Posts Tagged ‘ATL conference’

Are Parents Creating a Generation of Spoilt Children?

April 4, 2012

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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