how NOT to parent…and why i’m glad i quit my job

being a teacher has taught me a lot of things about parenting, although i know parenting itself will be the true test. i’ve been able to observe and question kids and parents, and this has really been a blessing. i’ve been able to watch kids grow up into great adults, and along the way have been able to ask them “what did/do your parents do to earn your respect?” or “what did your parents do so that you don’t want to go out and party?” i’ve also been able to ask parents what they’ve done in certain instances. i’ve seen a lot of BAD parenting as well. there are many parents who just give up when their kids go to high school. they are done, and now expect the schools to take over. i’ve also seen a lot of parents who are actually afraid of their kids, and many who’ve asked me for advice, surprised when i’ve offered such common sense solutions such as taking their cell phone or car away, to which most responded, “how will i get in touch with him?” or “i won’t be able to get him to school.” 

this past weekend andrew and i watched the fab five: the texas cheerleader scandal and it made me think about my job and parenting. now i am not a regular lifetime viewer, but i have been known to be sucked in on a lazy weekend day by titles such as the other mother or confessions of an american bride. this movie, however, drew our attention because for the last 7 1/2 years i served as one of our high school’s cheerleading advisors. i have no idea how i held on for so long. had to be the kids, because for the most part they were great. yes, there were the few times that i caught a few of them with drugs or alcohol, but i had the support of my administration in those cases. i  didn’t, however, always have the support of parents, who were commonly known to enable their kids. the parents were the #1 reason i quit as advisor this past year, and it is one of the best decisions i’ve ever made. we watched this movie knowing that your regular garden variety viewer was probably watching it saying, “no way. that would never happen.” but let me tell you folks, every single unbelievable thing in the movie does happen in high schools.

this movie was based on a true story, which was brought to my attention by one of our (good) cheer parents, leslie, at a time when things in our program were at an especially low point. as she said, “things could be so much worse”.

one of the problems that this cheer team portrayed had dealt with myspace. we dealt with so many myspace issues, mostly stemming from the fact that parents didn’t monitor their kids’ computer use. time and time again inappropriate pictures and comments by our team members were brought to our attention, and this was extremely hard to keep a tab on, especially when parents are threatening to sue you, the administration, and the school board because of their right to freedom of speech.

i’ve been cleaning out my emails from my folder “stupid cheer issues” and just came across some.

this email is from a parent after i notified her that her daughter’s picture was on myspace. the girl, whom i will call “k” was holding a huge bottle of alcohol, in her uniform mind you. i have no idea if she was drinking or not, but time and time again these parents insisted that “k” was an angel.

Kristine,
Thank you for your prompt response.
My husband and I have several issues pending at this point.
We believe and trust our daughter was not drinking. We trust what she is 
telling us the truth.  We would however like M to tell you, with us 
present that K was not drinking.  K was in the wrong place, with 
the wrong crowd.  The one time she was allowed to go to a friends house 
after school, it was a poor choice of houses to go to with no supervision.
As far as myspace, if the coach is familiar with it, she will see K is 
pretty much the only one who does not have a private site, due to the fact 
that she is not allowed on myspace from previous mishaps from 8th grade and 
the slandering harassment that comes along with myspace.
K has no control of other people if they are posting pictures on that 
website, do not misunderstand me, my daughter should have never stayed at 
M's house that afternoon knowing the other girls were making wrong 
choices.  I do not appreciate anyone accusing my daughter of anything until 
her father and I can get involved and know all the of facts.  That is were I 
am upset.  I have tried numerous times to delete the profile page that is on 
K and got no support form the myspace program. I think it is a very 
offensive and hurtful website that is not teaching our children anything but 
poor behavior and ways to hurt others.
 
My husband and I want our daughters name cleared up from this drinking 
issue, as far as other photos that is something that the team and the 
parents need to work out together.
Sincerely, 
Mrs. J

This was a letter my husband received from a parent this summer school session.

 

Dear Mr. B,

 

My son, I, received a report card for your class. Although the grade showed an A, 

the comments showed an 18 which translated to may fail the course. Please call me 

today by 2:15 p.m. at ------- to discuss this. Also be aware he has an IEP which also 

should be consulted before you call today. Failure to contact me today will result in a 

call to his attorney. We are not going to have another year like 2007-2008.

 

{not really the best way to talk to your kid's teacher}

 

anyway, the movie is quite entertaining, if you don't expect great acting. one the most 

unbelievable (and funny) parts was when one mother came home to find a bunch of kids partying at her

house. she said to her daughter, "you are in so much trouble. i did not give you permission

to have half the school over. i said a couple of friends. there better be enough 

tequila left for my margaritas!"
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1 Comment

Filed under parenting

One response to “how NOT to parent…and why i’m glad i quit my job

  1. I watched that movie too it was crazy!
    Crazy parents aren’t helping their kids

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