We all know children whose behavior is downright terrible. Spoiled, crybaby, I-always-get-my-own-way little people who are, albeit adorable, also little hellraisers. You see — and hear — them in stores and PTA meetings and, goodness gracious, the confined space of airplanes, just a-hollerin’ and fussin’ because they can.
And then you meet their parents and, suddenly, your perspective becomes so much clearer as to why they are as obnoxious as they are.
It’s because their moms and dads give them the space and self-righteousness to think they can act any kind of way and be justified. Then they have the nerve to send those little dudes and dudettes to school for some poor teacher to try to educate. It’s one thing to give their kid reign of their household if they’re going to homeschool them. But when they send them out into somebody’s classroom, those children become a bigger problem.
But those are almost always, always, always the parents who are in denial about how badly their child really behaves. So when the poor teacher calls home to discuss a problem or issue they’ve been having with the kid, Mom and Dad are in denial because they think their little precious can do no wrong. Nothing that should warrant a time-out from the teacher, anyway. With their parents ready to defend their honor and have their back at all times — even to the extent of telling the teacher off — Junior continues to cut up in every classroom he or she parks his keister in, making the teacher’s job harder and the rest of the student’s school day longer.
There are too many parents who operate under that “customer is always right” syndrome that makes them believe that their child’s educator is at their mercy. I’ve heard them argue that without their kids as students, the teachers would be out of jobs and the school district would be broke (which is always hilarious to me because most of this commentary is targeted at school districts that are clearly already broke). If they hired a private tutor, they would be entitled to feel and react that way. That doesn’t give them or their kids the right to act like straight up hellions in a classroom with at least a dozen other students.
It’s disrespectful to the poor educator trying to do their job and, honestly, to the kid too, who’s under the impression that he or she doesn’t have to adhere to rules because their mama or daddy will show up and set it off on their behalf. So then they grow up and take that attitude into high school and college and the workforce, always having had their parents pet and groom them into thinking their boo boo don’t stink. It’s a formula for disaster. Or at least lots and lots of frustration.
Despite all of my parental shortcomings and fallibilities, I do have a handful of plus points, and one of the big ones is that I’m impartial when it comes to my kid. I don’t fluff her up to act like she’s above doing wrong in school or otherwise. So when one of her teachers calls me and lets me know she was showing her tail, I don’t give them a hard way to go with the “gasp, not my child!” routine. But I see other moms and dads doing it all the time.
Sometimes a situation warrants having your kid’s back, particularly if they’re being accused of doing something that you know goes totally against their personality or behavior. If someone called from school and told me that Miss Skylar spent the entire class passing notes and talking to the girls beside her, I’d be up there first thing smoking to put her chatty rear end in check. If they told me that she picked a fight with another student that ended in a physical brawl, I wouldn’t believe it and I’d get to the bottom of it because that’s not my child’s style.
But these parents whose kids stress them out at home seem to think their offspring couldn’t possibly be a burden to some poor teacher — or I guess, at the very least, they think it’s just their job to suck it up and deal with crappy behavior, especially when mom and dad are standing up for it.
Are you more inclined to side with the teacher or your child if you get a call or notice from the school?
Image via George Eastman House/Flickr