Respect needs to be taught at and exemplified at home. Kindness, too, has to be taught and exemplified at home. Even little ones should not be allowed to hit or sass. Telling students to respect their teachers will help, but parents also need to follow up if there are problem behaviors at school. Children need to learn to build wholesome relationships.
Another teacher commented that teaching in his class over the years had really changed. Some years ago he could engage his classes in rather deep discussions. He said now he had to lean on what he called “a song and a dance.” Class had to be more entertaining and involved in shorter length activities because he felt that students entered the classroom with much shorter interest spans.
Sociologists have confirmed that television has had a profound affect on children in that those who see much television have much shorter attention spans. Teachers are forced to respond to these short attention spans, which impedes what they can teach.
I have seen teachers and principals struggle with simple cases of bad manners and/or bad language from students. About bad manners: television has its influence. Patterns of behavior and talk are copied from movies, videos and the media. How much crude language and bad manners do you see in the media your children watch? And in video games, do your children learn aggressive ways to respond to problems? We surely need to heavily limit their exposure to this and in its place expect “please” and “thank you” and other good manners at home. You might practice letting the boys open doors for their sisters and sisters to be gracious when this is done. I am told there is a gross neglect of this conduct as well as basic kindness in today’s single’s world.
You won’t want to leave out how to deal with anger, conflict and teasing. It exists and children/teens need to know how to deal with it.
I am well aware that cheating in school is a problem. Lying is its companion. You might set up a potential problem at the dinner table and then see how the children would handle it.
About the Constitution: Do your children/teens know that the Founding Fathers established this nation as a Republic rather than a democracy? I had to read The 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skouson to be reminded of this. Do our children know that the Founding Fathers based this nation on the teachings in the Bible, i.e., the Ten Commandments? They set up a check and balance system to help us so we would not end up with a dictator. To insure that this is taught, you might want to do it at home.
Accepting responsibility at home will generally insure accepting responsibility at school.
Integrity is a big one. Webster says it is “a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values.”
In addition to all this we need to keep an eye on the books our children are exposed to within the school system, the teachings they receive in health classes and the activities they are exposed to.
I am convinced that the most important job in this world is “Parenthood.” There is so much to do, and it won’t happen without you. Best wishes. I’ll try to provide specific parenting suggestions in some of these areas in future articles.