Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Whose place is it?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Whose place is it?

I realize this may be a sensitive subject so I ask that you just let yourself ponder instead of allowing emotion to create a reaction. Parenting a child is not an easy task since you are dealing with a developing creature whose instinct is to survive in the most comfortable way possible for itself. A baby wants to be held, fed, changed, and to sleep and reacts in ways that will achieve these goals. These needs don't change with age, but the comfort or method they are received due as we grow and find preferences. A toddler will test boundaries in order to see how much they will be allowed to do and how much will be provided for them without their effort towards what is desired. As a parent we all decide what we want and will do in regards to reacting and teaching our children.

That said, what can be expected from school or daycare? Should a parent expect the teacher or provider to instill manners and correct bad behaviors? If a teacher is there with the education to teach specific subjects should they also be expected to in essence parent a child who has repeated bad behaviors? I will say no to this. I do not believe it is on the teacher to correct a bad behavior, enforce a consequence, advise the parents, but the correction is on the parents. How about manners? Should a teacher be expected to instill manners?

I don't think this should be their responsibility either. I will say I don't think it is unreasonable for a teacher to expect manners from children. If my daughter at 16 months can start to understand to clear her place from the table, a six year old and above can without issue understand the concept. I advise the parents at my daycare that I expect please, thank you, sorry, clearing the place, picking up after ones-self and sharing from the kids.

Now, things happen, kids get excited but 99% of the time the kids know my rules and follow them. What can be counterproductive is if a child goes home and there are no or little rules combined with no expectation for respect and manners. Children understand far more than we realize. They learn very fast and want to please us at an early age.

I have declined families before who do not feel the need to parent their children at home and while that may seem harsh I do it out of respect and consideration not just for my own children but the families of the other children I care for. If all my attention is needed for one child and all the activities are degraded to that child’s level of behavior and understanding then the children who are capable of understanding more are held back.

It is not easy to create activities for multiple ages, but if manners and understanding is in place then I can have older children practicing writing, while toddlers are practicing coloring, and babies are having tummy time all at the same time. Story time can be toddlers sitting nicely with board books in circle while older kids listen to a more involved story and sometimes a toddler will just sit and listen as well, while babies are napping or spending time in a jumper or even perhaps on my lap.

However, if I have one behavior issue child in the mix I can no longer expect for multiple ages to interact and have to gear everything to that one child, is that fair? I realize this is a bit of a rant, but I'm tired of seeing or hearing about stories in the news where teachers are expected to parent and parents get offended when their children experience consequences to bad behavior. As a parent, I do not want my child held back because the lowest child is taught to so they won't be left behind. This degrades my child’s abilities. I'm not saying that the child having a hard time shouldn't be taught to but that instead we should look to gearing classrooms for the different levels children are at so they are learning with others at their level.

Providers and teachers need to have standards and expect them to be reached within reason. Parents need to be aware of the expectations and either move their children to a place whose expectations they agree with or work to have the same expectations in the home. We should not downgrade our educations system to the lowest denominator, but raise it up to create and reach more of the abilities our children hold. We should not expect others to do our jobs as parents and we cannot be upset when our children are expected to be respectful to others in public (school is a public place).

If you want someone or other children to respect your child then you need to realize your child will be expected to offer the same. As a parent you should want your children to stand on your shoulders and be better than you were in your life, and only you can provide this for your child. In closing, the world doesn't care who we are only what we offer it, so make sure you and your child offer a lot if you want to get a lot out of the world!


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