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Q: My buddy’s wife walks their 11-year-old into the classroom each day. Then she takes out his assignments and helps him get ready. We’re talking about a very capable kid who has no “issues” at all. My buddy says other mothers at his son’s school are also doing the same thing. My wife has heard about this and wants to start walking our very capable son into his fourth-grade room. What are your thoughts?

Despite the conclusion one might reach after reading the latest issue of any popular parenting magazine, the job of parent is actually quite simple; so simple that I can describe the entire ball of wax in less than 15 column inches.

Courtesy of my friend and parent coach Janet Carter (www.ourchildishways.com), comes an interesting story: The parents of a 4-year-old girl went to a preschool parent conference to learn from her teacher that she is having difficulty with scissors and somewhat behind the other kids in letter and number recognition. The parents apparently blew the teacher’s mind when they replied that they were more concerned with their daughter’s heart and character than her academic achievement. Was she compassionate? Was she respectful of her teachers and peers?

From the I’m Sorry to Have to Tell You Department: Parents who say they want to raise kids who “think for themselves” are not being exactly truthful. It’s a nice and very democratic thing to say, for sure, but let’s face it, folks, you want your kids to think like you do. For example: If you’re a liberal, you want your kids to be liberals when they grow up. Right? Right! The same is true of conservatives, libertarians, people of faith, people of no faith, and people with COEXIST bumper stickers on their cars. Furthermore, that’s the way it should be. When you conceive a child, you pass along your genes. As you raise the child, you pass along your worldview. If you are not trying to pass along your worldview, then you must think your worldview isn’t worth passing along, and I’ve yet to meet such a person.

Why do significant numbers of college professors and even employers complain about parents of young adult students/employees confronting them over, respectively, bad grades and workplace issues? Why have reduced class sizes and increased per-pupil expenditures not resulted in higher academic achievement levels? Why is the mental health of today’s kids so poor when compared with that of children in the 1960s and before?

You are not obligated to justify your instructions and decisions to a 6-year-old. In effect, you elevate him to peer status with you and abdicate your authority.

I do not hold a mere opinion on spanking. My position is based on solid, replicated research done by objective people who aren’t seeking to affirm an ideological presupposition.

Many of today’s kids are the objects of a tremendous amount of parental concern. This concern ranges from realistic to implausible.

A first-grade teacher struggles to cope with an unruly child from a chaotic home, because the school’s discipline policy forbids any “negative” consequences such as taking away recess.

Q: My 7-year-old son does well in school and sports and has a good number of friends. However, he often allows himself to be intimidated by other boys. He is a rule-follower and is more worried about getting in trouble than defending himself. I worry that other boys will see him as easy to pick on. Occasionally he complains about how other boys treat him. What words can I use with him to explain how to be confident in himself, his athletic abilities, and not allow himself to be intimidated by other boys?

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John Rosemond
John Rosemond, an N.C. author, writes on traditional parenting.
CharlotteObserver.com