4 Things Teaching Has Taught Me About Parenting
Updated: Jun 23, 2019
Let me preface this article by reminding everyone that I am not a mother (except a crazy, overzealous puppy mother to my gorgeous baby bull terrier, Rylee - see photograph below). Also, I don’t claim to have any idea how to successfully raise an actual human child so that they grow up to be a somewhat decent person. However, being a teacher of whippersnappers has opened my eyes to a few common parenting faux pas. I decided to compile a list so that when I do have my own kids, I can remind myself what (not) to do.
1. Don’t teach your child that rules don’t apply to them.
So there was this very loud, very lazy kid in my class, let’s call him Little Timmy. Little Timmy liked to avoid doing any kind of work as much as humanly possible so would resort to asking to use the toilet about nine times a day. This would have been fine if he’d been a seventy year old retiree with a weak bladder, but Little Timmy was a healthy seven year old who was already given ample breaks to eat, drink, play and use the bathroom. Eventually, after finding him terrorising kindy kids on the playground on multiple occasions when he was supposed to be having a toilet break, I had to send an email home to his parents asking them to remind the dear child to please use the toilet at designated breaks. The next morning I arrived at school to Mum waiting outside my door to “have a little chat” with me. She came in, sat down, and proceeded to whisper to me that Little Timmy was a very timid boy (untrue) who often needed to urinate when he felt nervous, so he should continue to be excused whenever he asked. When I bought up the fact that all of the other children seem to manage fine, she responded with, “Yes, but I don’t think that rule should apply to Little Timmy.” Needless to say, Little Timmy missed out on about half the syllabus that year and I’m pretty sure many more kindies were terrorised.
2. Don’t do everything for your child.
This is a tricky one. Because I know how badly you want to do things for adorably clumsy little kids when they struggle to do it themselves, or do a surprisingly terrible job at whatever menial task they’re attempting. But please, parents, don’t do it! Every teacher knows the type of child it creates: a needy, helpless, dependent type that can barely eat a sandwich without the aid of an adult. I see it so often, and I don’t understand why parents can’t see that theirs is the only child in the class who can’t put their own backpack on, tie their shoelace, or open their Moana lunchbox. You just gotta let them try it on their own! I mean, we are trying to develop well-rounded, independent individuals here, right?!
3. Don’t poison your kid’s minds with your own biases.
This year, I had a girl in my class tell me that she didn’t want to meet her dad’s new girlfriend because mum said that she would be an ‘evil stepmother just like in Cinderella’. That poor new girlfriend.
4. If you’re generally a good, kind person, your child will probably be too.
This one is pretty self- explanatory. I think kids are born good. They continue to be so when they have honest examples of kind, thoughtful, generous people to follow.
Like this post? Never miss another! Click here to subscribe.