Friday, April 17, 2009

Crappy Parenting

Aaron has been bugging me and bugging me to write a blog. So, here I go. :)

I teach pre-kindergarten. I have been doing it for a little over two years. Some days are fun and others are very difficult. I love my kids, but I cannot stand crappy parenting--especially because it usually makes kids' behavior crappy too.

I have a very difficult child in my class, let's call him "Caleb." He refuses to listen, makes death threats to teachers, and talks all the time
about how strong he is and how he can defend himself if we try to do anything to him. So today on the playground Caleb decided that he was going to throw sand at another kid because the kid wouldn't stop chasing him. I walked toward Caleb, calling out for him to stop so that he wouldn't get it in the other kid's eyes, and when he saw me coming he took off running. I told him that if he didn't come talk to me that he was going to lose his play time and sit out until his dad came. So he continued running and I followed him, cornering him on the playground, as I have become so skilled at doing, and grabbed his hand. I told him that if he was not going to listen to me that he could come and sit, and began my spiel about playing safely in the sand and using his words to tell a teacher when someone is bothering him, etc. And he reached over and scratched me. (It didn't hurt--I actually got it worse last week from another kid.) I walked him across the playground, had him sit in a chair, and told him that now I had to write a note to his dad about his behavior. I proceeded to fill out an incident report form and then guess who showed up?! His dad! I quickly handed the incident report to the director to be signed while I gave the dad another incident report to look over and sign from this morning when Caleb was wrestling with another kid and didn't stop when he was asked and got kicked in the face.

So Caleb's dad took him and walked out of the room without saying a word to me. I started to follow him out into the lobby to let him know about what had just happened but saw the director catch him and let her handle it. She came in to tell me after he left that the dad had asked her what he should do about Caleb running away from me and scratching me. She told him that he should bring him back in the classroom, tell him that what he did was not ok, and have him apologize. The dad simply said no and left. Gee, I wonder where the kid gets the idea that he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.

This is the worst part of my job. Kids have so much potential when they are only 4. Discipline should come out of love--you discipline so that they grow up to be responsible adults. Four-year-olds have no idea what is best for them, and parents need to step up and take the opportunity (and responsibility) to teach them. I don't think that parents realize that what they teach their children when they are young is going to affect them for the rest of their lives.

I hope my parenting is better than this. Sometimes when people ask me if I have kids, I say, "Not yet, I'm just practicing on other people's." :)