My mom used to work as an Avon lady and at the Macy’s cosmetic counter. My parents don’t throw much away, so they have many cologne bottles in the house: some broken, some empty. I like to draw them and study the text, logos and bottle shapes.
He talked as I taught the lesson. I asked him to stop.
He talked some more during work time. I asked him to stop.
I changed his seating – nestling him between two quiet students. He talked out loud instead of getting his work done.
I called him to my desk. His parents’ phone numbers were in front of us.
I rarely call home.
“Who shall I call? Mom or dad?”
“Mom,” he said.
“Dad it is!”
Inform parents about class
Learning never ends
One of the biggest lessons in life I’ve had to unlearn is that my children are “mine.”
Gibran’s words are plain and true:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
Too many parents believe their children are a reflection of themselves. Our job as parents is to provide nourishment and safety for these souls. But they are whole people already – we do not – SHOULD not – impose our dreams on them.
Writing prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Student: This prompt makes me sad. Because I don’t know. My parents tell me I must be either be an engineer or a doctor. I cannot have a job that pays less than that.
Teacher: Well, let’s say your parents tell you that you can pursue ANY profession that you want. What would it be?
Student: I don’t know…I don’t know, because I’ve never even thought of it.
Why do parents tell their kids how to live your lives when they have their own?
By the way, Gibran never had children. Maybe he could be this wise because he had the distance necessary to see the whole picture.
There is a label, in the education field, for parents who “hover” over their children in an overprotective, and micro-managing way: helicopter parenting.
As teachers, we get it. You don’t want your child to ever “fail.” You want to prove to your child, the world, your self, that you are an involved parent. But you are not doing your child any favors.
When you hover, you:
- subconsciously tell your kid that you don’t trust him to do it himself;
- create anxiety for your child;
- cheat your child out of the opportunity to work independently;
- cheat your child out of learning from failing; and
- cheat your child out of accomplishing something on his own.
Sometimes, effective parenting means surrendering.