I am so jealous of parenting expectations from 25+ years ago. I NEVER remember my parents or anyone’s parents for that matter, having to be as involved with their kids’ schooling as today’s parents have to be. Don’t get me wrong, I like being involved. During the elementary years, I did all the things. I volunteered both in the classroom and at school in general. I dutifully bought items for the teachers wish lists. I attended all the open houses and mandatory meetings. I signed all the forms and sent them back on time.
When my oldest went to middle school, I did much of the same things I did for elementary. I attended open houses and mandatory meetings. I offered to volunteer but my email was never returned. What I encountered more than anything was please send in four different checks all made out to the school for four different amounts for various things and please ensure you check these 4,000 different websites to ensure your child has their proverbial shit together. Okay, so I exaggerate about the 4,000 different websites but the email goes a little like this:
Please ensure you are checking Canvas daily so you will know what your child is supposed to do for homework. Additionally, some teachers choose not to use Canvas because they can’t figure it out. Those teachers have their own way of doing things and you need to figure out which teachers those are and how they will be posting their information. If you would like to see your child’s grades, those are on another platform that can only be accessed through a smartphone app but know that some teachers only post grades right before the grades are due per the district. However, you may want to stay on top of it so you can remind your student.
That paragraph you just read wasn’t a direct quote email but it wasn’t far from it. It was a combination of an actual email and what a few teachers told us at the open house last week. Remember last week how I groused about how much is too much? This is yet another instance. We as a society keep griping about how young adults cannot fend for themselves yet we (the older generation) are enabling them not to fend for themselves. And, this my friends is another example. Back in my day (whispers – see what I did there) our parents didn’t keep up with our grades. Sure we brought home a report card but other than that parents had no clue how we were doing in school. We as students didn’t either unless our teacher gave back our papers or we asked the teacher to look at the grade book. I distinctly remember asking to see that grade book when I knew I was struggling. I also remember certain teachers (Ms. Hughes – 3rd grade math) calling me to the desk to show me the grade book and informing me I needed to get it together and work a little harder.
Just last night I was riding one of my kids about their grades. Of course, that child got an attitude and told me, “I have it under control.” Clearly, they don’t. We’ve only been back to school for three weeks and this kid is already failing one subject. I yelled, “Do you want me to pretend is 1985 and just let you sink? Do you not want me to care, ofter to help you study or take you to the tutoring sessions at school? We can do that but I’m gonna let the teacher know I am totally hands off and this is all on you, chief.” The child said yes, I sighed and then bitched to my husband that I don’t want to see our kid fail yet I don’t want to be an enabler. This parenting crap was so much easier back in the day.
P.S. – Here’s another fun fact. Did you know my school district has forbidden teachers from using a red pen to grade papers? It has negative connotations. Well, no shit Sherlock. And, if you don’t want a negative connotation do better and you’ll see less red ink. Or, don’t do better, think to yourself this teacher is crap and I won’t have them next year and ignore the red ink. The choice is entirely up to the receiver.
Photo Credit: Free from the interwebs. I do love free.