Times have changed. In the past several decades, parents have shifted from having faith in the teacher’s word. Today parents listen to their child’s version of what happened at school as if it is the gospel truth. This change of attitude of parents is weakening the power and status of teachers.
The parent starts off the communication with the teacher by stating an event that happened at school. The mother does not ask the teacher what took place concerning a specific incident. She acts as if she knows everything as it happened, although the information she possesses is only from the child. She has no doubt as to the sequence of events. Rarely it is collaborated by one of the child’s friends.
The teacher is guilty until she proves her innocence, while the student is allowed to be judge and jury to the parent. The parent knows the facts before she speaks to the teacher because her child had “truthfully” told her all about the incident. Although like almost all children, the child has lied to the parent on past occasions.
Parents make declarative statements as if they had been watching a surveillance monitor placed in the classroom to follow their child’s every move at school. The mother thinks she knows the specific facts of the incident before she learns what others involved have to say.
Even if the child is a notorious liar, instigator or outright troublemaker, the modern parent feels compelled to be on the child’s side in calling for a conference. She has heard about teacher mismanagement and even abuse that has happened locally or nationally. These negative school incidents have influenced parents initially to defend their child before learning what actually took place.
Modern parents have become advocates of their child’s behavior outside of the home rather than adults who hold their child accountable for his actions. This change in the attitude of parents has undermined the authority of the teacher, which has weakened the discipline in our schools. Today’s children are not more honest or obedient than children in the past. In most cases they are the opposite.
This is an indictment of our permissive culture. In a similar manner of parents like the parents of the Boston Marathon bombers and other indisputably cold-blooded killers, these mothers have the audacity to speak into the camera and say their angelic child would never do such a horrible thing. These parents think their dramatic statement will exonerate them from any responsibility in raising a sociopathic loser.
Parents are missing the point of being a conscientious parent. It is not to protect the child from legitimate consequences of their behavior. The parents should want a full investigation of what happened at school and not just wholeheartedly take their child’s word.
Modern parents are not as wise as parents of the past who wanted authority figures to require the highest behavioral standards to exist outside of the home to establish a safe environment. Instead, modern parents are hampering adults from having the authority to do their jobs.
Today’s parents need to stop defending their child before hearing both sides of the story. A school examination of the incident will provide accurate information for the school and parent to develop appropriate consequences for the child’s behavior.
The parents should withhold judgment until all the facts are in and then review them. This is especially true since all parents should know that almost all children lie and manipulate others when caught misbehaving. It is in the long-term interest of both parent and child for the student to experience consequences.
Children know a strong, honest parent will guide them to be a more successful adult than will a weak parent who can be led by the nose to cover for the child’s misdeeds. A parent being an accomplice to the child’s transgressions is a harmful act.
A child will respect their parent more for the effort of getting down to the truth rather than defending him after the child has fed her a line of baloney. Every parent needs to support other authority figures to help to reinforce the development of their child’s strong moral conscience.
Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at www.drmaglio.blogspot.com.