Is anyone else tired of parenting both your kids and everyone elses?

Kelly - posted on 12/15/2008 ( 51 moms have responded )

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I'm really getting tired of being the mother to the world. I am absolutely crazy about both "my babies" - the kids I gave birth to and "my kids" - the ones who show up at my job every day, but I am wondering, after 13 years in teaching, when are other parents going to step up and do their jobs so I can be the teacher?



Anyone else feeling this way?

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Danielle - posted on 01/25/2009

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We are all frustrateed with parenting other peopels children.  The question now is "Where do we go from here?"  I knew I would have to nurture and teach life skills to our children before I entered this field.  If we look at society, we know that anyone that can reach a child is responsible for molding them.  Someone has to do it or risk the complete destruction of our society.  We the teachers/day care providers are left holding the baton.  We spend the most time with them.  Be positive!  Embrace it! Get the teaching in wherever you can.  Love and hug these children.  Find the best in them and go from there.  It really is a lot easier than it sounds.  Good luck.  Happy Teaching!!!

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Brenda - posted on 02/20/2009

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I think the little kids do love school and their teachers. I feel the love from them. After missing several days with this flu going around, they were all so loving! Individually, they are sweet. It's as a group they drive me crazy. The love for school is there, it's the lack of respect for authority that is missing. And there's noone to blame but parents.

[deleted account]

I know this thread has been dead for a while, but I was thinking while everyone was venting...
Does the public know how strongly we/you feel and how much of an emotional strain it causes for us teachers and our families? People wonder all the time why a huge percentage of teachers quit before they finish their 5th year. I think this is the evidence!

I happen to work in a very well-funded district. The school I work at is kind of an anomaly, in that the population is very diverse and deals with many urban issues, yet it is smack dab in suburban Silicon Valley. These kids have no idea how good they have it. Extra people hired just to call and contact parents, work as community and family liaisons. A tutoring program, free of charge. Even parenting classes for parents with out of control teenagers. This school is the poster child for throwing money at "the problem", yet people are stubborn and change is very hard.

I think one thing that is very hard to understand for teachers is that some parents do not send their kids to school for an education but so the kids have something to do and won't get into trouble. Oh, I think we know this. We don't understand it though. Why? We're teachers. We love school and we love learning! It is so sad to hear you all with the little ones are struggling already. The assumption is always that the young one are like sponges and haven't had the love of school strangled out of them. Apparently, it was already strangled out of them before they got to school. It makes me weep as a high school teacher.

Brenda - posted on 01/25/2009

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It gets better as your children get older. Mine always wanted kids over ont he weekends and I was exhausted from the work week. The last thing I wanted was to be around more kids. But as they get older, they get more independent. Now, my girls are 13 and 17, I love being the "hangout" house. And I volunteer at whatever I can for their classes. Just the age difference from what I teach (pre-school) is a nice change. So hang in there!

Brenda - posted on 01/25/2009

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I just found this group and when I read this I knew I was in the right place! I've beena pre-school teacher's aide for about 20 years at a Catholic School. And let me tell you parents and children have changed!! Parents don't back the teachers anymore. They believe their children can do no wrong. And the respect is gone also. These little ones don't mind. It's so stressful for me because my children (13 and 17) do mind me and always have. And they have respcet for authority. It scarey and sad! Oh...we do NOT get paid enough either!!!

Jessica - posted on 01/25/2009

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One nice thing is that I feel like my kids are easy compared to the kids at school.  Granted there are only 2 at home and 17 very needy ones at school. 



I teach 1st grade and am looping with my Kindergarteners from last year.  Sometimes I wish we could just have fun, but I have to be the "mom".  I am washing their clothes at school, teaching empathy,  etc.  I have a couple neglect situations and recently some abuse-and I expect them to learn to read! 



It is just such a hard job, unless you have been there-you have no idea.  I wake up at night worring and thinking about these kids!  But then I remember I may be the only hug, smile, or dicipline with love they will get...I wish I could bring some of them home.

Carrie - posted on 01/25/2009

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that is exactly how i feel. l feel so guility about how little i have left for my own kids at night. guilt guilt guilt when does it end

Carrie - posted on 01/25/2009

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i hear ya. not just the kids at school but last night at the grocery store at 10pm, i watched and then ran after a 4 year old girl running out the exit doors by herself. it seems mom sent her to get a buggy for their groceries. i caught up with her and helped her get back to her mom with the buggy. She was too small to even steer it. i feel like i am forever looking out for children who are not mine. teaching them to be polite and respectful, make good choices, and generally be decent human beings. it is exhausting

User - posted on 01/25/2009

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I am absolutely gob-smacked by how little parenting some parents do. You do not need to be a full on super-mum to make a huge difference in your child's life. Teachers obviously do what they can (and more) but at the end of the day many children will be disadvantaged in the long-run and will then go on to repeat the pattern.

Tara - posted on 01/24/2009

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Amen, sister!  What always comforts me is to look at picture of my kids on my desk and remind myself that their upbringing is MY responsibility, and the upbringing of the students in the room at that is SOMEONE ELSE'S responsibility.  I'm not cruel; I love my students, but you have to draw the line.  It is very liberating to free YOURSELF from this burden.  Certainly, as you've seen, no one else will.  "They" will bleed you dry if you let them. 

User - posted on 01/24/2009

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I feel the same way especially when some kids at our school are there for pre-school and the whole rest of the 11 hour day. They go home, eat, then go to bed. We know more about their child then they do.

Michelle - posted on 01/11/2009

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So glad I am not the only one feeling this way! Felt like an awful mother!! Unfortunately the ones that seem to miss out are my biological kids cause at the end of the day I feel like I have nothing left to offer, especially patience!

Tiffany - posted on 01/10/2009

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YEP! I hear ya! It sometimes effects my home life because the lack of parental support at work - and I LOVE being blamed when their kid doesn't do their homework.

Shelley - posted on 01/10/2009

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Have you ever had a parent on the first day of school brush his/her hands and say "their all yours now". I was amazed and frankly pissed off. This is how a lot of our parents think and probably why I have an increasing number of students each year as a resource teacher. These children do not get support from their families. We can do all we can at school but if a parent does not take the responsiblity for their child's education it makes it very difficult for them and us. I do know that at the end of the day the kids in my classes know that I am going to give them 100%. I end each of my classes with our class motto "Positive Attitude Changes Everything, Keep the PACE with a smile on your FACE" This not only makes them feel good but it is a constant reminder to me that I also need to keep a Positive Attitude. Numerous time I have stopped when I feel frustrated and said that to my student to let them know that I too need to be positive. Try it sometime....it works for me.

Laura - posted on 01/10/2009

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I think what makes it so difficult is when parents judge us.  They tell me that they would never want to trade places with me and yet  still continue to place blame. How do you deal with that and STILL have a "normal" life at home? After 31 years of teaching, I don't know how much longer I can hang in there.  I love my job, but it has taken a toll on my well-being.

Laura - posted on 01/10/2009

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Oh my gosh I totally agree! I am SO tired of being a Mom all day long and then coming home and trying to be an upbeat mom to my own kids! I love my kids at home and home very much, but it does get very tiring! I start to wonder sometimes if i am letting my own kids at home down. Because when I come home, I am SO tired from pulling double and triple duty at school, that there isn't much left over for my own kids. How do you strike up the balance??

Laura - posted on 01/10/2009

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Oh my gosh I totally agree! I am SO tired of being a Mom all day long and then coming home and trying to be an upbeat mom to my own kids! I love my kids at home and home very much, but it does get very tiring! I start to wonder sometimes if i am letting my own kids at home down. Because when I come home, I am SO tired from pulling double and triple duty at school, that there isn't much left over for my own kids. How do you strike up the balance??

Margie - posted on 01/10/2009

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This is my first post and one that is near and dear to my heart.  I just moved this year from a very high socioeconomic school to a lower one. It has hit me hard. I have so many students this year with the worst possible home lives. How are they supposed to get homework done or care about schooling when their mom might be passed out on the couch when they arrive home from school. It can be so emotionally draining. I just have to keep a distance, or else it will eat at me all day and all night.  Some days I feel like I have used up all my patience and kindness on them, and instead I come home and yell at my own kids. I'm trying to make a resolution this year that I don't take it out at home. I need to treat my own kids BETTER than the ones at school. I am more emotionally involved with them, more responsible for the way they turn out when they get older. It has really helped me to remember I only have to deal with this problem for one year, and then I'm done. My own kids are mine for life, and I want them to be happy and feel good about coming home.  It's good to hear that other people are feeling the same way I am.

Paula - posted on 01/08/2009

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I am with you Kelly... Parents need to step up. I teach college kids and it's amazing at how many problems these kids have, i feel like I am a psycologist instead of a broadcast teacher. So many kids on medication, the parents don't want to deal with the kids so they put them on medication. I try my best as a parent to understand these kids an try to help them out as much as possible but lately it's just taking so much energy. I come home and hug my kids and kiss them and tell them how much I love them and ask God that they never feel like some of these kids that i teach.

Katie - posted on 01/07/2009

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That's what I'm having a hard time with, is finding the middle ground.  I feel like in order to be a really successful teacher to these kids who have less-than-great parents, I need to be like Hilary Swank in "Freedom Writers".  But I'm not willing to put in twelve hour days, and spend my own money, which I don't really have.  There was a fight in the hallway outside my room today, and I had to shut my door and keep my foot on it so that the fight wouldn't spill into my room (AFTER I called the school police officer.).  Then in my last class, I had been going over a project for about twenty minutes, and one of my TMD kids (Trainable Mentally Disabled??) raised her hand and said, "What IS we DOIN'??"  How could I possibly serve a kid like her, when she is in the class with 31 other kids at the end of the day, with no recess, in a school that operates with fear mentality because there are too many kids there?  And then how can I serve the talented and gifted kids in that class, and the Asian kid who speaks so quietly that I don't even know how well he speaks English, and the one who told me he is getting ready to get his "teardrops" for killing someone in a gang?  Geez, this is an impossible job!  And I need to find some way to feel successful for the tiniest things and stop thinking it is possible to save all of them!! Yikes!

Jenn - posted on 01/07/2009

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I feel you there.  I have worked with kids for 4 years now and quit over the summer because it was effecting my son in negative ways.  I was working in a day care and told them that once he started kindergarten that I need to work 8 hour days not 12.  When it came down to it they wouldn't change my hours and my son who was used to having me around completely melted down.  I just got a job at a different center and Im already felling the urge to quit.  I love my class but I do think that parents need to play a role in not only what happends at home when they are at school and day care.

Jean - posted on 01/06/2009

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I'm very fortunate to be in an area where the parents do care very much. Unfortunately, they email me - sometimes several times in one day - to the point where I could log in to check email and have 50 to 100 messages waiting in one day. They argue why their child earned a B+, they stop in anytime, anyday without making appointments because I am their public servant. I used to work in a lower socio-economic environment where I was making calls to the local child protective agency on a monthly basis. That was exhausting because it felt like you worked your heart out and couldn't see the growth. Where, oh where, is the middle ground? It would be great to bring a little work home, but with young children, there is just no time. My husband is trying to help me get out of teaching because he sees how little of me is left for them when I come home. It's a building resentment that is caused by the amount of care I give other people's children, when my own often don't get enough of my attention.

Denise - posted on 01/06/2009

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OK...I know that this will sound very idealistic and I admit it doesn't always work...but.....
keeping communication with parents open and complimenting them when they folllow up on things, stay involved, reinforce behaviors can make a difference at times. Sometimes you can get parents on board by reminding them how grateful you are for their help, how together you can best help their child ....etc...etc. can help.
Hey I know it is their job but we can all use some positive reinforcement at times.

Danielle - posted on 01/06/2009

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I teach at a school for Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed Childen.  I am also the mother of a 3 month old little boy.  I work with teenagers that do not understand that they need to wash their hands regularly.  A student just told me she washes her hands in the shower that's enough.  Supplies, clothing and food are often provided.  Teachers are being held accountable for the students behaviors and grades, music and tv are blamed for childrens actions.  What are the parents responsible for???

Lori - posted on 01/06/2009

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I find it amusing that the state (Illinois) is now going to be looking at the teachers for answers as to why the drop out rate is so high.  Does anyone think they should be looking at the parents???  Why are we ultimately responsible for not only our own children, but now someone else's too????

Katie - posted on 01/06/2009

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Oh my god, me too!  I get so burnt out during the day and then I don't have enough energy at night--and I'm a single mom.  I hate it!  But I don't think the parents are ever going to step up.  I wish we could take all the money we spend on national defense and spend it on parenting.  Honestly, acupuncture is the only thing keeping me sane right now...

User - posted on 01/06/2009

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In reality, never! Sad but true. The only advice I can give (after 20 years) is that you may never know what impact you have on the life of a child. So, never give up. When a student came back to see me 7 years after I had in her the 3rd grade to tell me she was sorry for having given me a hard time, I was amazed. I never thought I ever had an effect on her but I was wrong.

[deleted account]

There is the book White Teacher by Vivian Gussin Paley. It is a good read but if I remember correctly it is from the seventies.

Rachel - posted on 01/05/2009

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I love that idea!!!  You should gather advice from teachers of all grades for your book!  I wonder if anyone has ever published a parenting book from a teacher's perspective!?!?  You could make some money on this one!

[deleted account]

As an EBD teacher for elementary school...my mottot is "bring it on" and I simply realize that I do only what I can...I try to instill values and morals in my students but home is such an important aspect of life...there isnt really much else I can do.  You do what you can and then you go home to really enjoy your own kids.  Working with behavioral challenges at school makes me only that much more thankful for my own 4 daughters (14, 9, 6 and 2).

Denise - posted on 01/05/2009

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It is very hard. When I am feeling frustrated, I try to remember that it isn't the kids fault that the parents are uninvolved and that I might be the only positive feedback they receive all day. Bottom line is that the kids can't learn unless they feel valuable and have structure in their lives. Just know that you are their teacher and if academics doesn't always get done, life lesson are valuable too. No job is more important than yours.

Jaime - posted on 01/05/2009

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I feel that way a LOT. I teach 7th grade and even after 12 years am so surprised at how their parents have given up and want me to "parent' their children.

[deleted account]

I totally agree! I'm a preschool teacher of 3 year olds and I have a 2 year old at home. My 2 year old is more mature than most of my kids at work. Parents don't work with their kids at home. They expect the teachers to teach them everything but learning begins at home...manners, discipline, colors, numbers, letters. Before my son was 2 years old he knew all of his colors, could count to 10 in english, to 6 in spanish, recognized his name, and knew a few letters by sight. I have kids at my preschool that their parents just feed them dinner, set them in front of the TV, and put them to bed. It's really sad that they don't spend quality time with their kids and teach them the basics.

[deleted account]

I have had that happen to me too with a kid who made it his businees to physically hurt other children on a daily basis. She wouldn't even sign off on him having a Core Evaluation (he had a number of issues beside his behavior). What is a teacher to do at that point? He was constantly disrupting the learning of others, refused to do work himself, only wanted violent video games as an incentive. I am glad that part of my life is over!!!

Lisa - posted on 01/04/2009

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I work in a very low socio-economic area of a large public school system. I have actually had a parent tell me, after I called her to talk about problems her son was having in school, that she is at work and I should not be bothering her during the day. She told me that he is my responsibility during the day and I should deal with the academic and behavior problems myself, and she will deal with him when he is home. So much for working together!

[deleted account]

New here and agree with you absolutely. It is worse here in SE Asia as you have the maids doing all the work for the children...getting them dressed, feeding them, bathing them, tie their shoes,etc. I've had students that expect me to pick up the book or paper they dropped!! The maid does it for them, so why shouldn't I! Very frustrating.

Stacy - posted on 01/03/2009

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I teach high school students and then come home to two year old triplets. Most times my triplets act better than my students. I have grown so tired of my students that I have begun the transition from teaching to a Central Office job as a curriculum writer. I just have grown tired of coming home angry at my kids because 100 high school students have rubbed me wrong the whole day. Before I had kids I lived at the high school, took kids home at night. I gave kids money for lunch, band trips I was devoted. After I had my kids people just assumed that I should keep shelling out cash, living at the school, like I didn't have 3 small children at home. I quit my coaching positions, but still had kids coming to me asking for money for lunch, could I take them home, could I drop them off at their job. When I told them that I couldn't anymore they got angry with me. When my administration gave me flack for quitting my coaching positions and no longer donating long hours to the school for free I made up my mind that I needed to make a change. So I started writing curriculum and have begun the transition out of the building. I loved being a teacher, but I can't raise 100 students and my own 3.I feel your pain.

[deleted account]

Working in an inner city I feel the same way. Socioeconomics is to blame for a lot of what goes on in my situation. We have lots of single, young moms; absent fathers, DSS involvement, lack of ability to reach parents when needed, abusive homes, dangerous neighborhoods...and the list goes on. Teaching in my nieghborhood is more behavior management and mommying than it is actual teaching. Sad but true.

Diane - posted on 12/22/2008

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Oh yeah!!! Its sad when you think that kids are missing out on the very basic things in life because there parents are either too busy or too lazy to spend good quality time with them. Teaching them what is right and wrong, being respectful (yes i know that this can be a two way street but come on!!!) and most of all how to treat other people!

User - posted on 12/22/2008

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Hi! I just joined this group. I just read all the replies and could not agree more. My first job (4th grade)was in an area that was 1 step up from inner city. That was really tough! Not only did I not have supplies, but I found myself at the Goodwill store buying clothes for some of my students who only had 1 or 2 sets. I started in middle school after my daughter was born (2nd child). I taught 15 retained 7th graders all 5 core subjects everyday. After 3 years, my husband finally convinced me that I needed to get out of that environment. Many of those kids called me Mom. I found it difficult to have anything left for my 2 kids at home. Now I am looping with 7/8 grade. I have learned to stay at arms lenght from my students personal lives as much as possible. We have had a year of tragedy among some of our students. I think the solution is to have a coworker that you can go to vent and walk out. I believe that you can share your experiences with non-teachers but they really don't understand. I am lucky to be middle school where we team. My teammates are my saviors. If I didn't have 42 minutes a day to say " what is with ___ today" I think my head would explode.

Lesley - posted on 12/18/2008

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If you find out let me know. I always want to tell parents if they would parent their child I won't have to....think of all the things you could do in a day if you didn't have to spend 1/2 your day or more managing everyones behavior!!!!

Christine - posted on 12/17/2008

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Absolutely! It is really tough to be a full time parent to your own children and then play the same role at school. I have a situation this year, where it appears the only positive influence some children get, is from teachers at school. It's so sad, truthfully.

Amy - posted on 12/16/2008

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It's really sad. Parents want to be "friends" more than parents and they think if they punish their child they won't "like" them. I have a 3year old who "head butts" his dad all the way to school and his dad doesn't do anything about it. I really hate to see what this child is going to be like as a teenager.

Heather - posted on 12/16/2008

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I know exactly how you feel. If Parents would just do their jobs then we could do ours. I have a lot of uninvolved parents.

Sherrie - posted on 12/15/2008

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Very true! There is one at school that is pregnant and I have taken on being a mother to her. She doesn't live with her mom. I worry about this child at night before I go to bed... There are several like that. There are several that I think, they would be so much better, behavior wise, if their parents cared. I get tired of parent-teacher conferences where the parent asks me "What do I do?" I don't know!!! That's what I want to scream. Or "You should have done a better job parenting when they were little, then they wouldn't be so difficult now!!!" Is that mean? Probably. I know that there are special circumstances. But... Really. I have never taken one of my 8th graders home every day. I have no clue what it is like to put that child to bed, to wake that child up, and to make them do everything that they need to do.

My husband said that I need to write a parenting book and when parents ask, just send them to the bookstore to buy it. :)

Karla - posted on 12/15/2008

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I teach in a very low socio-economic area. It does become frustrating parenting all these little ones. I'm teaching resource now, but taught grade 1 for five years. What I have found beneficial for the parents and students and encouraging for me, is working with the parents, teaching them parenting skills and holding them accountable.

For the most part, parents care for their children and want the best for them, they just don't know how to be good parents or are stuggling in life themselves. I am very caring and supportive, but also very direct.

Once parents know that you care about their child, they can handle a more direct approach. I tell parents, "It's your JOB to send your child to school. Your child will struggle in life just like you are if you don't send them. I know it will be hard, but they need to be in school every day." I spend a lot of time on phone calls and talking with parents before and after school.

This approach does take time, but it ends up saving time in the end because parents get on board. It also helps that I have excellent administrators.

Mindy - posted on 12/15/2008

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I was feeling the exact same way today. I have four children of my own to parent, and yet I expend so much emotion trying to instill values in other people's children. Somewhow I don't know how I am going to do it another day. My emotional tank definitely feels empty at the end of many days. It is something only other teachers understand. My husband tries, but you just can't understand unless you have been there and done that.

Dana - posted on 12/15/2008

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OMG! So true! It's SO frustrating and sad. I wonder how many generations of teachers would say the same thing from years gone by. But, to answer your question...don't sit around and wait for the parents to step-up because (unfortunately) it'll never happen. You are the most important, reliable and stable thing in these little ones' lives...relish the days you have with them and hope that, since you've given them a chance, they succeed.

Kathy - posted on 12/15/2008

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I often feel the same way...especially when I see how much of an impact the home has on student success in grade one. I worry about the widening gap between students with supporting backgrounds and those without. Then there is the whole issue of 'pampered child syndrome' which really brings out the 'who's the real parent here' question.

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