Have Children? Read Carefully



I’ve been blessed with a new job working at an after school program with 3rd and 4th grade students as a tutor and creative arts teacher of sorts. I’m thinking about changing my nationality to Jamaican because of all the jobs I have now (kidding). It’s an awesome job and I’m having a really good time. I feel like it’s giving me a test run for when I decide to have kids one day, sometime in the far, far distant future. If you have children please read this rant carefully.

Cue the Rant

My students brought home mediocre progress reports this week. Many had a lot of C’s and needless to say, we weren’t happy about it because we know their potential. I had a talk with my director and she informed me that when the students bring home bad progress reports, some parents would often call and question her as to why their children’s grades were slipping. I listened to her with the most dumbfounded and confused face ever. Parents that don’t understand or take responsibility for their child(ren) are the worst kind of parent.

There were so many things wrong with that statement. First of all, when your child struggles in school, when your child can’t read or when your child can’t write or do arithmetic, its not the teacher’s fault and its definitely not the free after school tutoring programs fault for your child’s performance. It’s not even your child’s fault. It’s YOUR FAULT. You are at the top of the ladder when it comes to your child. All things come from you. You dictate and set the stage for your child’s life and future. So things like education fall all on YOU. When your child is making C’s, it’s because you aren’t going over and checking their homework. It’s because you aren’t going over test materials with them and it’s because you haven’t set the rules as to what grades are acceptable to bring home.

It all starts at home and the kids know that. I didn’t make good grades in the 3rd grade cause I wanted to! I made them because I knew I would catch hell at home if I didn’t! And if you don’t care or constantly defer blame to others for YOUR child’s short comings they are going to follow suit.

That’s like the equivalent of coming home and catching your significant other in bed with someone else and then fighting the person they’re cheating on you with. Last time I checked there was only one person you exchanged vows with in the bed and only one person you should be concerned with. Please don’t be simple minded. If your child is performing badly in school, 99% of the time it’s YOU.

These days, parents are trying to fight the teacher and blame everyone else for why their child is low performing. Your child doesn’t handle their business in school because they know you ultimately don’t care. And it’s not about a butt whooping or beating your child either. It’s more than that. It’s holding THEM accountable – which is your job and f you’re not doing that, then its all on you. Just like if you child decides to run away and hurts himself or steals or breaks something, they aren’t getting in trouble or going to jail. You are.

I thank God for my awesome mom and dad because they understood this sort of trickle down theory. For teachers and tutors like me, our power ultimately derives from the PARENT. I can’t perform any real discipline and neither can the teacher. But we can send home a bad report to the parents for them to handle the situation. Matter of fact, my mom used to tell my teacher if I ever got out of line, she should feel free to do whatever she saw fit in the instance, including putting hands on me. And if I ever got to the point when a teacher put her hands on me, I had a huge ass whooping waiting at home for me afterwards.

My folks didn’t play that. They had a very common sense approach to things. They understood the teacher isn’t out here putting hands on people and going crazy for no reason and that if it ever got to that, it’s a very likely chance that it was my fault in the first place.

Parents, parents, parents.. and all of my friends who have kids: Some of you really haven’t come to understand what being a parent entails. Everything, and I mean everything, in your child’s life whether it’s past, present and future solely depends on YOU.

That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles.

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