Friday, June 10, 2016

Kim Frencken blog: We need to break the cycle of entitlement

Entitlement. This word really irritates me. A recent news report on a certain entitled boy demonstrates just how low our society has sunk. And now, these same parents are asking others to help bail them out. Really??? How much lower can you go? As teachers, we see parents protecting their kids all the time. We see them take extra measures to make sure that their child succeeds. These are the parents that write notes asking for you to excuse their missing homework, or make excuses for a poor grade, or defend bad behavior choices. I am secretly thinking (and I'm sure some of it shows on my face), "Why don't you just let them be a child and learn from their mistakes. Who is in school here anyway? You or your child? Who is the parent and who is the child?!" After hours, we used to joke (well, kinda) about the kids running the school because they were allowed to get away with just about anything.

I'm all for supporting children who need some extra help or understanding, but I'm 100% against providing rewards for doing what they should be doing anyway. I know that I'll step on some toes (big time), but I think there are school programs that encourage entitlement. We have programs where every child succeeds. Every child wins. But, there isn't one initiative to help our kids learn how to be good sports or deal with failure. We're too busy making excuses and handing out trophies.

I'll confess I hated the training we had where we were taught to say, "Oh, look at Kim, and how nicely she is coloring. " OR "I am so pleased that Kim has decided to stop throwing a tantrum and rejoin the class." Gag. Kim threw a tantrum? Kim should have some consequences, not a pat on the back. Kim was coloring nicely? How many others were doing what they were supposed to do and went unnoticed?

And the argument that times have changed so we have to change the way that we teach children. Well... the last time I looked kids were still kids. Yes, they now play more video games and own more handheld devices than I did, but they are still kids. And, has anyone noticed all the advertisements and articles relating to putting digital devices away? There is even a new vacation company building tiny houses in remote areas for adults to go to and unplug (personally, I would love to go!)

Have we gotten so entitled that we can't even be responsible ourselves? Have we passed out so many trophies that we aren't teaching our kids to shake the winners hand and congratulate them? I hope not. In a perfect world, parents would work with teachers and administrators to help their child grow into a responsible adult. But, things aren't perfect. Be kind, but firm and professional. Kids need to learn that actions and decisions have consequences. Some, not so good. Parents need to let go and let their kids grow up. Administrators need to support their staff and be part of the solution, not the problem.
(For more of Kim Frencken's writing, check out her website.)

1 comment:


Exactly what she said!