.

    You can rest assured that, somewhere on a parenting message board, there's a story of 2 teachers who made incredibly bad choices, along with the title "What's the matter with teachers today?"
     
  24. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Alice-I agree with you that those are probably the reasons for 95% of the parents out there today. And just to add that even if the child has both parents there, one or both may be working 2 jobs just to keep food on the table and a roof over their head.

    There are those parents out there that; however, that are more concerned with other things besides their kids and let the kids run free.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Absolutely.

    But to generalize that there's a problem "with parents today" based on 2 anectdotes-- or 100-- is oversimplifying the issue. Perhaps that mom fell asleep because she had just gotten off the night shift and the babysitter cancelled at the last minute. Or because she had been up all night with a sick child. Or because she had been up all night worrying about any of a multitude of things.

    It's also incredibly insulting to every single parent who is busting his or her butt trying to keep all those balls in the air.
     
  26. TeacherNY

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    I agree also but I don't think the OP intended to discredit hard working parents. There are many children though that are severely neglected (some people do not seem to take the responsiblity of being a parent seriously) and end up in the headlines like the extreme cases pointed out in the first post.
     
  27. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I have two students in my class that always late to school. THe parents are together in both families. The mothers don't work but I believe they all use some sort of drug. The little boy has to get himself up in the morning and to school all by himself so some days he misses the bus (he can't tell time yet). The little girl says she has to take care of her little brother until mommy wakes up. I said why didnt you wake mommy and daddy up she said they wouldn't wake up. That is scary! The counselor said to keep an eye on things. When I read about those two stories I thought of these two kids. I feel so bad for them. I wish I could bring them home.
     
  28. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    That is scary Jaime. I know when I taught kinder, I had a little boy that was late almost every day because mom would oversleep. She didn't work, and from what I know she wasn't on any drugs. She just was too lazy to get up to get him up and to school on time.
     
  29. Jem

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    Mmmm, I don't know. My mom and I have long talks about this issue. She's in education as well, and has been a teacher, principal and is now in central office. I always ask her 'Was it like this when you were in school?'. She attributes the decline in behavior to the lack of disciplining (I had a parent admit that they had their child so they would have someone to hang out with), and to the examples the media are setting. When you watch tv shows, behavior like this is glorified. Kids are watching tv shows and movies that they should NOT be watching, and then they want to model it. Heck, my friends and I played 90210 barbies without even watching the show-that was our way of play acting. What happens to kids that watch these crazy action movies and have the resources to act them out in real life? There's no line between fantasy and reality for them. And then parents don't discipline. Kids talk back in tv shows, and the audience laughs. Kids talk back to teachers, and there's no consequences (what are we going to do-send them to the principal each time??). Parents don't back teachers, so then kids realize they can get away with anything. They drive their parents to the point of exhaustion with their behavior, and it spirals down.

    Parents have always had to deal with economic challenges. My grandmother had something like $10 a week to feed a family of five kids, plus her and my grandfather. But my mom and her brothers were very well behaved. My grandfather would take out the belt if they weren't. My mom told me stories about transient families, and the kids were just very quiet and well behaved. Today, when you get a new child, chances are 50/50 they will mouth off to you in the first 24 hours. I think there are just different expectations by parents now.
     
  30. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Last year I had a student who was tardy over 100 times. She was tardy because her older sister, (10 year old) was responsible for getting her up and getting her breakfast and then walking to school together.

    This year I was talking about jobs at home with a reading group. I asked one child what jobs his mother did at home. He said that his dad cooked and cleaned and his mother layed down on the couch.
    He also talked about beating Halo 3.

    In my old neighborhood, there was a little boy (age6) who was responsible for his younger brother (age 3). He would tie his shoes, monitor his activities, fix him lunch and take him to the bathroom and wipe him too. His parents were sleeping.

    I had a student who signed something very sexual. She was 8. Her parents watched pornos with her in the room...yes we reported that one.....
     
  31. loveforquantum

    loveforquantum Rookie

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    I didn't hear about this story. Was his intention getting to school!?
     
  32. Ms. I

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    Of course I'm not discreditting all the good, hard-working parents out there. I'm talking about this specific topic & nothing else, or else I would have started another separate thread titled, A TRIBUTE TO SUPERB PARENTS, which I may start.

    I also was taught that if I (and others too) can't afford to raise a child, don't have them! And certainly don't have 2, 3, 4, or more kids if you can't afford them. I think women (since they're the ones who are usually stuck w/ the kids when the marriage doesn't work out), have to think long & hard & many steps ahead when it comes to having kids. You may be married now, but what will your plans be if the marriage doesn't work & you have two crying babies on your shoulder? And in the above paragraph, when I say they're "stuck", I mean, I know they love their kids, but kids are also a lot of hard work when it's a single parent who has to raise them.

    Of course I'm aware that as much as we may plan, certain things are unexpected, but many people (I didn't say ALL) don't plan enough or look as far into the future as they should.
     
  33. Ms. I

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    BTW, in my very 1st post, I also meant to add this other story. I'm sure many of you heard about that other 6 yr-old who shot & killed his own dad & the dad's friend. The boy said that if he was spanked one more time, that will be the last time the dad does it...so I guess it really was the last time.
     
  34. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Alice, you're absolutely right on. I try hard to not say anything when I feel like parents are being crucified on a thread,so I'm glad you did.
    A visitor to this site would be led to believe most parents are negligent imbeciles that should have been sterilized, going by recent threads. In truth, it makes me wonder what Kevin's teachers thought of me.
    I lost much sleep during summers while I worked third shift, and Kevin would be on summer vacation. I did not have day care for financial reasons. At some point in the day, I just had to sleep. I'd try to make it till 1 or so, then get back up at 4 to get his supper. I'd lay back down at 7, and get back up at 9 for a 45 minute drive to work. I did this 12 years before I quit. I nearly killed us both one day, because I fell asleep driving.
     
  35. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Jan 8, 2009

    1)Slight Rant on Blaming GTA: Grand Theft Auto is played with a keyboard or a console controller there is no stearing wheel and in the game you are not in the car you are above the car. That's like saying you learned to drive from playing with hot wheels.
    2) I learned how to start my parents' cars when I was 10. They showed me the correct way on a manual - which is why when i started my mom's automatic with the e-break on for two years before i realized you didn't have to.
     
  36. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 9, 2009

    On this morning's news, I heard that a 6 yr-old hid a loaded gun in his baggy pants. The school was suspicious & searched him. He got the gun from the trunk of his dad's car. It was a stolen gun.
     

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