Jun 27, 201208:06 AMCup of Joe
Your weekly dose of strange parenting news, trends, and polls
Striking a balance
If you haven’t seen the recent YouTube video of bus monitor Karen Klein of Greece, N.Y., then you’ve been spared several minutes of watching a gaggle of children verbally abuse and put down an adult. It’s not a pleasant thing to watch, and it’s left many parents asking a question that seems to get asked all too often lately: What has this world come to? My answer—we’ve become tilted.
As I got older, my parents shared with me a number of tales of discipline from their own childhood—my dad loves sharing the stories of wooden paddles with holes drilled in them to reduce wind resistance and teachers grabbing students by their sideburns and dragging them up to the front of the classroom. Not exactly how most of us picture discipline in schools today.
I don’t condone any of that behavior personally and I don’t feel that teachers should have the right to physically discipline a child, but now we are drifting too far in the opposite direction. We’ve reached a point where kids are able to do whatever they want with little fear of consequences and with a lack of respect for adults.
Some teachers have discarded more traditional methods such as having children write their name on the chalkboard as a warning or keeping them inside for recess when they act up, for fear of being sued or harassed by parents. Instead, many teachers now provide a reward for children’s good behavior, doing away with punishments all together. While there isn’t anything wrong with rewarding a child for good behavior, an important element is lost through this method—teaching kids the value of respect.
But is it really a teacher’s responsibility to teach a child that adults should be respected? And how can we expect teachers and other school personnel to manage a classroom when we continually strip them of their authority? Maybe I’m a more traditional thinker, but whenever a teacher threatened to put my name on a chalk board or call home while I was in school, I straightened up quick for fear of the punishment that would come later once I got home.
Do you think schools have become too relaxed in their methods of discipline? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.