How can you help out in the schools? Nurture your children.

Written by on September 1, 2010 in Guide Point - 2 Comments

Heading to work Monday morning, I saw a woman taking her kindergartener up the hill for the first day of school.

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The little girl was happy and skipping along, the mother not so much.

The girl grew tired of carrying her doll and tried to put it in the stroller her mother was pushing. And then—

“PICK THAT UP! I TOLD YOU YOU COULDN’T BRING THAT THING TO SCHOOL, YOU DUMMY!”

You hear that sort of thing all the time around town. Kids called bastards and dummies and worse. And then we are surprised when the kids don’t learn well in school—because when you drill into a child’s head that he is a dummy, chances are he’ll be a dummy—even if he’s smart.

Yes, the schools are inadequate. Baltimore City has the worst attendance rate, the worst dropout rate, the lowest achievement of any school system in the state. But they’re working on it, and unfortunately we aren’t.

The teachers in our schools are dealing with a lot of kids who are essentially raising themselves because their parents are unable or unwilling to do it for them. And the teachers have these kids for six hours a day—the parents have them the other 18. On weekends the poor kids are mostly unsupervised.

Walk into any elementary school and you will see teachers endlessly encouraging, explaining, praising, willing “their” kids to learn.

And then, unfortunately, many of these kids go home to a parent who screams, belittles and sneers at them—wrecking what the teacher has done.

We have to stop ignoring, neglecting and belittling our kids and expecting the schools to fix the damage. Times are hard, and that means we have to work harder. We need to read to our kids from birth. We need to explain numbers, words and colors to our toddlers. We need to take them to the library. We need to nurture them.

And most of all, we need to praise them when they do well, and hold our frustrated screams when they don’t. And we must never, ever call them “dummy.” Or worse.

Helping in our schools does not take extra time. We can help our schools by simply treating our children with respect.

We—the adults—are the biggest problem with our schools. We need to take responsibility for our own children. We need to stop passing our children along to a giant bureaucracy for mothering. We need to stop behaving like dummies ourselves.

by JACQUELINE WATTS
EDITOR@baltimoreguide.com

2 Comments on "How can you help out in the schools? Nurture your children."

  1. Anonymous September 5, 2010 at 7:27 am · Reply

    I think that is real ignorant as an adult. But you also have to understand we mimic what we learn from our parents when we were kids. So who ever this parent was he or she was called all or some type of name when they were growing. Children are replicas of their parents. So if she called that child stupid, then what does that make her?

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 8:29 am · Reply

      We truly are products of our raising, however, at some point the vicious cycle must stop. Our children deserve better. I’m a single full time parent, and although I’m not perfect I really try my best to be just as good as my parents were to me or even better. There were things my parents did that either hurt me growing up etc…but I don’t take that with me, I look at those instances as examples of what not to do to my child when raising him. There are too many people in this world who view parenting as a spectator sport, or a “just waiting until they turn 18 so they can leave” kind of duty. The pressures of society sends this message that if a young lady gets pregnant she must take care of her responsibility – there are so many couples in this world looking for a healthy, beautiful baby to adopt because they can’t have children..getting pregnant happens whether you want it to or not..giving your baby up to a couple who is financially, mentally, and physically ready to take on parenting when you are not and know you aren’t ready to be a parent – is a selfless, loving act of kindness towards that child – it’s difficult, but it’s not a cop out – it shows that you truly love that baby to want to give him or her the best there is to offer. Being a parent is tough on your own – but children deserve love, respect, kindness, and care – banging a child in the chest with your fist or slapping them across the face when they say or do something wrong is NOT the way to show your child discipline, love or care – it teaches them that violence is okay when you want someone to do what you want them to do. The next time your child does something – think about your actions before you actually do them.

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