Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wake up AND open your eyes people

I just finished reading my friend Bunny's blog Rude Awakening and it totally reminded me of an incident that occurred when Jenifer started 6th grade, or middle school, about 9 or 10 years ago.  Whoaaa...
Wait a minute!  How can that be.............

Back to subject:  The first week of middle school there's a mandatory parent meeting to familiarize both parent and child with school policies, classroom etiquette and various other topics, one of which is school uniforms.  We live in a school district that believes in kids wearing uniforms, which I personally agree with.  One reason I'm in agreement is the cost factor.  I typically would buy the girls a combination of pants, skirt or skorts along with 4 to 5 tops so that we only have to wash one a week.  I would say it's not because I'm lazy, but if I expect my children not to lie.....

The second reason I'm in agreement is that I've read studies that have shown how kids in school districts where uniforms are worn tend to do better in school as the focus is less on what they're wearing and more on what they're learning.  I like it.  I believe it, and I want that for my kids.

So there we are, Jenifer and I, at this meeting where we're both excited and nervous because she's so young and already starting middle school.  It's bad enough our kids are exposed to far more than we'd like without forcing them to join an "older" group of kids before they're ready.  And in my opinion a sixth grader isn't ready.  I will say that I've always tried to instill wisdom and fear of their mother and father in them ;-)
No, I'm not kidding.  Wisdom to know when to say no and fear as a double check.

During the meeting the Teachers and Principal cover a range of subjects and then as a last note turn to the policies regarding mandatory uniforms.  One parent who has been sitting quietly throughout the entire hour suddenly decides to speak up.  The conversation goes something like this:
Parent Question: Why do the kids have to wear uniforms
School Rep Response: It's mandatory in this district
Parent Question: Can I sign a waiver so that my child can wear whatever she wants
School Rep Response:  Yes you can but we'd prefer that all children wear the uniform 
Parent Question:  I don't understand why they have to wear a uniform.  The high school is in the same district and they don't have to wear uniforms
School Rep Response: I understand.  I believe they feel high school children should be able to choose appropriate clothing to wear to school
Parent Question: Then why can't our children wear what they want? I don't want to go out and buy uniforms. They're ugly.
School Rep Response:  There are several stores selling uniforms in the area.  I'm sure you can find one she'll like that will be appropriate.
Parent Comment: Well, have you seen how some of those high schoolers dress? It's terrible that they can wear whatever they want.  They should be wearing uniforms.

At this point my sixth grader looks at me and says "Mom, isn't that the same lady that just said she doesn't think kids should have to wear uniforms?"  Now I ask you, if a parent sits and argues with school authority while they're child is present, what message is the child being sent?  And secondly, this parent doesn't' even have the sense to form an opinion and stick with it.

So we wonder what's happening to our children and why the lack of respect for adults and the "system".  I'll tell you what's happening to children: Parents.  Parents who haven't' enough sense to understand that the schools and it's teachers are on the childs side.  These same parents are the ones who go into our workforce and cause trouble amongst their co-workers because they want the world to revolve around them and when it doesn't, someone is gonna pay.  They spread the bug of complaint, the virus of discontentment and the disease of gossip.

These are the people who have the first voice in their childs behavior, lives and future.  How do you open the eyes of one who is so intent on keeping them closed?  How?


Bunny Missbrenner said...

I totally agree on the parent being held responsible for raising their child to be respectful and everything that you said. Most times at my work when there is a problem student, 9 times out of 10, the parent is difficult to reason with and will come up with a list of excuses as to WHY their kid is in truouble...You know that old saying..."The apple doesn't fall far from the tree".

Debbie said...

There is always someone, somwhere, who just wants to hear themselves talk!!!! UGH! PUT A SOCK IN IT ALREADY!!!!

Rattus Scribus said...

"I'll tell you what's happening to children: Parents...because they want the world to revolve around them and when it doesn't, someone is gonna pay"

As one who is an educator and married to one, we can say unequivocally that something is being left out in the child rearing process these the rearing part.

Blessings. PS, I just posted part 2 of my last blog topic: Happy and Appreciated. I hope you like it.

Debbie said...

comadre - post! I'm waiiiiiiting ...