Thursday, September 8, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: Micro-managing

There seems to be a trend among parents these days of micromanaging their kids.

A teacher-friend posted an article on FB yesterday about some of the biggest challenges our educators face. The biggest? Parents. Parents who complain when their kid gets a 79 instead of an 80 and want the grade changed. Parents who rush up to school and get their kid out of detention even though they clearly deserve it. Parents who badmouth teachers in front of their child and who question everything a teacher does.

Are there bad teachers? Absolutely. The article said watch out for teachers that always give A's even though the child didn't earn it. Often the worst teachers give the best grades because then they don't have to deal with parents. Then the teacher who gets the kid the year after is screwed - if Johnny got all A's last year how come he can't do it this year? Must be the teacher!

Micromanaging our kids can not be good for them. Every time you pick the "best" teacher for your kid, you are setting them up for failure later in life. Learning does not only incorporate the three R's but kids need to know how to interact with different types of people. When Johnny gets his first job and gets a boss who is mean how will he handle that? Mom and Dad can't swoop in and ask to have his manager changed. Will he be able to rise to the challenge and work with the boss who is a jerk? Or will he quit because he has never had to deal with someone so difficult?

My kids have had some wonderful teachers and some who shouldn't be in a classroom. The bad teachers only cross my path once - then I make sure the younger kids don't get them. There have been tears over mean teachers and joy over great teachers. I have never asked for a specific teacher and try to let the school do their job. I switched an assigned teacher once after ballerina, who was 9 at the time, took a red pen and corrected a welcome letter riddled with mistakes and misspellings and told me her teacher must not be very smart.

We all want to what's best for our kids but micromanaging their every aspect of life can't be the only option. I think sometimes we just need to let the chips fall where they may and let them learn to deal with what they are handed.

Cara's two cents: Micro-managing is rampant in Mayberry. One of the drawbacks of small town life where "big" fish swim in a little pond. If they ever let their kids out of their sight for one minute to swim in a big pond, I often wonder if they will drown.

You can't set your kids' life in a neat little box and think you are doing them a favor. You can't pick and choose their teachers, friends, how they want to wear their hair or what clothes they should wear forever. Someday they will have to put on their big kid underwear and heaven forbid make a choice on their own.

When my fishies leave the pond for the big ocean I will know that I did what I should/could have to make them strong swimmers that can swim against the current when they have to. And we big fish all know that we have to...more often then we would like. For some they can keep their fishy in their little pond with them...hope there's room. And the end it's all up to the parent fish I suppose. Happy Swimming...

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