Thursday, January 27, 2005
This morning I got into one of those teacher conversations about how shocking our kids' lack of respect for authority can be. We were all lamenting what our society is going to turn into once these kids are in charge of everything. I've been thinking about television and how it sets an example. The examples of parenting that I have seen lately show a trend, for sure. Nanny 911. Super Nanny. The Soprano's. Any sitcom.
Have you noticed that all the kids on television treat their parents like crap? And have you noticed how it is supposed to be funny? And have you also noticed that the parents are completely ineffectual at parenting? What kind of example does this set and what are the effects of it?
Now, I know some awesome parents. My brother and his wife are amazingly artful at parenting my niece and nephew. It seems to come to them naturally and they love their kids enough to be thoughtful with their consequences and be firm without being mean. Good parents are out there. I know my niece will probably not come to 8th grade and tell her teacher to "Shut up, B$@%&". But there are so many kids who have no respect for authority and I have to wonder how much of that is learned from the media (I know there are tons of other factors, too).
But the conversation with my fellow teachers ended with all of them deciding that kids just needed to be spanked more. That to fix this problem we should hit them and then they won't be rude because they'll be afraid. I have always been against spanking (and I still am), but this environment challenges me on that. Some of my students respond to "the rod". But I'm sticking to my non-violent guns. My brother and his wife don't spank their kids and they mind. I know it can be done. ¶ 4:48 AM