There is a trend that has developed over the last several years or more. This trend speaks to what many see as a desire for parents to be more of a friend than a parent to their child. It manifests itself when a child tells her mom or dad that she received a consequence for something that she did in school. The child begins to paint a picture that, for the most part, puts the blame/responsibility on someone else. Sometimes it is placed on the teacher for not being fair. At other times, it is on another student, saying that the student made her do something. The natural tendency for a child to build a self-defense story kicks in. This is quite understandable and normal. In fact, it should be expected.
The Issue Arises…
Here is where the issue arises. The parent, hearing this, assumes that their child is telling the absolute truth without error, exaggeration, or omission. The parent then takes the position (internally, if not overtly) that they need to go down to the school and bring this up with the teacher. The parent walks into that conversation with the assumption that the teacher has done something wrong and needs to be corrected, chastised, or, in some cases, even called out for it.
There was a time when a parent, upon hearing about her child’s questionable behavior, kept an open mind. The parent would set up a time to meet with the teacher and bring up the situation, asking questions, and seeking more information before accepting what his child has said on face value. The parent saw the teacher as the extension of rightful authority and would be treated as such until such time that the teacher’s behavior or attitude indicated otherwise.
Instead, today parents are more and more assuming from the beginning that the teacher is, if not wrong altogether, at minimum the center of the problem. Let’s stop and look at this for a moment. What happens to a child when she sees her parent regularly challenge the truthfulness and/or authority of the teacher? Common sense tells you that, at minimum, this can later only lead to a problematic life for that child.
Certainly teachers are fallible. We know that. They make mistakes. By definition, as humans, they are imperfect. But what parents need to remember is that most teachers (yes…there are exceptions) are pouring their lives into their students. They are working in overdrive for a good part of the school day to ensure that their students are not only learning but growing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. At CRCS, our goal is to point students to Christ so that they will seek Him and follow His blueprint for their lives.
So, parents, when your child errs in his/her behavior, please remember that the teacher’s role is one of partner…not adversary. Once a child sees that relationship in action, they will begin to rethink, over time, the error of their ways…and hopefully make efforts to reduce those errors. THAT is the direction we want them to go. Remember this: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Prov 22:6”