Are you one of THOSE parents?

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I read an article recently that scares the hell out of me. It talks about THOSE parents – the ones who think their child can do no wrong and will become defensive the second a teacher tries to let them know that there has been an incident at school or that their child’s grades are slipping. The ones who meet with teachers and attempt to persuade a better grade for their child. If you want, you can read the article here.

badparentsWhat happened to the days when parents expected more from their children? When bad grades were accepted as indicating that your child needs to work harder, not that a phone call to the principal needed to be made? Why are so many parents suddenly unwilling to accept that their child isn’t perfect when really, no one is?

I’m not sure what started it, but this reeks of the same stench surrounding “participation awards” – those trophies and ribbons given out to all children regardless of their performance (or attitude) in a given activity. Why should a child who didn’t even TRY to be successful be given the same award as a child who busted their butt to do the best they possibly could? Answer – THEY SHOULDN’T.

By awarding children for merely being present (in body, which doesn’t mean they’re there in their mind!), we are raising a generation of children who have no reason to want to try or to excel in anything. And those who do try really hard to succeed? By awarding the kid who was staring off into space instead of chasing the ball during the soccer game, you’ve killed any drive that child had because he now feels cheated. In his mind he’s probably thinking, “the kid who did nothing got a trophy, I’ll get one too even if I don’t do anything.”

The same can be said for parents who swoop in and work to negotiate better grades, make excuses for their children, or even become defensive enough when discussing their child that they automatically want to go to the principal rather than speak to the child’s teacher. Yes, we all want to shield our children from disappointment and hurt, but this kind of behavior on the part of parents only encourages laziness, a rotten attitude, and a sense of entitlement.

For those of you who rescue your child from anything and everything – good luck when your kid is 25 and eating chips on the couch while whining that he doesn’t like what you’re making for dinner.

From a future teacher,


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  1. Cheryl,

    How true!!

    I hate the fact that kids today are not expected to earn things.

    We give trophies out just for participation, in 4-h we give green participation ribbons until kids are in 3rd grade. If all you have to do is participate to get something and be honored then why try.

    I really disagree with the whole concept.

    Good post.

    Dee Ann

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