Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free advice to parents who think their kid is the cutest, bestest, and/or smartest kid in the whole wide world



Are you sitting down? If not, where the heck do you keep your computer because who works on a computer while standing up? I have some news I'd like to share with you.


The world does not revolve around your child and there will be times when your child will have to face disappointment.

There. I said it.

I work with children. It's what I do. And I find them all charming in their unique little ways. But not so charming as to think that one child is better or more important than the other. Or that one child should be protected at all costs of ever knowing any disappointment.

So when your child has to be moved to another class due to overcrowding, it really doesn't help for you "give me permission to pick another child." That is akin to wishing bad luck on someone else. Your child was selected. It is time for you to deal help your child learn to see the positives in the situation.

Furthermore, when your child has to be torn away from your legs screaming, "I want my Mommy!" separation anxiety, he/she is often doing that for your benefit. I don't want to hurt your feelings when I tell you most children stop crying within three minutes. It takes me longer than three minutes to get over having to wake up so early in the morning. So when you shout out "Are you happy now?" after I have worked up a sweat carried your darling child to his class, I have just learned to feel sorry for you. It must suck to be stuck with middle school emotions be hard to see your child that upset.

While I believe most parents have good intentions for their children, there are many, many parents who want to protect their child from any and all disappointment. I wish they would realize that the best lesson they could learn from "bad" situations is a positive attitude and the ability to problem solve ways to make it better.

I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of disappointed adults in about 15 years.

59 comments:

Jaime said...

wait. the world doesn't revolve around my son? he is, after all, the sweetest, cutest, smartest, most talented kid in the world :P

darsden said...

thank goodness all these kids belong to others...my nieces and nephews walk on water...lol

Michele said...

I spent years telling my children that the world didn't revolve around them. I was one of those mothers that dropped her kids off and drove off smiling. Six hours of free time! WooHoo!

Southern Drawl said...

Whaattt.... Jaime, honey, I undoubtedly have the most beautimous, talented offspring...

Seriously, though, being a parent for me has been the most humbling experience. Unlike so many parents I know, I did not have any perfect children...no delusions of grandeur here!!! Sigh...

Jan said...

My kids may be the smartest, cutest, sweetest and funniest in the whole wide world, but a lot of that is due to the fact that they know good and damn well that the world does NOT revolve around them, and that sometimes bad shit happens.

Of course, I've had to face the elementary school principal when my son stabbed another kid right between the eyes with a pencil. Yes, the other kid was a %$@&ing bully, but still - MY kid should have handled it better.

Em said...

"Are you happy now?"

Are you kidding me?!

There is not enough money on the planet to do your job.

otin said...

The blog community is very much like a class room. We are all trying to improve our reading and writing, we all stay in clicks, some people do not get along, and I just happen to be the class clown! LMAO!

Fragrant Liar said...

Yeah, my kids learned early on that the world did not revolve around them. But I did have trouble seeing them cry when I left them at the classroom on the first day, seeing those little teary eyes. They do get over it fast, but in those fractional seconds before you leave them, it pulls at your heart.

Then they get home from school, and you're like, "I can't wait for them to go back!"

sun lover said...

Being a teachers kid and having been a former teacher myself, I think I am the exception. I know my children aren't the smartest, greatest or talented which may be a slight bit unfair to my own children.

I might be the only mother on the block who doesn't cry in 6 days when her children get on the bus for the first day of school.

My kids know I love them but more often then not then hear just how unfair the world is and how unfair life really is.

Hope this year is a year filled with more smiles then tears....best wishes ☼

smiles4u said...

Amen! I most definetly know these kinds of children and parents because those of us in the daycare world deal with these kinds before they get to you at school.
Whenever I say "It's not all about you." to one of my little people, their response is usually "but I want it to be" to which I reply "But it's not and the sooner you learn this the happier your gonna be." The other day my 4 year old actually asked me, "Can it be all about me for 5 minutes?" LOL

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I know people just like this! I don't understand what parents are thinking when they overprotect. Life happens...and kids have to learn that. That was one thing my parents always did for me. They just made me deal with situations and I'm the same way.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I agree with you 110%. : -0 Except...

My son got picked to move to the added kindergarten class way back when. He had been singled out in preschool as probable ADHD and I was told he needed a lot of extra help to cope with change. Principal Man told me "oh, well," when I mentioned all this and "at least he went to preschool."

He got a new teacher who had student taught 6th grade, was 23, told me this was her second job (as her real career was a model). He hated her and hated school ever since....I really did not like her either.

only a movie said...

I think the administrators at my son's school and I are all in agreement that he's a punk.

;-)

You are a better woman than I. Don't know how you do it...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Hmmm, not a lot different in High School, unfortunately. It's as if classes were a commodity to be sold to the kids......LOL I was talking to a new mother who said her 3 month old was the smartest baby ever!

Brian Miller said...

lol. there are moments i don't envy your job...this is one of them...lol.

Nancy said...

Amen, sister! I work with graduate students and I still have to deal with calls from parents at times, so you're right about the disappointment that will hit in 15 years and beyond! Today I spoke to the parent of a 28 year old prospective school counselor, and as I hung up the phone all I could think was, "oh lord help the principal at the school where this one lands."

lisa said...

I have a repeat parent (2nd child for my class) who simply refuses to acknowlege that it is HER kid that stirs things up. She tried to blame it on my room set-up - WTH? and the other kids. Take a pill, lady, it's YOUR kid and not where my bookcase is located in the room.

TechnoBabe said...

Someone very close to me in my family surely needs to read this post!!!! This is a mother who will not allow her child to be disappointed and no one is allowed to say NO to this child. I have thought many times that this child is going to have a very hard time trying to grow into a healthy adult.

dizzblnd said...

Too bad you can't print that and send it out every year to all the parents.

These hover parents are like Marlin and Dory set him straight: "Marlin: I promised I would never let anything happen to him. Dory: that's a funny thing to promise. to never let anything happen to him. because then nothing will happen to him"

Goof for you!

Jason, as himself said...

Hovering parents make me crazy!

Fortunately, we don't have to deal with this too much at our school. I'd say we have more of the opposite kind of parents.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Last year, we had a fourth grader, yes a FOURTH GRADER, who would melt down into a hissy fit when mom dropped him off at school. She kept taking him home, so of course, he kept doing it. Eventually we had one of our school police officers set the young man straight and guess what? He's been fine ever since.

Stay tuned . . . there's a "you can't park in the staff lot" edition of Maugeritaville coming next week . . .

Reinvent Dad said...

My 11-year old still thinks the world revolves around here (& believe you-me we've TOLD her many times that clearly the Earth revolves around the sun). Our triplet soon-to-be big K's could care a less. We need more of you around to tell kids (& adults for that matter) like it is!

Hit 40 said...

How could a child be that attached to a teacher after just a couple days that a move would be any issue? Her behavior is why we kinda need summer to recover from the mayhem.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious said...

lol.. nice post!! And SO true!! :)

Jules said...

I can't WAIT for Monday at Meet the Teacher Night when we get to tell our Parents that we're changing how they pick up their kids in the afternoon..... They are to STAY IN their cars and we'll send the kids out at a designated spot.... OH THE JOYS of CHANGE!!!!!!

Amazing how many parents actually think or behave as if schools/teachers/administrators are doing things to make their lives worse. In fact, we're doing what is best for the kids. Shocking.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

I often wonder what life's going to be like after raising a generation of politically correct wusses.

Kulio said...

hahaha...oh...sorry. My favorite parent line is:

I'm not here to make you comfortable.

Gaston Studio said...

Don't they call this enabling, or am I behind the times on this as well??!!

Fidgeting Gidget said...

This is what I've found to be the most difficult thing about teaching...the parents who think their children can do no wrong. My favorite was when I was at a parent/teacher conference, and I told the father about his daughter's terrible behavior in my classroom. His response, "Yeah, she's like that at home, too." Or the father whose son was writing inappropriate letters to a girl in the class (3rd grader, saying he wants to take this girl to a hotel and do things to her). His response? "Well, if it's becoming a distraction, what's her home address?" Are you SERIOUS?!?!?

Little Ms Blogger said...

OMG...This had me in hysterics.

I don't have kids, but have many friends with kids and some are like the ones you've described and others realize the truth.

LucyCooper said...

Your job would be awesome if it weren't for the parents!
Seriously, my husband (and other people, I'm sure) think I am a hard ass sometimes. But I'm doing my damndest to raise a renaissance man. And there is nothing better than watching your kid conquer a fear or an anxiety and actually watch that discovery unfold on their face that they ARE capable. SOme of the best moments I've had in parenting.

Deb said...

oh, i have had friends who have behaved that way on behalf of their HIGH SCHOOLERS!

CatLadyLarew said...

Obviously you singled out her child because you're totally unfair and trying to make her life miserable which is so unjustified because her child is so perfect and needs to be chosen first for everything, except for being moved to another class. Just another fun day in the life of a principal!

H.K. said...

It's too bad that you can't actually include this post in a parent school newsletter. Every parent should read it, but then again most parents would think that the letter doesn't apply to their own kids! (LOL!)

Michel said...

Dude, you have NO IDEA how glad I am that I changed my major in College!

NO IDEA!

Bless you for making me feel better about my choices.

Malady said...

Good points. I will try to keep that in mind. I feel like I'm already trying to shield my son (who is 14 months old) from all discomfort, including the temperature of his room.

The Peach Tart said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

beth said...

i think a really good way to keep your children grounded in reality is to have enough to make up your own classroom (in my case 5). haha. actually, i really hope and pray that i am not one of those deluded souls who think i am very practical, but in reality treat my children like they walk on water. i don't think i do, but then that's kind of the point on being deluded, no?

Joanna Jenkins said...

I yiyiyi.... I agree there will be some pretty miserable kids in about 15 years.

Hang in there.
xo

lakeviewer said...

You said it!

Hit 40 said...

I have been worried for cops lately too. They are starting to see the attitudes that we have to put up in the classroom. What is strange.... the news seems to back up these jerks who should be allowed to be mouthy to the cops without being tasered?

Everyone wants what "they want" and why can't they have it? The parents back up their children's rude behavior like what it your problem? OH....

it is going to be another long school year. 11 more years until retirement.

Not The Rockefellers said...

Yes!
absolute truth here

" Every word that comes out of your child's mouth does not have to be embroidered on a pillow"

I've always thought of embroidering that on pillow just to mess with people's heads. :)

Peace - Rene

♥ Braja said...

I loved this and Michel's post on the same thing...did you read that? Love a strike of reality now and then. Damn it if people don't think the sun shine's out their children's....er....y'know....

M.J. said...

I'm glad someone said it!

Mrs. K said...

Amen! I don't believe in all kids getting prizes because they participated- when will they learn disappointment? which is why I try to disappoint my kid at least once a week ;)

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

What makes you think we have to wait 15 years to see the results? I see plenty of adults who never learned. And when they start screaming "I want my Mommy" and throwing tantrums in public, I just shake my head and curse their mother, who may or may not be the woman standing next to them.

;)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

We are raising a world of self-indulged pansies. We teach them baseball but don't keep score because everyone is a winner. ACK! If they are not mature enough to handle losing, they should be at home for another year playing catch with dad. I think kids need to figure out early on about disappointment. Life is full of it. And we get thru it because we learn how to deal with it thru experience. If I ran the world..............

Thank God we have administrators like you to give parents a reality check.

K13 said...

I'm going to keep this post fresh in my mind for when Ethan is ready to go to school. Thank you!!

Hang in there!!

Life with Kaishon said...

This was some very great advice. Thank you :)

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Congratulations! This post has been selected as the Maugeritaville "Post of the Week".

Your award check is in the mail.

A Free Man said...

Well said. It's a tough one to come to realize when you're a parent. Especially for parents of only children, I suspect.

Gaston Studio said...

Left something for you on my post today.

mo.stoneskin said...

You tell 'em girl, sounds to me like you're a perfectly clued-up teacher. I'm so used to our little girl crying I hope I'll be a helpful parent when she is at school.

carma said...

Bingo. I remember seeing a documentary a while back and it featured a girl who was always told by her parents how fabulous she was over and over and when she graduated and people were not telling her how fab she was, she became depressed.

Of course, I NEVER tell my son he is fabulous ;-)

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not.
i'm just a teennager now and since way back then (even now) whenever i'm proud of something i had done and "showed off" to my dad... He would always say, "HA! Bet i could do better."
any better way to dampen a kid's morale? LOLs. guess that kept me humble, huh. Since reality hit home hard that i'm not the best. Reality hurts. Ouch.

;)

Kimberly said...

I won't lie. I was a very good kid. My parents ruled with iron fists and I suppose I am glad they did. I do not have kids so I don't really understand alot about being a parent. But, I do think parents who re-route their lives to shuttle between dance class and soccer practice and who have to bring in chicken nuggets to a Mexican resturaunt, well it makes me glad I am not a parent. I am selfish by nature and I just don't get it.

sherri said...

amen.

MamaTech said...

I have repeatedly told my children about their children, "Sometimes the hardest thing you will have to do as parent is to watch your child fail at something. But let them fail. They need to learn how to fall and get back up again." You don't learn, you don't progress without failure. And NOBODY is the best at everything.

On another note, spoiling the grandchildren is MY job, not the parents :)

patefefoiegras123 said...

I don't have kids. But my boyfriend does from the previous marriage. He's a good father and all. But man I think his daughter is going to be one of those adults with disappointment in the next 15 years.