A teacher told me about a very young girl in her class who got her period. The poor little girl was terrified as she thought she was bleeding to death. The parents told the school it was their job to teach their daughter about personal stuff so they had to deal with it.
Here’s a blog that was very popular with teachers and principals: Stop Expecting Schools to Parent.
I think this trend of expecting schools to teach manners, sex, nutrition, etc. started back in the 1970’s. That’s when parents started becoming pleasers rather than leaders.
The generation gap was closing, it was easier to relate to your children as friends. Everyone was talking the same, dressing the same, listening to the same music, etc. That’s all great but things got messed up a bit too. Kids still needed leadership which was often forgotten.
Whenever a mom says, “She’s 9 going on 19” I say, “No she’s not. Wait till she’s 19 then we’ll talk. For now, she’s just a 9 year old little girl who needs a mom, not a 35 year old girlfriend.” I usually recommend they stop all the manicures and go to the park instead. (Hmmm … that’s tomorrow’s blog.)
More on this transition in my TEDx Talk.
Not only are schools being forced to take on more parenting responsibilities but they are given less power to discipline. Their hands are tied. More here.
When my kids started school I said to their teachers, “If my kids ever step a toe out of line, don’t punish them. Call me and I’ll do it.” The teachers loved that as knew my kids were going to be easy. From my perspective it wasn’t that I was trying to make their jobs easier, just that I didn’t want strangers raising my kids. Teachers are just people like the rest of us, some are nice, some not so nice. They’re there to teach my kids about academics, maybe some sports and music, anything else is just a bonus not an expectation.
On a side note, about 40% of my clients are teachers. They’re brilliant at teaching 30+ kids in a classroom but they struggle with all the same parenting issues you do at home. And just because so many of my clients are teachers it doesn’t mean they struggle more, they’re just more likely to reach out for help. They’re learners, they see me as Parenting School :). Teachers/principals are also the parents most likely to hire me to prevent problems rather than to fix them. Mostly when heading into the teen years.
Funny Story: When my son was a teenager he said, “I’d never rob a liquor store as would be terrified Mom would get to me before the police. DON’T LET HER TAKE ME!!! PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LOCK ME IN THE HOLE AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!!!”
Now I know most of you wouldn’t expect the school to teach your daughter about her period, but think about everything else. Are you going to let them teach your sons and daughters about manners, kindness, nutrition, sex, etc.? Don’t you want to do that yourself?
Happy Parenting, Lisa