Monday, November 28, 2005

"Seen and not heard": Is it due for a parenting comeback?

Experts sound off on rude children

Last month, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans said they believed that people are ruder now than they were 20 or 30 years ago, and that children are among the worst offenders.

The conservative child psychologist John Rosemond recently denounced in his syndicated column the increasing presence of "disruptive urchins" who "obviously have yet to have been taught the basic rudiments of public behavior."

According to Harvard University psychologist Dan Kindlon, most parents, would like their children to be polite, considerate and well behaved. But they're too tired, worn down by work and personally needy to take up the task of teaching them proper behavior at home.

Educators feel helpless, too: Nearly 8 in 10 teachers, according to the 2004 Public Agenda report, said their students were quick to remind them that they had rights or that their parents could sue if they were too harshly disciplined. More than half said they ended up being soft on discipline "because they can't count on parents or schools to support them."

Are we raising a generation of "kids gone wild"? Judith Warner examines the issue in this New York Times story.

Related: MSNBC

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Malik said...

I can certainly think of a few children who I'd like to silence. Nothing drives me more insane than children who talk to me like I'm their best friend. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a "Mister" in front of my name if you're more than 15 years my junior.

Brea said...

What a situation we have on our hands! Yes, parents are not doing the job they should at home. And no, teachers are not supported in the classroom. Where does that leave us?

Deb Sistrunk said...

Last week I read an interesting BBC News story on parenting classes being offered in London. The classes attracted adults from all socioeconomic levels. These classes are designed for any "overworked parents struggling with out-of-control children, disaffected with education and society generally." I think it's a concept that other communities ought to consider.

I spent time working for an organization in the U.S. that operated the Parent Engagement and Empowerment Center. It offered a number of free resources to parents. My colleagues and I realized that a lot of parents feel overwhelmed. The center offered parent training and other parent networking opportunities. While this program specifically targeted low-income adults, all parents were welcome.

Most parents who took advantage of the center's offerings left thinking that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and the light wasn't that of an oncoming train!

This same organization worked with school districts, stressing to educators the importance of coming up with creative ways to engage parents. There were times, also, when we brought parents and educators together - including superintendents and school board members. A strong collaboration of school and home will positively foster better behavior in the classroom and improved student achievement, I believe.

@ Malik: I understand what you're saying. I don't insist that kids call me "Ms.", but many do. Kids have permission to talk to me about whatever is on their minds as long as they show respect. For those who take it too far, I simply take them to the side and talk to them. Almost always, they apologize.

Somehow, I seem to attact children like the ones you describe. But you know what? These smarty-pants South Park-type kids inevitably start calling me "Mom." I've lost track of how many "children" I have! Even my daughter jokingly remarked, "Mama, how come you seem to attract the troubled kids?"

Brea, you hang in there, girl. You're going to be great in the classroom.

letter shredder said...

*enters confession box (again)*

i was such a stubborn kid especially when i was in grade school. even when i was in second grade, a fifth grade student ran after me... because i called him gay. and that was just the first.

there are only a few teachers whom i really got close with. i always question authority when it comes to my peers.

Deb Sistrunk said...

Letter Shredder, I see why you have that screen name. LOL

You called a 5th grade boy gay when you were in 2nd grade? And you lived to tell this story?? You must be a pretty good sprinter! If you question authority on occasion, speed could come in handy. Always keep a good pair of sneakers nearby. :-)

letter shredder said...

well, that was just one instance. i cannot even say it was the first.

i'll post my exciting grade school life one of these days.


Deb Sistrunk said...

Letter Shredder, I bet your grade school life would make a great read! Perhaps there is a little bit of Calvin and Hobbes in you?? ;-)

letter shredder said...

i'm more of the tiger *growwwls*

DCS said...

LOL!! I'll remember that! Whenever I read Calvin and Hobbes, I will think of you, "Hobbes." :-)

BTW, I read and re-read my Calvin and Hobbes books, so that means I will think of you often!

Malik said...

I haven't introduced my kids to Calvin and Hobbes yet. That might be a good thing, I don't want to give them any ideas.

DCS said...

Malik: LOL! I would offer to send you one of the Calvin and Hobbes books. But I don't want you to accuse me of corrupting your children. :-) I adore Calvin. It's probably the kid in me, mixed with a bit of renegade. That's the part that few people ever see, except my kids, who wish I would act like a normal mom! LOL

Malik said...

:-) I like to think that there's a little bit of Calvin in all of us.

DCS said...

Indeed, Malik. Indeed. Enjoy your day.

Emmanuel said...

If I see how tired I often am in the evenings after work, and how we have to hurry all week long to get things done, I can not even imagine how it would be with kids.

Jaimie said...

It's interesting, because I am raising my daughter with manners and the importance of being polite. Her teachers at school tell me how "good" she is all of the time, and how pleasant. But yet at home-she's well: different. Why is that? At least I know that what we are teaching her is being manifested in public and when she is away from us, I just wish she would remember it at home at all times! Impossible?

Deb Sistrunk said...

Emmanuel, thanks for stopping by. I'll send you my kids for a week. You can practice with them. LOL

Jaimie, God bless you for raising your child with manners! I have done the same. Let me give you a tip. My experience has been that kids like ours will always behave in public better than they do at home! I've even had parents to call me after my kids have gone to birthday parties, saying that they wished their kids were as well-mannered at mine. I thought it was hilarious. Of course, while I'm taking this call, my kids are jumping up on the bed - alternating between squeals of laughter and screams of "he's touching me!" (sigh)

These days I just shrug my shoulders. If they're perfect in public, I guess they don't have to be perfect at home, just tolerable. Like the rest of us, they have to let their hair down sometime. When my kids were little, if they really started acting out, sometimes I'd shock them by doing the same thing they were doing. They looked at me as if I was crazy and stopped.

As long as our children are not obnoxious at home, I think we're going to have to get used to the fact that they may have cracked halos.

If you need a break, you can always send your little angel to me. Or you can take pleasure in the fact that one day the little darling may have children of her own. :-)

Deb Sistrunk said...

Note: My daughter is going to groan again about my writing comments that are longer than my original posts! Oh, well. Hopefully, you guys will love me anyway!

letter shredder said...

@ dcs, i've been thinking how i'd invite people to read my posts. I mean, as much as the visitors u have who post.

people of my age are of prurient interests (not that i am not. hahaha!), but there's a lot more to post that those stuff or a better way to post them.

DCS said...

Letter Shredder, I'll email you some ideas within the next day or so.

I think you do a great job with your site. I think it's interesting that you want to have more readers like me. I'm trying to build a larger readership like some of the other blogger friends I know! A lot of it is simple networking. I also have spent some time "marketing" my site.

You're far ahead of the game when it comes to publishing attractive sites with some very interesting content. A lot of people are still on a learning curve in that area.

I'll email you soon. In the meantime, if readers here have some ideas on building readership, please share them with
Letter Shredder. Better still, go visit her! We're all in this together.

letter shredder said...

@ dcs. i love you for that alone!

big, big thanks!

Malik said...

Letter shredder, are you looking mainly for English or Tagalog speakers?

letter shredder said...

@ Malik: i can write both, but i want to improve my English writing skills so i'd post in English.

do u understand Tagalog?

Rose said...

It leaves us trying to educate the parent on their rights and responsibility in working with teachers and their children to get the best out of this partnership. I beleive that when parents know better they will do better. I see parents cooing their children on when they get flippant with adults, "that's my baby, he ain't gon' take nothing from nobody." They boast proudly. They are setting these children up for failure, rude behavior and crime...