Help Me Understand

[deleted account] ( 30 moms have responded )

I am concerned and more than a little frustrated at the state of a lot of our young people. Back in 1989 when I 1st started working with kids, the educational philosophy went from "playing without a purpose" to "learning through play". The age for "teaching" various concepts to kids got younger and the expectations of what a child was capable of doing got higher. In any event, the arguement was that we, in the US, needed to be able to compete with other nations. Hence, programs like Giant Step, Head Start, and UPK were launched (amongst others). The idea was that we were preparing our kids for "life". Life-long learners.



There was a big emphasis on health and hygiene, nutrition, self-help skills, community and socialization (we also focused on language, math, science and history). Most parents embraced these programs and admitted to learning a lot of the information for the first time, through these programs. This was a good thing! We empowered families by educating them and making them aware. What happened?



Kids today, do not seem to have knowledge about the basics (covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, using a fork and spoon to eat, eating in a chair, brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, dressing and undressing, sharing, not harming others, speaking respectfully and worst of all...toilet training)!



So many of my fellow caregivers complain that by they time they finish with all of the custodial care they have to provide for the kids, they barely have time for teaching themes and/or concepts. These are not just little kids either, many of us care for kids upwards of 12 years old (who not surprisingly also have difficulty in school). What's going on with our kids? What's going on with parents? What's going on with our schools? Is it generational? Is it cultural? What is it? How are we going to compete in this world if we can't even blow our own noses?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Joanna - posted on 03/17/2009

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Quoting Amanda:



i know i am not alone out there... i have a 13 year old step daughter who only visits now every other weekend and her father is having a tough time with her due to the fact that she does not live with us. her mother comes across as this mother who is strict but is the furthest thing from the truth. for starters she is barely passing in school her spelling is atrocious for someone her age and it does not help that she does pick up book ever to read. she wears way too much black eye makeup is dating a new boy every week. her dad recently got her a cell phone for her b-day( i was against it) she made 20,047 text messages in the past month and when asked her how many texts she made per day she did not know the answer! andsadly she has a myspace page that has been abused to the fullest , for example... vulgar language and many sexual references and pictures and recently her dad created a fake profile and he is 34 and she added him as a friend so she failed our test after we laid down our rules for myspace even though we are dead set against her having it her mother allows it and does not even check it nor does she have any knowledge of how to operate a computer and in this day and age it so important to know how ! although she is forbidden to use it at our home.  we feel at a loss for what to do only because how can we be consistent with her when she does not live with us??? all we can do it seems is tell her what she is doing wrong and what the right things are to do. as for the phone we are going to limit how many texts she can do and put a block on the phone after a certain time through our phone service.. but if it were up to me i would confiscate it all together but i am merely only the step mom and he feels it the only way he can reach her at all times... so if any ones could kindly give me any other advice i would greatly appreciate it!





Amanda, that's a hard situation. I know it's frustrating but as the step-mom you might need to step back and act as support to your husband instead of stepping in head on with your step daughter. It will only make things worse if you try to take control of the situation.



Try to remember that it is really really HARD to be a 13 year old girl and it's that much more difficult to be a 13 yr old with divorced parents, a step mom, possibly half or step siblings, and households with inconsistant rules and routine. Rules and routine make children and teens feel secure...as much as teens rebel against them they still need and want them. From what you've relayed, it sounds like she's doing a lot of attention seeking. Some of that is normal for a girl her age and some of it might stem from feeling lonely, confused, even abandoned. Even if she still sees her dad and no matter what the circumstances of the divorce or parting of parents, it still feels like abandonment to children. To top that off she may not know where she fits in with her dad's new family. She might feel like you don't want her around or that you don't like her. It's normal for teens to test their parents and even more normal, and more of a test, for them to challenge and test step parents or new partners. She's trying to push you away to see if you will go away or if you're really going to be there.



It would be great if you and your husband and the girl's parents could find a way to sit down and come up with some sort of consistancy. But any bad feelings aside for the sake of this girl. Learn to back each other up instead of working against each other. Possibly find out if there are any classes in your area for blended families, not only will you learn some new skills but you'll find a support system of other parents who are or have been where you are.



Does your husband make a point of spending time just with his daughter? Not the entire visitation of course. Maybe they could have a daddy daughter date on the weekends she's there. Let her pick the activity. Even if she tries to play it off as being dumb at first. Girls at her age especially need that bond with their fathers. He is the model for every relationship she'll have with men. It might help her feel more secure in her relationship with him, letting her know she's important and wanted. As things go on maybe once in a while you and the daughter could have some similar outtings. Get to know her on her terms instead of insisting she meet you on  yours.



Rules, routine and boundries are important and necessary and they won't be successful if her mom and dad can't form a united front. You're in a really tough situation as the step, you're the wall support but I'm sure it must feel like a lot of the time you're the target. Hang in there.

Paula - posted on 03/21/2009

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Try homeschooling! Kids should NEVER learn their social skills from other kids, only from adults! I homeschooled for 8 years and my daughter is way beyond her peers in social and interpersonal skills! It's not the teachers job to teach kids how to act or behave, the parents need to be PARENTS and take an active role in rearing their children! The parents nowadays are lazy, they don't want to have to do anything. Oh the teacher will teach that, or this or that drug will make her compliant! Stop relying on drugs and others to raise your kids! It amazes me how many of my daughters friends in high school have the laziest, most uninvolved and selfish parents! They choose to entertain their kids instead of raising them. Put away the video games and push them out the door! Help them learn how to be kids instead of little automatons! Bring manners back into society. I homeschooled for all these reasons and more and I have an 18 year old who can speak to adults with poise and grace, who knows her manners and her place in the world, who is on her way towards being a self-sufficient adult.

Joanna - posted on 03/15/2009

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I worked for nearly 6 years in a residential treatment facility for teens and children with emotional and behavioral problems. At first I was stunned at the lack of basic life skills many of the residents had when they entered the program. Teenagers who didn't know how to eat with utensils or have the first clue about basic table manners. Why? Because many of them grew up never eating at a table, some of them literally fended for themselves as far as meals went. A big part of my job was facilitating life skills lessons. I just saw a news clip about how teachers are having to spend more time teaching life skills, which leaves less time for educational studies.



It's easy to say that a lot of this is due to the rise of teenage pregnancies and young mothers lack of parenting skills. However, I think that the rise in teenage pregnancies is also another symptom of the same problem.



I think it's for each of us to stop and take time to evaluate what is truly important. Are we working longer hours to buy bigger houses, newer cars, but spending less time with our families? What are our morals and standards? Are we teaching them to our children? Are we setting healthy boundaries and limits? Do we use natural and logical consequences when our children don't respect those boundaries and limits? Are we focused on being the parent instead of trying to be the friend?



I'd love to see Michelle Obama step in and create and or lead some programs that address just these same issues. I think she's an amazing woman and I admire and appreciate her skills as a parent, along with our President's.

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[deleted account]

I think so much of it has to do with cultural changes. There have always been those who try and keep up with the Jones', but that is even more prevalent today than it was even 30 years ago. This stems from new technologies and mass media available to the point you can know what a celebrity is wearing and doing 24/7. A lot of parents now are trying to be the friends of their children and allowing their children to also think it's important to keep up with the Jones' . When you are a friend more than a parent, it's easy to let your kids get away with bad language and lack of manners. I know a lot of 20-30 year olds who concern themselves more with having EVERYTHING than worrying about how they treat others, etc. With a current transition back to young parenting, this need to have material items at everything else's expensive is carrying over into their parenting. I know a lot of young, married couples who STILL get monetary assistance from their parents. Why? So they can continue to live their extravagant lifestyles. I truly hope my son's generation can reverse what has become of the US-style parenting.

Itsamystery - posted on 04/04/2009

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Holly, I totally agree.

I'm not saying that the old way was right either (that a woman has no career after marriage). Just that we've become this dual income society where all the household management and parenting still needs to be done, but there are fewer hours in the week in which to do it all, and there needs to be some sort of societal adjustment which better accommodates and supports parenting in this modern, dual income world.

Europe seems to be more progressive, with many European countries providing 12-18 months paid maternity leave, and some allowing parents to return to work part time until their children are of an appropriate age. I think this sends a great message; parenting is valuable and valued. It acknowledges that all of society benefits from the hard work that goes into good parenting.

Holly - posted on 04/03/2009

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Quoting Kate:

Could it be that we're living in a culture where it's perfectly normal to bring a baby into the world and feed it modified milk from another animal, and leave it in the care of underpaid, undervalued, under-resourced childcare workers, many of whom are just children themselves? What's happened to valuing and supporting the act of parenting our babies and children?



Kate,



I agree. The low salaries of childcare providers & teachers clearly illustrate how little our culture values parenting and children. Until our culture begins to place a real value on parenting I can't imagine that much will change with the way people parent. It's one thing to sing "The children are our future" and another to back those words up with increased family leave, higher pay for childcare providers and teachers, etc. In other words, our country talks the talk but we DON't walk the walk.



Holly

Itsamystery - posted on 04/03/2009

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Hi Esther, you didn't give that impression at all; it sounds like you are very responsible and actively involved parents who have made smart choices based around the constraints that you are living with. It's sad though, that in today's day and age, that's the reality that many parents are facing, and parents are being forced back into work while their children are just so small.

I wonder if there are many parents out there who are perhaps not managing to make the balance as well as you and your husband are, or didn't realise how financially difficult it would be, or underestimated how much they would need to work to keep things afloat, or underestimated the time demands that parenting makes of you? I imagine with one that it will be a lot easier for you and your husband to give your son the time and attention he needs to support his learning and development outside of his daycare and schooling. I too am in the same boat. We've decided that we can manage two children and give them a decent but not extravagant lifestyle, while managing the balance of work, family and parenting between us. I think if we had been a few years behind and were just trying to get into the housing market now rather than 8 years ago, we would be in the same boat as you and would probably have had to settle on having just one child also.

Good on you for making the right choice for your family, don't worry about what people say or the pressure they put on you. You're doing what you know is right for you. Only children grow up just fine. I know many a well-adjusted, happy only child who, while they didn't have siblings, had lots of other things to make up for it (like mum and dad's full time and attention and feeling special because of it). It sounds like he has plenty of 'siblings' at daycare :)

Esther - posted on 04/03/2009

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Sorry - I wanted to clarify something above. As I said, my husband and I do both work full-time but we have worked out ways to maximize the time we spend with our son. I have completely stopped working overtime (which means my hours have been cut by about 15 hours a week) and I work from home as much as I can. Didn't want to give the impression that I'm always working and only give my son attention when I'm not at my job. When he needs me, I'm there. He has never had to go to daycare sick or even unhappy.

Esther - posted on 04/03/2009

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I am a 35 year old mother of a 15 month old son. My husband and I both work full-time and our son goes to a wonderful daycare. When we are not working we do everything we can to make sure our son gets all the love, attention and care he needs. We take our parenting very seriously and we spent a considerable amount of time (and a huge amount of money) on the daycare that my son goes to. One reason we picked it was that it is a structured environment where they spend a lot of time teaching the kids, not only academic skills, but also social skills and we work closely with them to make sure that what we teach him at home and what they teach him at daycare are in synch. My husband and I do not plan to have any more kids and we are glad we did not have the one we do have at a younger age. We feel we were ready for him now, both financially and otherwise but also that we cannot financially afford to have more children and still give them the life we think they deserve to have. I'm not talking brand label clothes, or fancy trips or cars. Just the ability to join a soccer team if that's what turns out to hold his interest, or take piano lessons, get braces if down the line he ends up needing them etc. However, I cannot tell you how many people put pressure on us to have kids before we were ready, how many people are putting pressure on us now to have more kids etc. When we say we don't want more kids, people almost gasp or they think we are crazy or that we are depriving our son or that we will come around. Is it possible that too many people succumb to these pressures and end up with kids (one or more) that they just are not equipped to care for?

Itsamystery - posted on 04/03/2009

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Could it be that in so many families both parents work full-time and don't have the time and energy to devote to their children's upbringing? Could it be the curse of the almighty dollar? In the relentless pursuit of economic growth we've become a society that needs two incomes just for a family to survive, to the detriment of family and parenting.

Could it be that we're living in a culture where it's perfectly normal to bring a baby into the world and feed it modified milk from another animal, and leave it in the care of underpaid, undervalued, under-resourced childcare workers, many of whom are just children themselves? What's happened to valuing and supporting the act of parenting our babies and children?

Vanessa - posted on 03/30/2009

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Hi Sylvia,



It is so nice to see someone who feels the way that I do on this. I really am stunned by the children now a days. It seems they have no respect for adults, authority, or even their parents. I would never dream of attempting some of the things these children do with my mother! I worked for several years with dance teams and cheerleaders and I always demanded respect and for them to be responsible for their actions. However, it can be very difficult when you have the parents of children actually defending them for bad behavior. Do you think the fact that there is so many young parents now that it may be a big factor in the way children behave ?

[deleted account]

Sorry, but I call it like I see it! I'm not saying ALL parents are this way. I currently have and have had wonderful parents! They're not perfect, but they are considerate and responsible. They groom their children daily. They feed their children healthy meals daily and frequently. They dress their children in weather appropriate clothes that fit. They ask their children what they did today, and really seem to care about the answer. They reinforce whatever lesson, theme or unit is being taught to their children. They participate in whatever capacity they can for book fairs, special performances and holiday shows. THEIR children say sorry and excuse me. THEIR children cover their mouths and eat with utensils and can dress and undress themselves. THESE parents are dog tired everyday! Their day begins at the crack of dawn and ends around midnight. I'm not talking about those parents. It is a pleasure to interact with those parents. I will go that extra mile for those parents.



I'm talking about the parents who tell me that their child is sad and doesn't want to come to school becuase school has too many rules and can I let up a bit! The parents who tell me that their child can do whatever they want and can have whatever they want and then blame me and the other students when their child cannot work well and get along with others. The parents who don't bathe their kids or wash their hair and when their kid gets lice and ringworm, want to barge through the door looking to see who in the class "gave" their child lice and ringworm! That's the parent I'm referring too!



I really do understand about the entire cultural aspect of parenting (especially mothering). I understand that there is no "parenting book" and that many parents "wing it" or follow what their parents did (right or wrong). However, I believe we are also a culture of "excuse makers". In many of the communities in which I lived, there was plenty of support for families (medical, dental, nutrition, housing, parenting classes, effective discipline classes, ADHD classes, etc that were free or of very little cost). Not to mention teachers who were willing to stay late to meet with parents and help them in whatever way they needed it.



Nowadays, parents tell you to "mind your business and stay out of their business"! Parents tell you they don't need any damn class! Parents will tell you that it's easier to just "do" everything for thei kids then allow them to do it. Parents will tell you that it is MY responsibility to teach their child everything they need to know, NOT theirs.



These are the kids that are going to compete with China and Japan in these new technological fields? These are the kids that are going to be ready for the new jobs that are going to be created? Parents may not be the only influence on their child's life, but they are a pretty big influence.



What lessons are they teaching their kids? These kids don't respect authority. They don't respect their property or anyone else's. They feel they are entitled to whatever they want. These kids are more concerned with their i-pods and myspace and designer clothes, then studying for a test, advancing to the next grade, or going to college.



I started this dialogue with the statement, "help me understand". If the parents are not the majority of the blame, then who? Help me understand....

Holly - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Theresa:

I have a few more adjectives that come to mind when I think of parents nowadays. How about selfish, self-absorbed, neglectful, abusive, uncaring, unsympathetic, uninformed, uneducated....I could go on! I guess lazy too!



Wow, that's pretty harsh. I'm sure there are parents out there who are many of these things. However I think that blaming it all on parents is an oversimplification. Our culture has a lot to do with this issue. Parenting is given the least respect of any job in our society and barely any support.

[deleted account]

Is it really laziness??? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there is a big population of parents that are just "popping" kids out without any desire to teach them anything. But somehow my brain won't allow me to believe that. I can't help but think that maybe parents really just don't know how to parent. They think that school will teach their children all they need to know and maturation will do the rest.



They really don't seem to understand that manners has to be taught and academics even in it's simplistic form, has to be constantly reinforced and basic life skills have to be repeated daily BY THE PARENT!



Somewhere along the way, parents have removed themselves from the parent-child relationship. Now, we have children raising themselves, teaching themselves, and learning from their peers, the internet and t.v. The parents are there to endulge the child with i-pods, cell phones, DS games, but offer no discipline, organization, structure, rules, NOTHING.



I have a few more adjectives that come to mind when I think of parents nowadays. How about selfish, self-absorbed, neglectful, abusive, uncaring, unsympathetic, uninformed, uneducated....I could go on! I guess lazy too!

Michelle - posted on 03/26/2009

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I completely agree with most of these posts. These observations are so true! It's amazing how "lazy" many parents have become. I do not press teachers to teach my children their colors, numbers, shapes, etc. My son is in 5th grade now & knows the rules of the house & school... homework comes before anything & everything. Then his chores - he does the dishes, empties the trash, cleans his room, etc. My daughter is 3, knows her colors, most shapes (she gets confused with the rectangle!), can count to 12, knows her ABCs & recognizes the alphabet.... and she is NOT in preschool yet, although she'll be starting at the end of this year. It really does come down to parenting & home life. My husband and I work full time, but still manage to teach our children and ensure they have the skills they need to be successful. While our kids have a lot, they aren't spoiled. My son, especially, understands that he needs to work for what he has. If he brings home a test and a grade is not to our standards, guess what? There are consequenses. He "forgot" to do a piece of homework recently & he was grounded & could not go to his friends' birthday party that he was looking forward to going to. If he wants to "forget" about school work, he can "forget" about the extracurricular activities. It's that simple. The same will apply to my daughter. I have friends who are teachers and I cannot believe the "horror" stories I hear! I've never heard of 2nd graders be so disrespectful - telling teachers to "shut up", etc. Unbelievable! But, I have to say this starts at home. If you let them get away with certain behavior at home, it will be doubled once they're outside the home.

Holly - posted on 03/26/2009

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Quoting Theresa:

Help Me Understand . . .


Kids today, do not seem to have knowledge about the basics (covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, using a fork and spoon to eat, eating in a chair, brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, dressing and undressing, sharing, not harming others, speaking respectfully and worst of all...toilet training)!



Well, I place a big emphasis on self-reliance so my kids have been able to do all of the skills listed since a younger age than most kids I know. What I have observed is that most parents think it is easier to dress their 4 year old than to teach them to dress themselves & this applies to most skills. What many parents don't understand is that in the long run it is much easier to teach them to do things for themselves than always doing it for them. I think that our culture promotes this way of thinking with our "too busy" attitude towards everything from walking on your chores to making home-cooked meals.



 

Shannon - posted on 03/26/2009

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Not only that but teaching isn't for everyone. I agree that homeschooling is wonderful for many but I do not have the patience or the ability to teach. Patience is a virtue that I work toward every day, and I am just BAD at explaining things. These are my personal downfalls and things I struggle with daily, however I do my best with my 2yo son. These are reasons why I personally do not think I could homeschool past the age of 7 at most.

He IS learning his manners and morals from me. He's also learning letters and numbers and other toddler stuff from me. I do not feel it is the school's job to teach him how to act or what to feel. It is my job to raise a strong, smart, caring, articulate, and morally responsible boy.

The school he goes to will teach him how to read and write and do math and learn history,etc. I do hope to add to that as I feel public school is lacking but I will get there when we get there.

Holly - posted on 03/26/2009

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Quoting Paula:

It's not about affording it. It's wanting high priced things and obsession with keeping up with the neighbors and the latest trends that force both parents to work. Homeschooling can be done, if you want to do what's best for your kids, and not worry about having things.



Hmmm, I don't know. Maybe that is true often but it seems to ignore single parents and couple that need both incomes to survive. My family cannot homeschool because my husband cannot work due to his epilepsy. He has no interest or aptitude for homeschooling. I know that sending my kids to the public school would be better than him homeschooling them because already my first grader is almost up to my husband's reading level.

Paula - posted on 03/25/2009

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It's not about affording it. It's wanting high priced things and obsession with keeping up with the neighbors and the latest trends that force both parents to work. Homeschooling can be done, if you want to do what's best for your kids, and not worry about having things.

Jessica - posted on 03/24/2009

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Quoting Paula:

Try homeschooling! Kids should NEVER learn their social skills from other kids, only from adults! I homeschooled for 8 years and my daughter is way beyond her peers in social and interpersonal skills! It's not the teachers job to teach kids how to act or behave, the parents need to be PARENTS and take an active role in rearing their children! The parents nowadays are lazy, they don't want to have to do anything. Oh the teacher will teach that, or this or that drug will make her compliant! Stop relying on drugs and others to raise your kids! It amazes me how many of my daughters friends in high school have the laziest, most uninvolved and selfish parents! They choose to entertain their kids instead of raising them. Put away the video games and push them out the door! Help them learn how to be kids instead of little automatons! Bring manners back into society. I homeschooled for all these reasons and more and I have an 18 year old who can speak to adults with poise and grace, who knows her manners and her place in the world, who is on her way towards being a self-sufficient adult.


We can't all afford to do this, unfortunately.

[deleted account]

This conversation is very interesting to me. I agree with a lot of what has been written. I am still frustrated and concerned! What kind of country are we going to have? What kind of future are we going to have? How are we supposed to compete in the world with this new generation?



I don't think there is any one answer...but we need to make some changes with our young people! It's a disgrace and an embarassment! I don't know if I'm more upset with the children (who reject what you try to teach them) or the lazy parents (who refuse to reinforce what you try to teach their kids). I feel like I'm going into battle everyday at work. I spend more time giving custodial care (hand-washing, toilet, dressing, feeding, etc) and reinforcing manners (please, thank-you, excuse me, I'm sorry, etc) and dealing with psychological issues (lack of nutritious meals, neglectful parents, abusive parents, etc), I barely have time to teach the lessons for the day!



This past Friday, one of my parents accused me of being obsessive-compulsive! She said I'm overly concerned with hand-washing, bathing, and cleaning. The incident that sparked the comment...I told her daughter to take off her jacket, hang it up on her hook, and wash her hands before she sat at the table to eat breakfast. The child wanted HER mother to take off her jacket and hang it up and she wanted to go directly to the table to eat. Her fingernails were disgusting (she looked like she was planting a garden over the weekend. lol)!. Anyway, when I refused to let her mother do it, the mother attackes me! By the way...this girl has had lice, ringworm and impetigo in the last year! How is this building self-esteem and self-confidence? How is this teaching independence and self-sufficency? Oh, did I mention the girl is under 5 years old?



When did the children start running the household? When did the roles reverse? When did making your kid happy, supercede doing what was best for them? When did parents stop saying, "No" and "you can't", and "you won't" and "not now" and "later"?



My children are the most precious things to me, but they get told "no" often. They can not have everything they want, I am not their personal slave, and they can not do whatever they want! They cry for a little while, but THEY GET OVER IT!



I read to them, write stories with them, put puzzles together with them, build with them, talk to them and yes, i admit it, even play video games with them. I don't buy them "things". I give them "me"!



I know the economy is terrible right now and many people can't find work. In a few years however, most of the kids in this country won't be qualified to do the work available with all the new technologies.Most teeneagers can't tell time without a digital clock, they don't know they're multiplication tables, they can't spell, they can't write a composition....i just don't know!

Jen - posted on 03/22/2009

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Shannon, I don't know how recent the trend is, but I 100% agree with you. My previous job was a manager in an industry that hired a lot of right-out-of-high-school kids. These teens had NO clue how to take personal responsibility for their actions or what work ethic really meant. They expected everyone to just HAND them everything, and didn't get it when they were sanctioned or written up for bad behavior...

Shannon - posted on 03/22/2009

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The recent trend in building kids self-esteem has backfired according to a recent study. Kids are narcissistic and feel entitled but do not take the blame when they do wrong because teachers and parents are all too concerned about self-esteem to criticize the kids in the past decade. This has effected their grades and manners and attitudes immensely.

I'm sure there is much more to it than that but I just read it the other day and thought I'd share.

ME - posted on 03/21/2009

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As a substitute teacher in IL public schools, I am very interested in this thread! I am not sure what has happened to our nation's youth. They ARE disrespectful, rude, dressed inappropriately, thoughtless, ignorant of social issues, and disinterested in their education. Before having my son, I was a full-time English teacher, and while my students learned to treat me with respect, I never got them to see the need to treat each other or themselves with that same respect. I am terrified of the day (3 or 4 years from now) when I may be forced to send my own child to one of these schools. I am saddened that students seem to feel that gaining an education is necessary in order to pass a test, rather than as a means to make themselves better, more informed citizens. It is the failing of our education system that our children feel this way about school. It is, however, the failure of our nations parents that our kids don't respect people in a position of authority, that they seem to believe that the purpose of an education is ONLY to get a job so that they can buy stuff, and that they seem to believe the owning of stuff to be a symbol of success. I don't know what the solution is, but we, as parents, need to stop waiting for someone else to solve this problem, and start solving it at home with our own children!

Dea - posted on 03/16/2009

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It all starts with home. I just had the same conversation with some friends (moms). We all agree the foundation begins @ home & we have to ALWAYS teach our kids even more with the influences from school, tv & peers.

Motherhood is a full time job & we have to also do our part in the community. Getting involved in church, communities & org. Though it may not seem it's making a dent we will surely see a differnece in our children and society.

Parents need to take classes that's the REAL DEAL! Prayer changes things BELIEVE me I know!

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Silvia, as usual I agree with everything you said. The kids in this county are SOFT! They take responsibility and accountability for NOTHING. For everything positive they want to take the CREDIT, but for everything negative, it is SOMEONE else's fault. I also find that they have this sick sense of ENTITLEMENT. They feel they should have WHATEVER they want whenever they want it!



I believe in teaching my kids to reach for the stars...but I expect them to work hard for it. I want them to realize and understand that sometimes hard work pays off and sometimes it doesn't (but at least you gave it your best shot). Sometimes you accomplish what you set out to do and sometimes you won't (no plan is perfect). Sometimes there will be times to celebrate and other times there will be disappointments (especially if it's something that you really put your heart into).



I have a 2 year old girl who just had 4 front teeth pulled and 2 caps put on her back teeth. Her mother told me that her teeth decayed because the child doesn't want to brush her teeth and she, as the mother, didn't want to upset the child every day. She gives her lollipops, chocolate and gum to bribe her to get dressed or cooperate.



I have another student who had to get her hair cut off. Because she cries when her mother combed her hair, she decided not to comb it (and forbade me to comb it). As a result, the child's hair "locke" and could no longer be groomed properly. Now the mom is upset because the daughter said she looks like a boy.



I could go on and on with the horror stories...and the state does NOTHING! I see this with 2 year olds up to 12 year olds. It's very sad to watch daily. If chidren are not being taught the basics of health and hygiene, you know they don't know anything about manners, social behavior, respect for authority and THE LAW, etc. I'm sorry, but I still don't understand!

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I notice parents talking to their kids  as if they were the same age. Sometimes I dont know who is guiding who? Parents have to be adults, give instructions, and expect the child to complete the task. Parents,stop doing it for them . Make the child responsible, and make them accountable. And Yes, this means the child has to suffer sometimes .Kids here in America are so behind in social situations and skills, and so immature. I've traveled a few countries and believe me, we  baby them too much, we entertain them too much, and we shelter them too much. When my son was in 5th grade and his friends would come over, I noticed they had no clue that they should greet me when they entered my house. That's so basic. I would call them by name, ask that they go out my door, come back in  and greet me by name, and show me that they 're parents raised then well. I think as adults we all have the responsibility of raising up our youth, and if your Mom and Dad don't talk to you about the basics in life, beleive me , someone else will, and they may not be as gentle to your child about it. If my son forgot his soccer ball, guess what? He didn't play in  that game.It wasn't up to me to remember the ball and bring it to the game.I did my part in signing him up and paying for it. So don't let your kids be or look like dummies, make them leaders!

Sherri - posted on 03/07/2009

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I think perhaps part of the problem is relying to heavily on the schools and others to do what we should be.(By we I just mean a general parental we...) For instance a neighbor of mine was telling me a story about his son, and the school, and how they wanted him to stay in preschool because he didn't know his alphabet. The man told me he asked the lady" isn't that YOUR job?" I was COMPLETELY stunned to think that this man didn't think his own son's education fell into HIS jurisdiction!

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