Saturday, August 10, 2013

Parents These Days

I feel like lately I hear a lot about "parents these days". How we don't pay attention to our kids, how we're too focused on our phones and social media, how our kids are suffering because we're not present in the moment.

Not going to lie, I take great offense to that.

I hear this a lot at work. Because yes, some of the parents we work with are awful. I see kids who get dropped off at the before school program the second it opens in the morning and don't get picked up until it closes that night. I see kids whose parents have no idea what is going on in their lives, and no desire to learn. I see kids who desperately need an adult in their lives to just love on them... but that doesn't mean that all parents suck these days.

This really came to light for me two weeks ago, when I was working at my summer tutoring program. A bunch of the other people there were going on and on about how kids can't read these days because their parents don't talk to them enough, don't read with them, don't do anything with them... and while for some of the kids we work with this is absolutely true... plenty more of them have parents who are dedicated to doing all these things and more, and their kid still struggles. 

I don't have the heart to tell her that
her books are often upside-down
I do the best that I can with Fynn. I'm nowhere near perfect. I have little to no patience, I get frustrated easily. Sometimes I get upset with her, or just need her to play by herself so I can sit on the couch and relax a bit. I in no way think this makes me a bad mom. I read to her, I talk to her all day, we play, we learn, we laugh... but there's still that possibility that school and learning  will be hard for her. 

I look at Drew, whose parents are the most amazing people I've ever met. They've giving their kids their hearts and souls to help them succeed in life. That said, Drew struggled with reading. I'm convinced he had undiagnosed dyslexia, but that's beside the point. The point is that his parents were present. They were with their kids, and they still ended up with a son who struggled with reading. I guess I just hate the stigma... oh, you're kid is struggling? It must be because you're not doing enough with them, weren't giving them enough opportunities. Um... no, not really.

I guess this all fits into the category of judging parents. For some bizarre reason, we all feel the need to judge others for what they do or don't do*... if we could only focus some of that energy on ourselves. 

*so not lecturing here, I'm as guilty of judging others as the next person... probably more so. 

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  1. I'm so glad you said this! So many times we want to place blame somewhere, when the truth is some things just happen. My pet peeve, though, about assumptions with children and learning is when even experts say that low income children are going to struggle more. I REALLY just don't believe that. Sure, it might be more difficult to get those kids exposed to books because it requires trips to the library instead of purchasing the books, but it can and does happen.

  2. I really appreciate this post a lot.


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