Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dear Parents...

It's Thursday, so it is technically writing prompt day... but as I drove home from work today, I thought of a topic I really want to write about, and I didn't want to wait until tomorrow. I guess this can still count as a prompt, but what I really want to write about is what I would tell students' parents if I could. This is an open letter to them.

Dear Parents,
Don't have children if you don't want them. 
If you decide to have them, please treat them like human beings. Children are meant to be loved, not forgotten about. Don't yell at them. Don't hit them. Don't make them feel like they aren't worth anything at all. Let them know you appreciate them and that you wanted them. Encourage their self confidence. Tell them that you want them to be better than you. Tell them that you will support them no matter what. Let them know that it's okay to make mistakes. But when they do make a mistake, correct them. Don't let it slide. Don't let them think they can get away with doing wrong to other people. Teach them manners from a young age. Enforce them at home so they will use them elsewhere. Please and thank you. Teach them to MAKE YOU PROUDDon't use bad language around the home because that only promotes them to use it as well. If they don't know that certain words aren't okay to say in public, they WILL say them in public. Don't be surprised when they get in trouble for repeating your behaviors. Read to your children when they are young. They will develop of a love for it, and it will improve their performance in every subject. Teach them that education matters. It IS important. They won't get anywhere without it. Make a learning experience out of everything you can. It will help establish a love for learning that will take them far in this world. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to make fun things educational, and I bet you'll have some fun along the way as well. Make sure they get to school on time on a daily basis. Letting them sleep until three in the afternoon and play video games all night, while missing school for weeks at a time, is not okay. They need to be in school. It is illegal to keep them at home for no reason. By all means, though, when they are legitimately sick, please keep them at home. No one else wants to catch what your child has, so don't send the germ-machine to school on those days. When they are at home, though, make sure they are able to eat. They need nutrients and nourishment to help them focus and succeed at school. Make sure your children have clothes on their backs and food in their bellies BEFORE you buy them the name brand tennis shoes they want or that $300 iPhone that no 12 year old needs. PRIORITIZE. Check to make sure they are doing their homework each night. It's not much trouble, and it shows that you care. Help them with it if they ask for help. It will be a nice bonding experience for you both, I promise. Ask how your child's day went. They WANT to talk to you about it, but when you tell them you don't care, why should they care? Speaking of, if you don't care when they aren't doing their work or when they get in trouble, why should they care? They don't, and it starts a vicious cycle. Provide school supplies for your child. The teacher does not have an endless supply to hand out. Supplies are cheap when you're only buying for one or two children. Most of all, be there for your child. You chose to have these children. Now you must love them and care for them like they deserve. Don't walk out on them, leaving them without a bed to sleep in. Don't leave them for days at a time to fend for themselves when they can barely reach the stove, much less safely cook a meal for themselves and their younger siblings. Don't give them everything they want, but make sure they have everything they need
Your Child's Teacher

Wow, that was nice getting off my chest. I don't have children of my own, but I know that I one day will, and I have learned a lot about parenting from teaching. I haven't learned how to be a good parent, necessarily, but I definitely have learned a few things NEVER to do. And I promise that when I have kids of my own, I will be in their schools regularly helping their teachers because I know how much they need it.