Are Parents Creating a Generation of Spoilt Children?

I think teachers should be very careful when criticising parents. Whilst I have no doubt that parents who don’t demand help around the house often breed lazy kids who lack independence and motivation, school isn’t necessarily the place to gauge whether or not a child is spoilt.

Teachers have been instructed for many years to become emotionally distant. This philosophy has become very prevalent and the results are as gloomy as the methodology. No teacher adopting this style of teaching can ever compare themselves to a parent. When parents set boundaries they do it with love and deep concern. If a teacher decides to become emotionally distant, they lead their students to believe that their boundaries are set without a deep-rooted connection to the child. The child comes to believe taht the rules were set for selfish reasons, because “it’s not as if my teacher cares about me anyway!”

That’s why I am not sure the connections made in this article are necessarily accurate:

Some middle class parents are turning their children into “little Buddhas” by “waiting on them hand and foot” at home, a teachers’ leader has said.

Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Dr Mary Bousted warned spoilt children had “disproportionate” consequences for behaviour in schools.

Parents needed to be confident in saying no to their children, she said.

It come as the union debated calls for tough behaviour sanctions in school.

The ATL conference in Manchester earlier heard that measures such as detention, suspension and exclusion, were failing to deal with behavioural issues.

But Dr Bousted laid the blame firmly with poor parenting in both poor and middle class homes.

While acknowledging most parents did a good job, she told reporters: “Children without boundaries at home resent boundaries imposed at school.

“We need to be confident in saying we can go so far but no further we need to be more confident in what we think is reasonable.

“How many parents ask their children regularly to contribute to the running of the house?

“Far too many children are waited on at home hand and foot. They don’t do the washing up and they don’t do the hoovering and the don’t have to make their own beds.

“We are not doing them any favours if we make them into little Buddhas at home,” she said.

“And it certainly doesn’t do them any favours in school”.

I also don’t agree that this style of parenting is more prevalent in lower and middle class families than wealthy families.

At the end of the day, until our teachers uniformly dispense with strategies that preach distance rather than concern, we can never connect symptoms in the classroom to habits taught from home.

Boundaries are more likely to be respected when the child feels that the person setting them respects them.

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3 Responses to “Are Parents Creating a Generation of Spoilt Children?”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Ahhh….Spare the rod…..So, many think, goes the Biblical proverb. Actually the word, translated “rod” refers to an instrument of measurement; a standard. True, there is one Proverb that tells parents that if they beat their son with a rod, he will not die, and that in doing so they will save his life. Taken with other Proverbs and Biblical advice on human nature and child rearing it is clear that children are to be raised with love, standards and boundaries.

    In real life, if one crosses a boundary, one is punished, provided one is proven guilty in a court of law. Biblical advice on raising children has more to do with correction than with punishment.

    What happens when a child persistently crosses a boundary at school? It seems to me that this results in reams of paperwork for the teacher (ie. the teacher is punished). The rights of the child are considered above everything else. Why is this? When a child gets into trouble at school, in some cases, the parent will back their child to the hilt, make excuses and complain to higher authorities, making it very difficult for the school to maintain standards of discipline.

    When I was a child at school, the opposite was the case. If I had gone home and complained to my father about being punished at school, I would open the door for further retribution at home.

    There is also a high degree of official interference in the running of schools today to the extent that nobody working in a school can be absolutely certain that any action they take, any decision they make, might not be called into question or countermanded.

    I see these problems as a consequence of multiculturalism. I am not criticising multiculturalism per se. I think it a great idea that people of all races and languages should live together in harmony. However, cultural diversity can result in conflicting standards and confused boundaries. What I do find is that people who want to cross boundaries with impunity invariably play the cards which trumps all others; the victim card. Multiculturalism does not cause this. Such people exist even in a monoculture. Multiculturalism just provides greater opportunities for those who want to deny standards and cross boundaries. (Why should, muslims, homosexuals, indigenous people, immigrants, refugees, women, drug addicts, alcoholics, single parents, disabled people, etc etc, have to conform to the standards required of the rest of society? They are the victims, are they not?)

    When a society rejects the authority of absolute, ontological standards of behaviour (which apply to all mankind, rightly understood), and begins to make allowances for those who deviate and excuse themselves on cultural, sexual or religious grounds we no longer have absolutes but are forced to contend with an endless stream of particulars and before long inconsistencies creep in, cracks appear and the whole house of cards eventually falls to the ground, which is what we are now witnessing in the world of political correctness. Political correctness, as a standard of right and wrong, is a lie because, just as politicians can be voted in and out of office, so can what is considered to be politically correct.

  2. Carl D'Agostino Says:

    “spoilt” Oh so you speak New Yawk !

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