Who Is Raising Your Kids?

When I first started working with children as a preschool teacher, I was amazed at the different dynamics of parenting. I noticed that almost all of the parents who dropped off their children were teary-eyed and reluctant to leave their young kids for several hours a day. Then there were others who quickly pushed their child into the classroom and left with merely a simple “goodbye”.

In retrospect, I was a parent that fell into the first category as I dropped my son off at his kindergarten class with an instructor that was quick to reassure me everything will be fine. As a parent I was hesitant to leave my child with a stranger in a room full of other small strangers. But as an educator, I knew that I had to put my trust into the school and the instructors who were teaching my son.

Years later, I noticed that parenting has changed quite a lot. Whether it’s just a natural process of the changing of times or outside influences, it seems that parents have become incredibly reliant on schools and education systems to “raise” their children. Now, you might shake your head and raise a finger in disagreement. But through years of working with young children the dynamics of parenting certainly has changed. While parents still hold the responsibility of dropping their children off at school and picking them up after, do they really wonder what goes on while their kids are at school? Or do parents just trust that teachers and administrators are doing all they can to teach their children? After all, your kids are at school at least 6 hours a day, every day of the week so there has to be a lot of trust for the teachers right?

Well, right in a way, but wrong in the sense that your child’s teachers are not at school to raise your child. They are there to mostly educate them on basic skills necessary to succeed into higher learning. While most teachers are sort of a surrogate parent, it is not their responsibility to teach your child manners nor discipline them. Teachers do however, have the responsibility that your child learns all that they can in a manner that will help them succeed in the future. While discipline is a natural progression of a classroom setting and proper manners and behavior are expected while at school, many parents have left disciplining of their children solely onto the teachers.

While the past couple of years certainly hadn’t been easy for teachers or parents, some students across America are still struggling to get back “into the groove” of schoolwork. Parents became teachers in a sense while schools were shut down and later moved to a hybrid system. But as schools open up, teachers are back to a full or semi-full curriculum. That leaves most of these teachers trying to cram everything in for the next few weeks until end of school.

As parents, we can all do our part to make it smoother for educators, our children, and for ourselves. This can only happen when we have an open communication with our school and our kids. Below I’ve listed 5 Steps we can take to make the next few weeks safer, calmer, and easier.

Raising Our Kids:

1- Start with MOTIVATION at home. When parents motivate their kids to learn they are giving their children the encouragement to succeed, no matter what age, grade, or stage in learning. If you find motivating a bit difficult at times, even simple words such as, “you can do this”, “do the best you can,” or “we can learn from our mistakes” can help keep the spirits up for both child and parent.

2- Find STRENGTH in your child. Find an area in which your child excels and focus on it. Whether it’s an academic or casual setting, you can help build your child’s self-esteem by highlighting what they’re better at. From there, you can motivate them to try harder and further by expanding what they’ve learned.

3- COMMUNICATE with their teachers. You will hardly find an educator that doesn’t want their student to succeed. But when your child comes home telling you they’re not learning much in class, then that’s a red flag something else is happening. Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher if your child is failing in school or having a lot of difficulties. If there are no learning disabilities, then your child’s teacher should be able to go over their lessons and expectations in class.

4- Resist PRESSURE. In a world where college degrees are highly sought after, it’s no wonder that students and parents feel a lot of pressure. Determine why you are pressuring your child to succeed if they are failing or having difficulties. It could be something personal or school related. Ease up a bit until things are smoother and try to work together on a system that works for them.

5- LEARN at home. Your child’s home should be their safest place to be. It’s also the best place to reinforce the love of learning. If children see that their parents and siblings love to learn (no matter the skill), then they too will see that as a positive influence in their lives.

For more information on guiding your kids through education, check out: https://www.greatschools.org/

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*photos courtesy of Vecteezy.com and cartoonstock.com