Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thinking Positive

Esta semana voy a llegar a la escuela con una actitud positiva. Voy a tomar la iniciativa y voy a demandar que mis estudiantes me muestran respeto.

Today, as I was doing my homework for the "applying theory and research" class I'm taking, I read about the different parenting styles. I had learned about these a couple of times before, but the information had been shoved aside to make room in my brain for other, I'm sure, more pertinent facts....

So it was really interesting to me to read about the predicted behaviors that children will exhibit if/when their parents employ particular parenting styles.

Watch out, indulgent parents -- you are basically teaching your children to become a menace to society. And you thought you were helping your baby become more creative....

It was particularly interesting to me after the week I had at school last week....And several different run-ins or conversations with parents over the last couple weeks. In my morning group of students, I can clearly identify my three biggest behavior problems, and their manifestations, as direct results of the parenting styles the children are experiencing. One has an authoritarian mother -- taking away all privileges, leveling extra (and perhaps unnecessary) punishments, and basically leaving no room for the child to express his own wants. This smart boy has become defiant and disrespectful. Another of my student's parents is indulgent -- loving and kind toward her child, yet completely unwilling to discipline the child in any way, or set any clear and maintained boundaries for the child. This indulgent parenting style has left the poor child with no respect for adults, completely egocentric, and completely unable to control his own behavior. And another of my dear sweet angels has a neglectful/indulgent mom -- sometimes indulging her child, believing anything that he says, and sometimes so wrapped up in her own life that the actions of her child go completely unnoticed. The child, in return, is showing signs of becoming socially incompetent, as well as being immature and disrespectful.

Oh, how I love it when I can read in a textbook about the problems I am seeing, but only find a list of the problems and their manifestations, and no advice on how to help these poor children....

But this week, I am going to have a positive attitude. I am going to be thankful for the other 11 children who have authoritative parents, who show love and present alternatives to their children in times of misbehavior, who ensure that their children are doing what is expected of them, paying them enough attention and being reasonable in their responses to their children.

And with my afternoon group, I'm going re-assert the classroom rules, and pretend that they will follow them this time. And I'll celebrate when we have a student-half-day on Wednesday and only two more weeks of studying animals and then can move on to what I think is the fun part -- planting seeds and hoping they will grow.

But overall, a positive attitude is in order, at least for Monday.

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