And the survey says . . . an informal poll of teachers representing various grades, school districts and both the public and private reveal what teachers want parents to know now that school is in full-swing!
The Early Years
Your child is excited to see you at pick-up. Get off your cell phone. In a few years time, they won’t want a bear hug and to be smothered with kisses in plain sight of their friends.
Remember, “school clothes” and “play clothes”? Unless your child wears a uniform to school, school clothes should be play clothes. Don’t send me a note about how paint splatters stained an expensive shirt. Learning can be messy!
That includes footwear! Yes, I know those red-glittery Mary Janes are adorable and that Crocs are a favourite, but appropriate footwear for running around the gym, they are not.
When a four year old has to pee, they have to pee yesterday. Fiddling with the likes of zippers, toggles and buttons means that there will be an accident that I have to cleanup, while simultaneously teaching 19 additional children.
The same goes for snack containers.
Don’t badger me at drop-off and pick-up. I know you have concerns. I read your emails and listened to your phone message but let’s arrange a time to talk without the ears of other parents and children around.
The Tween & Teen Years
I am not calling/emailing/texting/courier-pigeoning you if your child didn’t do his/her homework. Especially, if they are in grade 12.
It’s okay if your child makes mistakes. Let them. That’s how they will learn.
I know when you do their homework. It’s no great mystery that you did it when their report on Mayans is thirteen pages, double-spaced, APA formatted and bound in a Dou-tang when in-class it’s a miracle if I can get a legible and coherent three paragraph response.
Stop comparing your kid to another’s kid. Furthermore, stop comparing yourself to the other parents.
Let kids be kids. They feel enough pressure to grow up quickly.
Stilettos for a grade 8 Graduation are not appropriate. Neither are skimpy dresses. Or professionally done make-up.
It’s okay if your kid doesn’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend. There is a lifetime for relationships like that. What’s more important is your child being a good friend to others?
Learn to say “no” to your kids! Believe it or not, they want you to!
For All The Years
Teach your child to be independent. Teach them to put on their own shoes, pack their own packs, return their own forms and manage their own projects. When you do things for your child that they can do for themselves, you’re doing them a disservice! Chances are they are capable of a lot more than you are giving them credit for.
Buying your child a new agenda, backpack, iPhone, computer, fancy jacket, boots, running shoes . . . . the list could go on . . . just because they lost the first doesn’t teach them responsibility. Did they even check the Lost and Found? Chances are, no!
Sometimes it is inevitable that you will need to book an appointment for your child during school hours but book these with discretion. Haircuts are not critical and do not count!
Remember that I am a human being too. Sometimes I make mistakes. Don’t trash talk me in front of your kids. Cut me some slack and I will cut you some too.
Spend time with your kids. Turn off the TV, the computers, and the social media and just be together. Go for a walk, play a game, make dinner together. Your child will perform better in school
Most Importantly . . .
Your child is not a genius.