Monday, December 05, 2005

Parent or friend?

There was an article in Time Magazine recently, in which it was noted how teachers coming from abroad struggle within our education system, because the children don't show them any respect. The amusing part however, was that the solution to this is apparently for the teachers to undergo training in how to handle 'American kids'. Amazing!

When I was growing up, not so long ago, there were a few home truths that, as kids, we all understood. Because our parents brought us up to understand them. School was an institution that you treated with a certain respect, simply by virtue of what it represented. Your teachers were also individuals to be respected, and you behaved towards them in a certain manner, not least of which included speaking politely, and addressing them as Mr and Ms/Mrs so and so.

As far as I can tell, the problem we have here today is not one of schools, the education system, or the children themselves. It's the parents, and the complete lack of good old parenting. Our individualistic culture means that today's parents are all about themselves. Their kids are an accessory, not a responsibility, and so they care for them only as and when it suits themselves. In this materialistic and narcissistic environment, is it any wonder that our kids go astray?

Parents - you're not there for friendship. When you bring a child into this world, you take on the responsibility of preparing that child to function properly in it. 18 years later, you can start thinking about yourself again. If you're not prepared for that, get a pet.

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