Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Fourth Complaint About Parents

In my first three complaints about parents I wrote about:
1. Parents who think supporting their children's education means telling the teacher how to do his or her job.
2. Parents who do their children's homework rather than helping them with it.
3. Parents who make excuses for their children, blame other's for their children's behavior, or lie.

The only thing I can say about these parents is that they at least seem to care about their children. They may not have the right approach, may be setting a bad example, and may actually be doing their children harm, but they do take an interest in their child's education and appear to make an effort.

My fourth complaint is about the parents who don't seem to care. There are some parents who are completely unreachable. You can't contact them by phone. They don't answer emails. They don't respond to progress reports or letters mailed home. They don't come to conferences. Their children seemed to be on their own.

Some of these students are remarkably well-adjusted and resilient. Unfortunately, the others are the ones who party every weekend (probably every night), are up all night playing video games, fend for themselves when it comes to meals and getting to school, and often are responsible for younger brothers and sisters. They are also the students whose names eventually end up in the newspaper and in the legal system.

There's a line in the movie "Parenthood" that I think of every once in a while. I'll clean it up a bit, however. The line is:
You know, Miss Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any ***** be your father.
I know it will never happen, but how wonderful it would be if every child that was born was wanted, loved, cared for, and raised to be a responsible, respectful, trustworthy, productive, and caring adult. It is certainly something we can strive for.

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