In the school system, you run into behavior problems. But when the system is on top of its game, the staff gets a behavior plan in place. Lots of meetings, paperwork, planning – all to ensure this kid is set up for success. Then at the meeting with the parents, here’s what I see: parents calling their kid “stupid,” or jeering, “what’s the matter with you?” or telling the staff, “he’s not capable.”
Let’s back the truck up a moment here. Not capable? Of course he’s capable! The ones who are LESS capable are the parents. Some of these kids have diagnoses that are indicative of behavior issues. But with good teamwork and direction, it’s very manageable. When you get the kids who are constantly in serious trouble and making horrible choices, it never fails that once you meet the parents, you realize, “Ooooh. Now I see the problem.”
Kids are a product of their environment. And (diagnosed behavioral issues aside) ninety nine percent of the time, parents are the ones making the problem. Not intentionally, of course, but they just don’t have the tools in their toolbox, or they are too caught up in themselves to notice that they’re screwing up the kid something major. Do your part at home so you’re not sending kids to school who feel unloved, lack guidance and want boundaries and attention. It’s not solely the school system’s job to take care of it. School personnel are part of the team, yes, but it starts and ends at home.
Chores and Expectations
Kids need chores and expectations. I constantly see moms of twelve-year-old kids still doing all the laundry, cleaning the bedroom, and scrubbing the bathroom. Are you nuts? Cut that out! You’re molding a royal attitude! Not good! I know the intention is honorable and you may have the time and desire, so no big deal, right? Wrong! You are teaching your child that she doesn’t have to be responsible. She will eventually grow up and hit the big, bad world and all you’ve done is create an incapable human being.
Kids need to mow lawns, take out garbage, do dishes, wash laundry, keep their rooms clean, take care of the animals, make dinner – all of it. MAKE them do it!! Get a chore chart for who is responsible for what on what day. A chore chart makes life so much easier and cuts out the fights and accusations, “I did that yesterday! It’s your turn!”
I don’t know how many rounds we went through in our house over whose turn it was to feed the cat, clean the litter box, unload the dishwasher, and who already helped with laundry. It finally dawned on me that a chart with assignments would do wonders. And guess what? Not one fight since. Haaa! Miracles never cease.
Chores build character, increase independence, and reduce self-centered attitudes. Kids need jobs, responsibility, and a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Give it to them.