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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Oct 30, 2012
DEAR ABBY: "Chaplin, Conn., Reader" (Aug. 16) suggested that teachers should be sharing life lessons with children. Unfortunately, many people in our society believe it -- including parents. Students come to us with ever-increasing deficits in many non-curricular areas. But it is not the job of public educators to teach them the importance of families, helping grandparents, caring for household pets, etc.

If these things come up in the course of the day and there is a need to address them, we try to clarify any misconceptions. But taking time to prepare and teach a lesson on any of these small but important subjects is no longer an option. The demands placed on teachers today are vast and complex. Just getting parents to follow through at home on school responsibilities is a job in itself. Many of them don't seem to think they need to help their kids be successful in school.-- SEEN IT ALL IN MICHIGAN

DEAR SEEN IT ALL: Thank you for your comments. The letter from "Chaplin, Conn. Reader" brought a huge number of responses on this issue, primarily from teachers:

DEAR ABBY: I have worked in an elementary school for nine years. A teacher is a counselor, doctor, social worker and behavioral specialist all in one. Kids come to class dirty, hungry, tired, with no manners or clue about the alphabet or counting. Teachers have halted lessons because a child is in a meltdown. Some kids have never held a pencil or scissors, and don't know how to share or take directions from an adult. It's sad to hear them say they have no crayons at home or books to read. As for testing, unless the parents do their job, we will see little improvement in scores. And no, I don't work in a big-city school district -- this is a nice suburban area.-- STILL LOVE MY JOB

DEAR ABBY: I spend half my teaching time on behavioral issues, social skills, bullying, how to work in a group and just trying to hold kids' attention. Many children today are so used to constant stimulation from TV, video games, texting, etc., that their attention spans max out at 30 seconds. I practically have to sing and dance to reach them or they tune out. I suggest "Chaplin" go to a school, volunteer, and try to become a part of the solution instead of adding to the burden of already overworked teachers.-- TEACHING IN TACOMA

DEAR ABBY: You said parents should be the ones teaching the kinds of things the Connecticut reader wrote about. Then you asked where the parents are. Let me tell you! They're too busy on their smartphones talking to or fighting with their latest boy- or girlfriend, playing electronic games, out drinking and partying so much they don't know or care where their kids are. Parents who actually spend time with their children and give them undivided attention are sadly in the minority. Those who help to teach them are even fewer in number.-- KANSAS READER

DEAR ABBY: You are correct that teachers are overwhelmed by many curricular, legislative and administrative demands. However, educators can continually instill many of these life lessons into students by acting as positive role models who consistently demonstrate core values such as integrity, respect and determination. Students tend to do and learn what they see even more than what they are told -- by parents and teachers.-- ANNE IN NEVADA

DEAR ABBY: I am a retired physical education teacher, One day during a health class, a mother of one of my students came to school and told me I should teach "morals and manners" to her daughter. My response: "Ma'am, if you couldn't do that in 14 years, I can't do it in 40 minutes a day." -- REMEMBERS IT WELL

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Oct 30, 2012
My friend's kids are in an in-home day care. There's a little boy who's 4.5 years old. He's STILL not potty trained. Day care provider told the parents that they needed to focus on potty training while she was on vacation for a week (meaning, they would be home all week with him). Parent: "We want YOU to do it." He's a horrible kid, but it's not his fault -- the parents just don't do their job.

His little sister also is showing developmental delays. The parents refuse to address it.

I absolutely believe that 95% of educating a child is the parents' job. Teachers can't do much when parents aren't doing their own work of parenting.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#3 Oct 30, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
My friend's kids are in an in-home day care. There's a little boy who's 4.5 years old. He's STILL not potty trained. Day care provider told the parents that they needed to focus on potty training while she was on vacation for a week (meaning, they would be home all week with him). Parent: "We want YOU to do it." He's a horrible kid, but it's not his fault -- the parents just don't do their job.
His little sister also is showing developmental delays. The parents refuse to address it.
I absolutely believe that 95% of educating a child is the parents' job. Teachers can't do much when parents aren't doing their own work of parenting.
WTF is wrong with people? Not saying potty training is 'fun', but I'd think that would be something that would give a accomplishment for parents and child. Plus, diapers are expensive.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#4 Oct 30, 2012
I love the last LW's comment here.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Oct 30, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
WTF is wrong with people? Not saying potty training is 'fun', but I'd think that would be something that would give a accomplishment for parents and child. Plus, diapers are expensive.
last week, this kid pooped on the bathroom floor then smeared it all over everything. Day care lady told the parents, who shrugged it off as a "kids will be kids" and "you can't control them" thing. She told my friend that if she could afford to lose the income, she'd fired that family.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#6 Oct 30, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
last week, this kid pooped on the bathroom floor then smeared it all over everything. Day care lady told the parents, who shrugged it off as a "kids will be kids" and "you can't control them" thing. She told my friend that if she could afford to lose the income, she'd fired that family.
If he's *not* developmentally delayed, he's going to have a rough time in regular kindergarten next year.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Oct 30, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
WTF is wrong with people? Not saying potty training is 'fun', but I'd think that would be something that would give a accomplishment for parents and child. Plus, diapers are expensive.
My motivation and my motivation to my kid....kids will make fun of you if you pee your pants. We had him out of diapers and in underwear and he would have accidents. Accidents = I am too busy playing and I don't want to stop until its just about to late, but by then its too late to make it to the bathroom, and therefore, its too late.

Speaking of the kid, he got invited to a party this past weekend by a kid he was in day care with from the time they were infants to the time they let the daycare for kindergarten. Differnt schools. Wife took him. Turns out he was the only boy there.
And the little girl told one of hte other girls that he was her boyfriend. He heard that and said "I'm not your boyfriend"

That's right! Keep them b!+c#e$ straight!

:)

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Oct 30, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
last week, this kid pooped on the bathroom floor then smeared it all over everything. Day care lady told the parents, who shrugged it off as a "kids will be kids" and "you can't control them" thing. She told my friend that if she could afford to lose the income, she'd fired that family.
I just can't understand the mindset of a parent that would not feel completely humiliated that their kid did something like that.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#9 Oct 30, 2012
My in-laws didn't help J or SIL out with homework much past 2nd grade, if even before then. Neither have any memory of being read to. They never went to museums or the library or on nature walks (save for J taking SIL). This blows the mind. There's no chance I'd have made it through school without all of that extracurricular help.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#10 Oct 30, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
If he's *not* developmentally delayed, he's going to have a rough time in regular kindergarten next year.
Will they even let him attend? Schools around here require that a kid be potty trained.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#11 Oct 30, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
If he's *not* developmentally delayed, he's going to have a rough time in regular kindergarten next year.
Based on what other parents have told me, your kid isn't *allowed* in kindergarten if he's not potty trained (unless the kid wears diapers for some disability issue).

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Oct 30, 2012
Oh, yeah, what jmw said. Some day, I"ll learn to read through all the comments.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#13 Oct 30, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
Will they even let him attend? Schools around here require that a kid be potty trained.
True. I think even if he was at a commercial day care, he'd have to be potty trained by 4.5.

They'll probably just slap underwear on him and let the teachers handle the messes, like they do now.

Weird fact. Two different girls at my junior high wet their pants. One in 6th grade and one in 7th. The 6th grade one, the girl was begging the teacher to let her run to the bathroom and she wouldn't let her go. Girl's mom came and tore that teacher a new one after school. Can't say as I blame her.

Second one was just weird...it was during basketball practice and there were bathrooms just feet from the gym in a couple directions. Nobody would have even noticed if she had ducked out for a couple minutes, but she wet her freaking pants instead. And then the basketballs were rolling through it. Teacher/coach didn't catch on, but everyone else knew what happened. That one weirded me out to no end.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#14 Oct 30, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
Based on what other parents have told me, your kid isn't *allowed* in kindergarten if he's not potty trained (unless the kid wears diapers for some disability issue).
Most preschools won't allow non-potty-trained children to attend either. They have different DCFS certifications than daycares whose employees can handle diapering needs.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Oct 30, 2012
There are bad parents and there are bad teachers. Potty training can be challenging for some (some kids get on the program right away, others not) but I really don't understand the mentality that the school should teach bathroom habits! In any of the daycare programs my kid attended, if someone acted like that -- smearing feces everywhere in the bathroom, etc. they would be kicked out. If you bit someone twice, you were out.

It was a safety issue. They shouldn't put up with it.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Oct 30, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
My in-laws didn't help J or SIL out with homework much past 2nd grade, if even before then. Neither have any memory of being read to. They never went to museums or the library or on nature walks (save for J taking SIL). This blows the mind. There's no chance I'd have made it through school without all of that extracurricular help.
hmmm....

I remember being read to. I read to my kids.

I remember being helped with homework. I help my kid with homework.

Museums? Don't remember ever going to a museum. Never taken my kid to one.

Library? Never got taken to one by my parents. Only taken my kid to one cause they have DVD's.

Nature walks? WTF is that? Is that like walking through the monkey habitat at Disney's Animal Kingdom?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Oct 30, 2012
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
Most preschools won't allow non-potty-trained children to attend either. They have different DCFS certifications than daycares whose employees can handle diapering needs.
What age is preschool? My kid was in the same day care/school from infancy till he left for kindergarten.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#18 Oct 30, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>What age is preschool? My kid was in the same day care/school from infancy till he left for kindergarten.
Age 3ish. The commercial daycare my son was in as an infant didn't allow kids to move up to the preschool rooms until they were potty-trained. The private preschool we moved my son to at age 3 did not accept non-potty-trained kids at all because they were certified as a preschool, not an infant daycare.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

#19 Oct 30, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
last week, this kid pooped on the bathroom floor then smeared it all over everything. Day care lady told the parents, who shrugged it off as a "kids will be kids" and "you can't control them" thing. She told my friend that if she could afford to lose the income, she'd fired that family.
This is not a parental teaching issue.. This is something wrong with the kid. By 4 1/2 a child has teh muscle control to control his sphincters and teh nerve endings to know when his bladder is full..

This is pathology

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#21 Oct 30, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
hmmm....
I remember being read to. I read to my kids.
I remember being helped with homework. I help my kid with homework.
Museums? Don't remember ever going to a museum. Never taken my kid to one.
Library? Never got taken to one by my parents. Only taken my kid to one cause they have DVD's.
Nature walks? WTF is that? Is that like walking through the monkey habitat at Disney's Animal Kingdom?
Ah, well your kid's proximity to all things Disney is about the same as mine was to Chicago's museum campus.

Not saying you have to do all the things I listed to be a good parent, but I know you provide your kids with learning experiences over and above school/daycare.

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