Because not every adult they encounter has their best interests in mind, so to protect them from the growing list of even supposed to be safe adults who turn out not to be their parents resorted to, out of necessity, telling children to listen only to them.
Obviously the parent blogger linked below, when she begged adults to please tell her children what to do, was speaking about the sphere of trusted persons, mentors surrounding them daily, teachers, coaches, after school/community activities directors, the friend’s parents she’s talked to and feels comfortable with them spending time in the other adult’s home; people all of society should listen to and trust lifeguards, as she mentions, police, firefighters, paramedics. Removing the parenting ‘trend’, ‘problem’ she’s speaking about usually only happens among affluent middle class, almost always white parents of suburbia, her writing immediately screams well off, children attending a good school, idyllic American life complete with white picket fence, not just by her topic but rather her approach to it. Her clarion call for all the other grown-ups in her children’s lives to please tell them what to do, condition them to the rigors of social order, condition them to following the directions of someone not herself, precursors to everything from accepting criticism to holding down a job readily tells readers she doesn’t have a black or brown child subject to totally different conversations just to go out of the house daily and by the grace of god return to it after the school day, that evening. Doesn’t have to worry about if her child encounters a police officer and not merely because she has taught them the ‘holy mantra’ of respecting and obeying all adults so they won’t have a problem; she doesn’t have to worry about it because no cop will look at her kid thinking thug, thief, up to no good, engage in the negrophobia, adultification common to young, black, especially boys, gun them down in the street for looking like— insert flimsy excuse here. They don’t have an ‘officer slam’ at her kids’ schools chiefly because they don’t do that in suburbia, in predominately white schools only in urban areas, majority black educational institutions; should they have resource officers, they are A- the properly trained mentors they are supposed to be, not authoritah, power obsessed bullies with badges, handcuffs and guns, because parents insist on it. And B- because her child is white he won’t be given a second glance, if he is he will be given the benefit of the doubt not afforded ethnic students too often today. Translation her son will never be thrown across a classroom for refusing to leave independent ‘he wouldn’t have his phone out in class because he’s not allowed to take it to school; ‘see this is what I’m talking about, situation X, Y, Z arises because children listen to no adults apart from their parents,’ ignoring the larger problems of poor classroom management, student engagement and administrative overreaction. It certainly wouldn’t deteriorate into example 2’s restrain hold for a student ‘involved in a fight’ to picking her up, slamming her to the ground leaving a knot over her eye then failing to report it, lying about it to make it appear like an accident; should such a scenario take place, officer would be immediately fired, dido example 3 body slamming a 15 year old student trying to stop a fight involving her sister, resulting in no charges for the obviously errant officer. Further both due to her children being likewise economically stable, no one is going to accuse her son of ‘stealing’ milk, handcuff him, let alone charge him with larceny over that 65 cent carton, regardless of being on the free lunch program and forgetting his milk, the true story of the black teen. If her child was caught in the hall without a hall pass by his school resource officer trying to use the bathroom during lunch his Caucasian, ‘clean cut,’ nice clothes look would automatically make him more believable talking about his medical issue’s roll in why he needs to go to the bathroom now than the black kid with ill-fitting school uniform, baggy pants, ‘bad neighborhood,’ negative reputation, he wouldn’t have to resort to throwing an orange at the wall relieving his frustration at trying to get an adult to listen, forget body slammed to the floor hitting his head unto knocked out; officer then scrambling to confiscate witness student’s cellphone video to cover his violent behavior. He would have been escorted to the bathroom, afterwards his next class or the principal’s office with a side recommendation to bring a doctor’s note to the school nurse to avoid future incidents. In fact, her examples of common parenting conundrums and fellow parents’ compulsive need to fix, ‘to protect from failure’ tells readers she’s never had so much as a mildly negative experience with any of her child’s teachers. Where the teacher was blatantly wrong, overbearing, was mean, incompetent in ways we’ve seen dominating headlines, punishing students for speaking their native Spanish, lowering grades of students for refusing to stand during the pledge of allegiance, this case in solidarity with those objecting to bad treatment of native Americans, appropriate since the student was native American. Writing derogatory remarks on the faces of slow readers, writing humiliating, name calling, inappropriate remarks on graded homework, humiliating younger grade students for mistakes in front of the whole class, student recordings of the despicable things said by teachers about themselves, fellow classmates, one teacher who, in reference to a new 3rd grade class being formed took votes on who to throw out of her classroom, not at all how the school planned to handle the transition. At least in no story, scenario she’s heard about concerning her children, you never know what might be going on your child isn’t telling you about; too scared, ashamed, busy thinking it’s their fault. Here’s a big one, had unrealistic expectations, being well off as she doubtlessly is her and her husband could likely afford pre-school, live in an area where there are plenty of choices for pre-kindergarten education, less prone to huge waiting lists unless it was for a posh academy, won the luck lottery of getting them in to a free option, so her children were right where they were supposed to be, managed most of the things on their beginning of the year assessment, already acclimated to a school setting breezing through kindergarten as basic review, how said teachers are oriented to teach. She either lives in a sizable metropolitan city, adjacent to an urban, diverse area where schoolboards aren’t prone to the shenanigans in Utah, Florida, North Carolina forcing kids into adherence to 1950’s dress codes, mangling the photo shopping of yearbook pictures for ‘modesty,’ shaming girls for being too warm on a hot day wearing sundresses and sleeveless shirts, where, gasp in horror, a bra strap might be visible, probably will be with the oversize neck cuts of girl, teen, missy, all the way up to women’s tops available for purchase. Even suggesting a dress code for parents dropping off and picking up children from schools in the Florida case where it’s 99% sunny, warm and tourists are everywhere producing parents wearing absolutely envied attire for work, or she agrees with them. Seems to have only boys sidestepping most of the dress code hell to begin with, won’t find out her 5 year old’s floor length spaghetti strap sun dress is a problem when she comes out of the school day wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt housed in her bag; father to discover they used her natural tendency toward compliance, obedience, people pleasing to get her to change her clothes because the rules say no spaghetti strap clothing even though she is anatomically above the waist identical to 5 year old boys, rule plainly meant for middle and high school ages starting to develop. Then when you take to your venue as an article writer to point out the absurdity of the whole incident, particularly the way they handled it, instead of speaking to you when you came to pick her up, reminding you of the rule, calling you to come bring her different clothes if it was such a big deal, saying something the moment she was dropped off; you are bombarded with internet trolls, fellow parents, commenters spouting in essence here we go again another parent who thinks the rules don’t apply to their child, exceptions should be made for them, when the truth was he simply forgot the stipulation about no spaghetti straps. She won’t get notes, detentions, calls to pick up her child for too short shorts; there will be no debates over tank top strap width where you go to the school ruler in hand prove it fits the policy and the refuse to lift her child’s punishment, because she has boys and boys are much less susceptible to school dress code harassment. Put at an untold advantage not having an ethnic child she isn’t positioned to combat racist, discriminatory dress codes banning ‘corn rolls’ (rows) twists, braids, dreads, hair jewelry, her child won’t be threatened with expulsion for his poofy hair, afros longer than 2 inches, won’t suddenly be barred from playing soccer over hair beads the coach is too ignorant to know take roughly an hour to put in/take out, no one will send home notes about the smelly coconut oil put in his hair to moisturize it, standard conditioner works fine; that there were no student complaints, the teacher is Russian and known as a ‘complainer’ adds another layer of really insanity occurring at a pre-school. Whether she would admit it, or even recognize it as a factor in how well her and her children are treated by the authority known as the school system, she fits perfectly into her suburban neighborhood, well-educated herself, dutifully respectful of authority that has rarely, if ever wronged her, holding a job befitting her social standing or is a stay at home mom raising refined kids and staying out of the helicopter zone; which means no one is going to do to her what was done to the Georgia mother who allowed teachers to spank her 5 year old for misbehavior in the bus line fearing she would go to jail for excessive school absences and not merely owing to ‘her child wouldn’t have missed 3 weeks of school’ ‘he was taught better and wouldn’t have been hitting kids and spitting on teachers, grounded at home so the school didn’t have to discipline him.’ No they would have believed her about his absences and considered it not a problem, chalked up his bus line behavior to a bad day, less time in the school environment than his peers simply suspending him from the bus for a day or 2, possibly even contemplating does he have a medical condition, mental health problem, because he comes from a good family, his mother is a nice person, isn’t deemed poor white trash, isn’t so and so ‘and you know how that family is’ caddy, petty stereotypes common to the region. In short Susan Speer is the one possessing unrealistic expectations about the good, wholesomeness in the world, hasn’t watched the news, picked up a newspaper throughout her entire life, blatantly hasn’t done so since the beginning of her children’s’ lives including social media stories, online legitimate news segments and is lulling her kids into a false sense of security to potentially devastating consequences, if not for them, then their own future children. Congratulations mom, in an effort not to be today’s chief parenting problem, you’ve created 5 others— at least.
Yet even inside the white suburbia wonderland less and less Americans inhabit there is a reason to push back against this return to previous decades’ parenting, the drive not to be the so called neo-parent obsessed about things, supposedly helicopter parenting your kids, encasing them in bubble wrap; gone are the days of it takes a village to raise a child and the idea you can trust your village to help in raising your child instead routinely having to protect them from it. Having a high schooler born as early as 1998 or as late as 2001 and a middle schooler younger than that, Speer is old enough to have grown up in the shadow of Etan Patz and Adam Walsh, if nothing else seeing the TV movie detailing the tragedy of Steven Gregory Stayner and Timothy White, Polly Klaas and JonBenet Ramsey where too few short years before her oldest child’s birth to be forgotten, brushed under the rug. Considering closely speculation on just how Adam Walsh became pray for psychopath Odis Toole, his parents pieced together that while at a Florida Sears in 1981 they shopped while he entrained himself with a store’s video game display alongside some older boys, older boys became rowdy and loud asked to leave by store security guard, Adam 6, too scared to tell guards his parents were in the store, he wasn’t with them ejected from the store too, found decapitated, only thing left—his head. But all adults, adults in specific authoritative positions should be able to tell our kids what to do. Because JonBenet Ramsey’s family deigned to take her out of their own home’s basement in an attempt to revive her, in the chaotic shock of realizing she was dead, hysterical mourning amidst calling police coupled with the bumbling of Boulder Colorado forensics 20 years later they are still trying to find out who hurt and killed a little 6 year old girl; despite foreign DNA in her underwear parents, brother not fully exonerated through proper investigation and advanced DNA testing until 12 years later post Pasty Ramsey dying of cancer, not living to see her battered name cleared. Father speaking out on the anniversary ahead of a new documentary airing fall 2016; same year Jacob Wetterling, another high profile missing child case was back in the headlines when his remains were found, a long suspected person confessing responsibility, Jacob only shot when a regular police patrol drove by and he thought they were after him. But all adults, adults in specific authoritative positions should be able to tell our kids what to do; for 27 years his parents wondered if he was alive, if today was the day they were going to get a call: hi mom, dad it’s Jacob can I come home, they would open the door and there would be their son able to tell them what happened, where he’s been. Double blow on top of his death, finding, just now, their son was sexually assaulted before being indiscriminately killed; life so quickly snuffed out solely due to his captor, abuser’s fear of getting caught. Mirroring events in the Etan Patz saga renewed 4 years before, suspect from years earlier having confessed to family who finally spoke up with an added side of someone who stood up in court thinking they legitimately might be Etan, parents equally never moving, changing their phone number, hoping he would return for 33 years; guilty verdict for his confessed killer announced 1 month ago. Why parents don’t respond well, clashing with reader comment, to non-related adults walking around calling their child son, giving out life advice; because, all 3 boys, Jacob too that night, went with obeyed the adult owing to he was an adult, when handcuffed and put into the car Jacob kept asking what did I do wrong? Nor is it according to the commenter from another country living, parenting in fear to recognize, understand this is the way the world is and this is how I have to parent if I want my child to make it to their teens, to adulthood. People reading recognizing the names tempted to think hold old they are, how much things s have changed in terms of awareness; it’s not merely these old cases, the steady trickle through the years of missing, turned up dead children fueling words written here. Putting aside Jaycee Dugard at11 should have been able to walk the short way to her school bus, Shawn Hornbeck was no match for the gun Michael Devlin shoved in his face to gain his compliance riding home from a friend’s house or that Ben Ownby was shoved into a white van getting off his school bus, are the endless list of new cases yearly, when home isn’t safe the way it wasn’t for Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart, baby Lisa Irwin, fathers who’ve impeded the kidnappings of barely school age children. An unmistakable predator who pushed his way into a 13 year old’s home having followed her from school, fortunately able to fight him off, that was May 2016; by July same year store surveillance videos saw the attempted kidnapping of a 4 year old directly in front of mom. Paralleling a nearly identical years older case were a child fought off her would be kidnapper one aisle over from mom, child self-defense class credited with saving her life, letting her know what to do, problem: we need child self-defense, advanced stranger danger classes, but combat blogs by a parent who thinks every adult that crossed their child’s path should have carte blanche to tell them what to do; a Philadelphia abduction thwarted by screaming little brother, both 5 short years ago. It was 2 years ago a toddler was snatched out of his stroller, rescued by older siblings chasing him, his capture down local streets, gotten away from a disturbed teen, all happening when the babysitter turned her back for a minute; fast-forward to 2016 again, attempted kidnapping 13 year old dragged through the Florida Dollar General store, mother doing everything she can to stop him, peeping tom in Colorado caught on home surveillance footage eying teen through probably her bedroom window. Last year too was the year of creepy clowns spotted, reported across the south trying to lure kids with copious amounts of candy, wads of cash in Greenville South Carolina, chasing kids on their way to school in Macon and Dublin Georgia; clown standing in the road causing a car accident there. Graduating to social media threats aimed at schools in Philadelphia, keeping students in at recess location—Long Island, New York, a teen in Kentucky arrested for scaring people in a ditch; clown related Instagram posts out of Huston, Texas threatening to kidnap students, kill teachers. McDonald’s icon Ronald McDonald forced into keeping a low profile, police, cities broadcasting extra warnings, parents doubtlessly keeping their kids in doors, switching their traditional Halloween venue; luckily these clowns frightened children keeping them away, still causing the death of one teen during an altercation while wearing a clown mask. 2017 not without its news making cases, a few months into the new year and we’re hearing about the baby nearly kidnapped from a Dunkin Doughnuts in Philadelphia; following a story last month about a man arrested trying to beckon a 6 year old out of a Riverside California grocery store bathroom, post lingering there tempting her with a treat, thankfully under arrest. Switching gears slightly, technology today plays a huge role smartphone apps, social media pages redefining stranger danger potentially luring a Virginia teen to her death; another father who confronted his daughter’s would be kidnapper the very night he planned to take her after seeing her correspondence on her phone. You can’t help but wonder if Susan Speer is this ignorant about threats to children the moment they step out the door from random adults how diligent she is about informing her tween and teens about apps like kik, if a 30 year old wants to meet you, even in a public place don’t, rules for internet/smart phone usage I don’t want you talking to older people online, tell me if someone is sending you inappropriate things; then again having sons she doesn’t face the increased threat to girls, young women. Technology also an asset, Indiana girls, 13 and 14 dropped off to go hiking on a popular hiking trail, using the once thought safety producing buddy system, parent praising one who recorded the odd adult man’s voice recalling she was always quick thinking like that, eerily similar to an Iowa set of girls bodies found 5 months after their disappearance 5 years ago; why we don’t let children walk anywhere alone, why the headline making ‘free range’ parents ran afoul of Maryland law that said no child under age 8 is to be alone, supervised in the company of a child younger than 13, law established as a blanket parenting guideline there to prevent harm and abduction, those particular small children from being run over on busy large-city streets. So called ‘trusted’ adults aren’t necessarily safe either; imagine if that security guard had given Adam Walsh a second look, simply asked if his parents were in the store. Manhunt has been underway for weeks trying to find a teacher who kidnapped his 15 year old student, purportedly researching teen marriage on the internet specifically age of consent, finding out if features of his SUV can be tracked by police; her knowing something might be wrong reportedly telling her sister that day if I’m not back by…you need to come find me, call the cops. Cummins and Thomas apparently using school technology and easily erasable messaging to communicate, him coming to her workplace, her telling co-workers to say she wasn’t there, her thinking it weird, sighted in Oklahoma city sporting changed hair colors, nothing since, his family broadcasting their forgiveness in homes Tad will come home bringing Elizabeth with him. Breaking as this goes to print Elizabeth Thomas has been found alive, physically well and reunited with her parents, captor in federal custody; if only all such stories had happy endings, didn’t happen form the get go. This signifying the latest in a long line of cases, difficult to distinguish who’s worse, the teacher engaging in sex with 14 year old student or the judge who gave him 1 month in jail alleging she acted, was mentally older than her chronological age, the man who started raping his female neighbor at age 18 when she was 13 or the judge who sentenced him, not to jail time instead a diversionary program allowing him to still be at home with his daughter! Highlighting a disturbing pattern: citizens who believe a person’s achievement in one area, reaching of an albeit fantastic goal, garnering the title, teacher, principal, coach, police officer, celebrity on reality TV even, renders them more trustworthy than the average person despite school exposed trends of ‘passing the trash;’ transferring problem teachers accused in sexual misconduct to different schools, many times equipped with glowing recommendations. Whether it’s the principal suspended post permitting drop out, explicit rapper Fetty Wap to film a music video including dancer on a poll, or the assistance principal arrested for the murder of a pregnant teacher allegedly to hide their affair, Honey Boo-boo family matriarch Mamma June dropping jaws via her extraordinary weight loss as The Young Turks Anna Kasparian reminded viewers while explaining why she was covering, an unusual for them story, less flattering headlines she was once at the center of concerning fiancé/husband Sugar Bear accused of molesting her children and she started out believing him. Repeat public response to Subway’s Jared seen as an icon, inspiration after losing 245 lbs. arrested, pleading guilty to child porn charges, crossing state lines to engage in commercial sex acts, underage sex with younger and younger girls; exposed by a friend who reported him to authorities hearing his inappropriate comments about middle school girls recording conversations for the FBI. Remember Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw after years of raping, sexually assaulting women he pulled over, preying on individuals whose criminal records, prior criminal histories made them un-credible complainants, witnesses until he cross the wrong grandmother. Doctors molesting patients under the guise of exam, the influence of in office anesthetics, anesthesia; those were adults but not the gymnasts one USA gymnastics doctor is accused of abusing under the pretense of sports medicine. We have a self-admitted p*ssy grabbing president facing a lawsuit alleging rape of an underage, 13 year old girl for god sakes and a politician who has followed in his footsteps caught on tape groping a woman. But I want adults to unquestionably be able to tell my kids what to do and them, not only listen, but obey; I want someone likeminded to Mike Huckabee giving my son the Josh Duggar response when asked about appropriate boundaries with girls, calling pedophile and sexual predator tendencies youthful indiscretion. More importantly Etan Patz, Adam Walsh and all the tragically famous kids to come after them, missing, taken from their families, yanked out of their beds justifiably changed things; setting aside foundations created in their name, national missing children’s day, faces on milk cartons, the national center for missing and exploited children developed by the Walsh’s, it reasonably re-morphed how parents parented that day forward, that year forward, the decades going forward. Jacob Wetterling’s uncovered remains generated stories locally exemplifying how things had changed in his close knit Minnesota community, children were understandably no longer allowed to wander around with the twin pillar rules of be home by dinner, be home by bedtime, be home by dark, ceasing to be permitted to ride bikes to the video store, park. Parents in North Carolina near that apartment complex rethinking letting their children go to a popular play area complete with small lake, not for fear of drowning but legitimate caution about what persons’ suddenly dressed in clown suits enticing children’s intentions were, tactics straight out of the known predator playbook. Revived debates about free range parenting brought on by the Maryland parents who defied a simple law twice, not to put food on the table, because they can’t afford a babysitter, work chaotic hours, are a single parent navigating an unreliable ex.; instead haughtily because they think their parenting rights, choice supersede law. It would have been a hardship to find a babysitter, neighbor to take them to the park, library, wherever, not until they turned 18 rather until they were 8 and 13, the oldest turned 13 complying with state regulation? Unleashed, a wellspring of true viewer accounts of life in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s parental neglect, almost kidnappings, indecent exposure experiences in parks, the neighborhood guy all the kids loved, always had the coolest video games, the house everyone wanted to hang out at arrested for molesting boys including his own son, 7 year old molested by a teen. Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tape prompted an author to write a piece entitled tweet me your first assault revealing expected college scenarios, no, sick though it is, shortage of incest cases, playground harassment between elementary school boys and girls; surprising, the sheer volume, women who couldn’t decide which story to tell in twitters 140 characters, a women who didn’t remember her first only her worst assault coupled with shocking data on how early it starts, adult predators seeking out children, where it can happen. 12 on a bus man reaches up girls dress grabs her p*ssy (her words), K-Mart aisle creepy man puts arm around 11 year old touches her inappropriately, remembers favorite ribbon in her hair, burying it in her yard that night, 14 in a dermatologist’s office forced to undress while he watched, being fitted for contacts optician grabs teens breasts to retrieve contact lens fallen down her blouse. Perhaps Ms. Speer announcing her prescription for parenting should consider the last 2 videos, title of the last article linked below, work on how she intends to answer it regarding her sons, figuring out how to amend her blog accordingly, educating them they too could be victims than worrying too much about how well people can tell them what to do.
Coming down from the most horrible, absolute worst scenario things that can happen to kids when dubious adults are permitted to tell them what to do, kids are conditioned to listen to adults with few restrictions, it quickly reaches past the ancient grouchy neighbor, the ‘pissy only man who dumped urine on a teen whether or not he vandalized the man’s lawn or the ‘Jimmy Carter look alike’ who started a confrontation with a local skateboarding teen waiting until half way through his accosting the young man to clearly articulate his point about which residents are allowed in skate area X, staunchly refusing to give the young man his board which the older person had snatched from him, only reason he was still hanging around, to by the end of video discover he wasn’t in the sectioned off skate park but the driveway and sidewalks beside it. Children, teens, young adults, nor their parents for that matter, can predict when they will be verbally attacked, physically intimidated, if not assaulted, easily something worse; hints their caution in broadly telling their kids to mindlessly obey authority; be it the ranting woman in the skate park who called police about teens allegedly cussing in said park (though video provides no evidence of that) the child screamed at by an ‘elder’ for selling candy outside a Target probably for a school function, fundraising for band equipment, field trips, 4H, maybe enough for groceries, the light bill at home. Gentleman who bought the $80 worth of candy to settle the confrontation sadly correct when he said if it had girl scout cookies, been a white girl selling them it probably would have been a different story; eliminating race, girl scout selling their cookies period would have netted the girl a pat on the head not a lecture about how she should be ashamed of herself, was breaking the law, police were on their way. Observe the young man sitting on his bicycle recording the rant of a woman who begins by misstating her point people should obey the bicycle laws eventually called mentally ill by the officer that came over to inform her throwing her drink at him constituted battery, not deeming it worth his time to charge her, telling the young man not to worry. But bringing in only ruthlessly practical reality, extrapolating from the original authors point, teachers can’t teach, coaches can’t coach and managers can’t manage now; however, it has nothing to do with special snowflakes never taught to take direction, criticism, instruction from people outside their parents, allowed total disrespect, disregard for authority, rather their own ineptitude. As alluded to above her kids statistically had the benefit of pre-school, were normal not special needs, she’s of average intelligence herself all boiling down to, no one is going to handcuff her 3rd grade child for kicking a school resource officer in the course of a trip to the bathroom gone horribly wrong, hardly limited by both her children being past that age or taught better than to kick anyone, but singularly because blessedly, her children don’t have those neurological deficits manifesting in behavior problems. Thanks to listed factors complementing nicely her authority loving, always back the teacher no matter what attitude, no one is going to label her a problem adult, problem parent when she reminds them of her oldest son’s diagnosis and IEP, when she gets special ed. to test her second child for next grade readiness overriding his classroom teacher wanting to hold him back for his ADHD behavior exacerbated by a delayed medication adjustment courtesy of foot dragging by the local neurological, behavioral health center and backed up appointments, found first grade ready just so you know, or when she tells her 3rd son’s kindergarten teacher he doesn’t need extra help he needs to be taught like he’s never seen this stuff before because he hasn’t seen it before not having gone to pre-school, facts his kindergarten assessment clearly showed. Her child’s kindergarten teacher didn’t belittle him for his ‘messy’ handwriting that was simply beginner handwriting correctable with time practice and, most of all, encouragement; instead my friend’s little boy 2 years later still hates writing in part thanks to his encounter with said teacher. She doesn’t have to fall on her sword, humiliate herself explaining relentlessly she is LD, dyslexic and therefore cannot/should not help her children with subjects like math and English unless they want misspelled words and transposed numbers, depending on teachers to help, damned if she’s going to let her children with diagnoses suffer what she did; not to mention parents today less and less capable of helping their children with homework, regardless their intelligence, completed education level because of expanded things being taught in earlier grades parents never had, curriculum content they don’t remember. No one berates her for cussing, grown adult that she is, when slamming into the brick walls of incompetence, people who must be reminded she is the same age, just a year to 5 years younger than them therefore should be treated on equal footing with them, she never gets that frustrated, doesn’t combat that problem advocating for her children the way no one advocated for her. No one challenges her freedom of speech argument when she chooses to use all the words in the English language including swear words either because to do so is beneath her middle class standards versus poor working class persons or ‘out of place in a school;’ forget its last ditch effectiveness at getting these people’s attention, offending people who should be offended by their own ignorance, failing competence and the child’s life they will ultimately ruin if they continue down the path they are. She isn’t charged with understanding, making them understand picking her battles, that cussing comes with ADHD and she will not excessively punish her sons, any of them for being factually accurate or protesting, through using their words not their hands, BS at the hand of a teacher who deliberately frustrates them, provokes them, asks for chaos they encounter due to their inability to connect with children, compel them to want to behave, want to follow directions by possessing some knowledge of children, their development, perspective, sans fear, violence, threat of punishment. The plight of my friend dealing with her autistic and ADHD sons respectively, teaching all her sons to speak up for themselves lest they become victims like she, children she babysat for became. Surpassing ‘unconventional’ parents ‘unconventional’ children, it’s hardly the child’s fault when their teachers’ preferred method of classroom management is taping student’s mouths closed at one school in Texas for talking out of turn, talking too much, cutting off one student’s braid to get her to stop playing with it, the excuse for allegedly throwing another student’s, present at another school shoes in the trash, only for teacher one to still be teaching in the same class after reports of the impromptu haircut. When teachers are documented on video doing what this older teacher was doing to a kindergarten/first grade student for failing to seek permission to go to the bathroom, taking too long, playing too long in the bathroom, upon coming out he is lifted up, back shoved against the wall, grabbed by the face; then according to school witnesses, hauled into the bathroom for a loud, screaming rant heard and reported to officials by 3 lunch ladies. It’s the PTSD moment Dr. Drew Pinsky had right there on air at HLN remembering his own adjacent experience roughly the same age, too ashamed to tell, thinking it was his fault, never talking about it that proves with reverberating finality adults shouldn’t have that level of power over children. As if already detailed material hadn’t, in addition to the middle school teacher caught dumping pencil shavings from a pencil sharpener into a child’s mouth apparently because he was slouching, leaning back with his mouth open during the lesson, no proof he wasn’t still listening though. Having seen video and/or news stories depicting exactly what teachers are doing in the process of educating our children, dragging a 1st grader across the floor to the front office after he was ‘disruptive,’ reinstated after a legal battle citing improper, non-existent training, using a belt off their own pants to hit children supposedly breaking up an unseen fight, interrupting learning with terror ensuring nothing else got done that class period, confronting ‘unruly’ 3rd graders by telling them you plan to leave the classroom/school outside doors unlocked letting in a potential shooter to shoot or kill them. Their strategy for handling bullying, following instances in the introduction in reference to berating students for minor mistakes, age typical misbehavior is to co-opt classmates into punishing them, ordering them to hit an alleged bully only 6; no details given confirming there was actual bullying, what constituted bullying in the teacher’s eyes. Adult joining in on fellow student taunting of a 13 year old dragging him around the room, stuffing a sock in his mouth, comments about keeping his pants on while students all laugh, teacher egging it on if not directly participating; leaving the child too traumatized to sleep at night, put into therapy. Truly appalling comprehending what we now know about effective ways to combat, mitigate bullying, bullies being kids, individuals with mental health problems, family problems, coping with a divorce, a move and that there must be help for the bully too, not stopping at the bullied. And that doesn’t include the disturbing, injurious violence students are subjected to by teachers, administrators—a 20 year veteran teacher kicking a 5 year old in the head for going to the bathroom without permission during nap time, like the 7 year old who received a broken, jaw, several missing teeth for being ‘disruptive,’ the teen who had to have his leg amputated post a fight where he was slammed to the ground, could not walk, was delayed medical attention for want of ‘adults’ realizing how serious it was, lying about events, video showing frame by frame what happened. What indeed does happen to documented special needs students in specialized schools or programs, the father who uncovered school surveillance camera footage of his son being dragged down a hall, finger deliberately slammed into a door of a room with no lights he was shoved into until his parents could come get him, when the school’s story did not match his non-verbal child’s injury. Precursor to the father who recorded the berating humiliation his autistic son received at the hands of his teacher after repeated reports of his violent outbursts at school, uncharacteristic for his child; why, he was talking to himself. Special needs student in Ohio continuously belittled, teachers pondering out loud how she could be so dumb, asking was she not embarrassed money they spend on her welfare, harassed about her weight, asked if she wanted to ‘do something about that belly, suppositions she sits around at home only watching TV, confronted about why she doesn’t ask her busy parents to go for a walk, forced to run on a treadmill penalty for getting answer wrong, corroborated by a fellow classmate recounting he was called stupid and retarded, also forced to run on the treadmill. Student elsewhere possessing an eye condition and trying to catch up after being absent called the dumbest girl her teacher had ever met, told her purpose in life was going to be to have sex and have children because ‘you aint never gunna be smart;’ can we here the chorus now, and your diction is evidence of smart? Right up there with the shock therapy used at one autism school resulting in a student’s death, the windowless seclusion rooms, restraining bags used in regular schools on special needs kids and the detrimental effect students can tell you it has on their behavior making them more angry, resentful and aggressive. Hanging a kindergarten child up on the blackboard by his belt, yanking on a student’s shirt, they won’t stop chewing, until her baby teeth are laying in her lap, hot saucing another non-verbal kid diagnosed autistic as discipline, still one more soaking an autistic kids crayons in the concoction to prevent his eating them, rather than just take them away. Taunting an autistic boy stuck is his chair, threatening to taser him if he doesn’t get out of it, sit right, when he clearly can’t, no investigation by the teacher to ascertain if his body was stuck in the chair in such a way (see video) it might need to be taken apart to get him out, lubrication applied to extricate him from it. Here are the people you, Susan Speer, want allowed to tell your kids what to do; or, perhaps you want them taking behavioral, moral direction from the drunk bus driver, the one who roughly hauled up then smacked in the head a special needs student who threw an empty bottle or food wrapper at him, wildly missing an absolutely no threat, fellow riders screaming franticly at him to stop, flagging down a police patrol car at the next stop, that bus driver arrested, behind bars facing charges, lastly maybe the one who while speeding crashed his bus killing 5 kids, asking them if they were ready to die as he drove increasingly erratically? I am open and honest about the fact I don’t have kids, want kids, that being said, I wouldn’t want any kid of mine, any child I chose to mentor, any child in society thinking that’s ok, lead to believe that’s acceptable, left the impression people are allowed to treat them that way because of their position. Coaches can’t coach because no parent wants any coach Nick Sabaning their kid, passing on the OCD of a broken boy trapped in the body of a man who can’t get his father’s barking, perpetually disappointed voice out of his head, chasing the ghosts left there by Saban senior, not success; particularly not for peewee football, packs and rec soccer, basketball, little league baseball. And, it’s either the Nick Saban approach or the former professional baseball player turned little league coach for his son’s team who outlawed parent cheering at games because no 11 year old wants the pressure of disappointing their parent that way. Coaches’ conflicts born out of regularly misunderstanding the goals, purpose of parents enrolling their kid in after school, community sports: to get exercise, make friends, learn valuable skills like teamwork less than winning and losing, players’ goals/interest couched in merely trying it out, being with a best friend, treasured classmate, not competition. Coaches oblivious to parent expectations neatly summed up, if they are going to invest the time hauling their child to and from practice, games, they are damn well going to see their child play, not warm a bench, I enrolled him in X sport to get exercise, give him a structured activity, not to fetch equipment because that’s all you think he’s good for owing to your ‘old school’ viewpoint. Spelling, when you coach, fully understand where you coach; if you are wedded to competitive sports got junior high, high school, college. Working parks and rec, community sports A- ask kids on each team what they want/don’t want from parents before assuming the Matheny method applies; B- know the goals of the players, parents and founding principles that brought sport X to your town in Y way eliminating miscommunication. Managers can’t manage currently absent what type, generation worker they’re dealing with chiefly because they, business owner/manager don’t have the foggiest idea what they are doing as evidenced by ‘reality shows’ Kitchen Nightmares, Tabitha’s Takeover, Bar Rescue on air sensations, alive and well in re-runs comprehending there are real businesses, real employees, real supervisors behind them; most who couldn’t function in a regular working environment and saw their ‘way out’ as opening their own business channeling the worst of The Devil Wears Prada, one secret behind the 50% new business failure rate. Managers can’t manage because the average ‘manager’ brought in to oversee a company, project, store doesn’t adequately understand product, inner workings, procedures exc. of the business in question, good/service they are trying to manage, marching in with extensive plans on how things are to be done going forward, failing to listen to employees who’ve been doing it 30 plus years; previous management position a McDonald’s, Starbucks, Wal-Mart and they’ve been tasked with managing a non-profit job placement facility, equally juxtaposed venue. Managers are abysmal at managing having long ago lost the battle with how to motivate their employees to do what they want, perform their best or see the value in how the boss wants things done; the Jetson’s infamous Mr. Spacely goes all the way back to 19 62 and things haven’t changed much. So many already dysfunctional moving parts before throwing into the mix this generation holding it’s unique set of indecipherable quarks. Factors key in millennial disconnect so prominently pronounced, because workers fluently using current technology don’t have to be the boss’ lapdog 40 hours a week to be productive, produce desired results; mangers/bosses who haven’t gotten over their incredulous jealousy at ‘how easy’ current generations have it, paradigms that refuse to shift, research data proving workers allowed to set their own hours, determine their own schedules, work from where they wish, take opportunities like flex time work longer and achieve more. Managers/supervisors, speaking of motivation, don’t understand once gaining the finances to do what they need, money is not the central force in where they work, those same entities that are lost when it’s suggested you pay workers in what motivates them, motivational currency: performance, people, power, and purpose; on the heels of its twin engagement while at work, giving employees a sense they aren’t just another tiny cog in a huge machine has benefits surpassing millennials and keeps them from fleeing your company for a raise 20% or less—hmm. One thing positively said about millennials they have created a work environment that works for them, pays off in the areas of innovation, community, work/life balance their parents never had.
Reactions to ‘disciplinary issues,’ easily downgraded to things you run into while operating a school, perhaps the untold story of ‘school infractions,’ easily rephrased to common situations you should manage appropriately, but not take too seriously unless they involve safety, when you run a school, teach in a school, are a resource officer, aide in a school; our framing of incidents the missing piece to fully grasping spiking occurrences, ‘behavior problems,’ holding equal importance with subheadings a-la ‘the astronomical number of kids acting out, running around like maniacs in school,’ ‘engaging in egregious actions like hitting, kicking or spitting on teachers.’ Far less the impact of newfangled parenting low on discipline, boundaries, too much emphasizing children as special, communicating rules don’t apply to them and directly tied to our failing responses; no, not a call for more authoritah, more militaristic, police state style regulation of classrooms, in fact the opposite. Interesting viewing every one of the violent altercation headlines from the South Carolina student thrown across the classroom to the student shoved then choked by a teacher’s aide, educators weighed in through comment sections across the internet: “If there’s no policy about simply having cell phones in class, I’d have just ignored the phone. After all, just because a teacher might find something personally annoying doesn’t make it “wrong” or “against the rules”. (Sadly, I’ve worked with far too many teachers who seem to think that their personal “pet peeves” have the power of law. They don’t.) Now, if phones are supposed to be put away during class, I’d ask her to please put it away. I certainly wouldn’t tell her to give it to me, because that’s an antagonistic approach…and teachers are *supposed* to be grownups. If she said no, I’d ask her why not. I might even make a joke. Something like “trying to get out of math class, are you?” Get the class (and maybe her) laughing. WITH me. Or I could ask if there was some sort of emergency…anything we can help with, since she seems to stressed. In other words…I would NOT be antagonistic. But I would try to get not just her, but the *other* students on my side. Why? Because peer pressure, if needed, is a LOT more effective than failed “authority”. I would NOT call an administrator. And I would NOT call a SRO. Why not? Because that only escalates the situation. Nor would I make ineffective threats, because that merely diminishes whatever authority I actually have. Now, you might think this means I was letting her “win”. But my goal is to get everyone focused on class and on learning the subject of the class…not on silly little power…ego…trips that could, as in this case, end in violence. As the grownup, that should NEVER be the teacher’s choice. After all, *we* actually have the ultimate power. It’s called “grading” 🙂 🙂 By the way, if I truly felt it serious enough, I’d let her cell phone just sit on her desk…then go down to the office AFTER class (rather than taking learning time away from *all* the kids). I’d explain what happened and why I made the choice I did. I hope this helps.” [Sic] Parallel that to the gym teacher trying to drag his student into the pool, sure she has a stupid reason for not wanting to participate, having gotten her hair done or dyed, yet he could very simply have flunked her for the class; better would be to communicate to students, parents when they were doing the swim unit so when child asked for dyed hair, saved their allowance, babysitting, lawn mowing job money to do it, you remind them suggesting they do it over the summer, later. Another cited their credentials, having done significant study on the art of teaching, applying it in today’s live classroom then straight up told them why the teacher’s actions were just plain wrong, simplistically exposing the teacher’s culpability in class disruption, detracting from fellow students’ learning with his insistence on her leaving, on bringing in administrators, the school resource officer rather than justly wielding the power of the grade like the above teacher quoted : “…I have taught and I have studied teaching. Good teaching is a passion of mine. Good teachers do not need to escalate a minor classroom issue such as this (some reports say she took out her cell phone while others say she was chewing gum) and classify the behavior as “disruptive”. As someone who wants to teach these are two things I would ignore. If I had a real issue with the cell phone I’d wait until after class and then ask the student if there was a problem they were anxious about and needed to check their phone for messages. (Bronfenbrenner’s “Ecology of the Learner”– there is more to the student than the classroom) The other thing I would ask myself is “how is my teaching? Am I engaging my students enough? Is it just this student or is everyone drifting off?” In no way does her behavior indicate that she is violent, verbally disruptive or threatening. She isn’t up pacing the room or tossing desks. At no point is there a need to introduce a police officer into the scenario except that a teacher feels that he is being defied and he is going to MAKE her comply or else. To me the teacher holds some culpability in this scenario too. If you can’t handle a classroom behavior like this without police intervention, you’re doing it wrong. There is a lot of good information out there for teachers. The internet is a magical place with tons of good stuff. There are books, there are classes, there is a college out there that specifically excels at teaching teachers (I’m a proud almuna though I didn’t get my ug degree in education-I did do a masters program in education there). The information is there for those who wish to become more effective teachers you just have to look for it. If your “school” doesn’t offer you support or training for classroom management then find it for yourself. You’re supposedly educated person. Get out there and find it. Do your research. Read what other teachers have done. And if you don’t want to or don’t care then perhaps you should find another profession.” [Sic] Down to an ordinary person commenting from the perspective of someone, like us, who was once a teen, saying in part even the best behaved ones will be a pain from time to time, highlighting these students’ non-violence: “These people are OBSESSED with the concept of respect, and yet have no idea where kids this age are in their psychological development. They want to say “jump” and expect the kids to say “how high” without a pause. They want teenagers to have the social reasoning skills of an adult in their 30s, but the subservient and childish attitude of a kid in a “teacher-pleaser” grade (6, 7, 8, and 9 year olds). They’ve got this idea of “good, disciplined” teenagers marching in formation and chanting “yes sir.” But bro, that’s not how teenagers and preteens act. Even the most well-behaved, properly raised teenager is going to be a pain sometimes, because developmentally, they’re supposed to be questioning everything and challenging authority. But these so-called adults in their lives are, again, OBSESSED with feeling “respected,” and feel entitled to “respect” (though what they mean is “unquestioning subservience”), and therefore, feel entitled to fly into a violent rage when a teenager is “argumentative.” Or “defiant.” Or “didn’t listen.” You see how in none of these videos is the child actually being violent or dangerous. They’re doing things like sassing back, raising their voice, or silently refusing to do something the first or second time they’re asked. Which contradicts the fantasy these people have who went into education or law enforcement to “get respect” from a less powerful group.” [Sic] Both sets of commentary pointing out should be disturbing things about teachers, attitudes and approaches, people who didn’t get into teaching for a love of learning, wishing to impart knowledge, rather to get respect, setting aside those who sought teaching for the health benefits, equally evident is their fascination, intrigue surrounding the belief their pet peeves, thanks to their positions, carry the rule of law, too many principals, administrators willing to back them up, obsessed with the power given them, married to the illogical ability we demand of teens and tweens, to possess reasoning twice their age but obey like a small, unquestioning child. Prompting the inevitable retort this is what you get when you make teaching horrible because of monster kids never given rules before invading classrooms at age 5, helicopter parents and their ever growing excuses, unwilling to let teachers do their jobs or admit their child could be bad at subject X, actually did bad thing Y, conveniently mixed up with running commentary on pay, tenure, exc. Stale thinking echoed in comments on Speer’s original article, one parent who kept patting herself on the back when her son was in a kindergarten training school/class she backed the school every time he kicked a teacher, ran away and had to be chased supposedly teaching him ‘he’s not to special for the rules.’ Never pondering he could be learning disabled, mentally ill, ADHD, which is in truth a neurological issue manifesting in behavior, my friends 2 oldest children did this at the same time and had or were soon given accurate diagnoses to explain it; plus navigating special needs kids is not about omitting the rules, exempting him/her from them, but how we work to slowly get them to where everyone else is as much as their condition will allow. Or understanding maybe the problem isn’t your child, it’s the rules, the setup itself that kindergarten, research shows, is rigged for girls based on a popularity contest between teacher and student, do they like your child or not, how good is your child at social graces, effort, following directions, cooperating with others; you’ll note too, the lion’s share of students constantly in trouble are boys arguably miserable, hating school when gotten in trouble for talking about shooting a dinosaur in a writing assignment, writing from the perspective of a Nazi soldier to the point of suspensions. Kindergarten isn’t what it was when we went half day, milk and cookie for snack, sequencing, dot to dots, ABC songs, clock reading and simple words the, that is, a, at and plenty of free organic play/learning time; replaced now by all day instruction with teacher led academics, sight words, writing journals, independent and buddy reading counting to 100 by intervals, 30 minute nap/quiet rest period and 15 minutes of recess at the end of the day for the article linked below’s school, after lunch for my friends kids currently and during their kindergarten year. For all the problems with bus lines generating national headlines shouldn’t we have come to the conclusion by now there is a need to change or eliminate bus lines, engage younger kids in Simon says, car songs, something to keep their hands and minds occupied not tempted to run around, resorting to hitting teacher when they try to threaten, manhandle them back in line, make standing like a statue a game. I saw a parent in Wal-Mart this week cleverly get her kids to walk straight and orderly out of the store using the tile on the floor, no screaming, yelling, threats of losing privileges, getting a spanking by telling them to pick a line of tiles and follow it. Or that the expectations for learning have drastically increased since any parent attended school translating into school environments where they are supposed to sit like little drones, rarely so much as twitching, teachers dearly wishing they could duct tape the little tikes to their chairs, yelled at, admonished if they wiggle the least little bit; my friend forced to tell her ADHD son’s teachers let him have a stress ball something small to put/ do with his hands and he’ll focus more, listen better, unknown is how many other boys, students generally, not ADHD would benefit from the same technique. Countering teacher agreement with Speer telling her she doesn’t know how many times she’s hand a 5 year old kindergartener when told to do something say ‘my mom/dad I don’t have to, you’re not my boss’ rending gasps from readers, but question, do you have to sound like a boss to get that kindergarten child to do what you want? Can’t you say to a child excited about show and tell, story time, art, whatever: I understand you’re excited about…but for that to happen I need you to sit on the carpet with everyone else? Use phrases known to entice kids to cooperate, give them some ownership, control over what’s happening in a place where adults control everything, kids possess no, few choices; think: can you be a big boy/girl and show my how you…? Every Opportunity an instructional video created by The Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School explores the way we talk to children can increase or decrease a child’s literacy holding too powerful demonstrations on ways you can promote, achieve good behavior in grade schoolers sans barking, giving orders and constant reminders ‘you are the boss, you are in charge,’ merely being decent, humane to these smaller, growing, mentally, emotionally psychologically human beings; it also presents additional keys to why children act out so drastically, are so unmanageable when we ignore and belittle them, treat them like an inconvenience, are rude, mean to them, leave them feeling like no matter what they do they will get in trouble producing zero incentive to try and ‘behave,’ hmm could that be our problem in a nutshell? Maybe if the coach, depicted in comments, who told the local little league, recreational baseball player he/she was trying a new bat in that authoritarian ‘boss’ tone had approached it less as an order from coach to take a different bat and more along the lines, if I give you a different, lighter bat you can hit the ball better, actually hit the ball period, would you like that, he could have gotten a lot farther; remembering this is a little league, parks and rec., for fun team not professional, even school sports. A parent who countered James Harrison’s ranting dust up over participation trophies his sons received, reigniting longstanding debate about participation trophies, pledging they were going back, not only alerted readers to Harrison’s dubious family values, long history of questionably moral, leaning toward immoral behavior, family support dollars lost to fines, game suspensions and so forth because he couldn’t follow the rules of his chosen profession; still used his own son’s sports play story to illustrate kids come to the conclusion hard work is the path to achievement, chiefly because he had a goal, millstone, marker he was reaching for, to be better than Lionel Messi. Both discussed examples and Every Opportunity showing just how many teachers are teachers, continue to teach yet aren’t good with children, flunk classroom management, not singularly in terms of child safety, students not hanging from the rafters, destroying the room, actually digesting and learning required material; but first, comprehension if you work at a school, be prepared to deal with X, Y, Z, we’re all aware of what we did to substitute teachers, if you can’t cope why are you substitute teaching there isn’t a draft for it forcing you to. Second handling common problems mirroring the inviting nature younger grade teachers must exude to avoid frightening their charges, eliciting desired behavior without turning everything into an office referral, behavior report home to mom/dad, discipline issue, mastering interesting, engaging lessons and lacking all else, relevance of topics, practical uses prior to berating kids for being bored, incredulous when asked to examine your teaching ability. Possess zero business being teachers owing to their abject hate, dislike of them, their pronounced awkwardness around them, poor patients, especially seeing to the requirements of special needs children, the latter half of the father recorded words from a teacher’s aide showing another helper admonishing a child with cerebral palsy she didn’t want to touch his drool; because, what you see with the guy taking the belt off his pants, teacher threatening to admit a shooting into the building, the South Carolina school incident is unbridled frustration, I didn’t know what else to do so I made a terrible threat, resorted to violence with a belt, called in administrators, allowed a resource officer to ‘remove’ the unruly ‘student.’ Recognizing we have no problem with officer slam, dared debate if the next link’s teacher did anything wrong even though he choked out a student unto unconsciousness via his own ineptitude not a standard sleeper hold, excessive as that would have been to break up a middle school fight between 2 girls slapping each other and pulling hair, a maneuver that could cause either stroke or blood clot. But school officials elsewhere nationwide saw fit to immediately remove the teacher below yanking a chair out from under a student ‘not listening,’ who fell to the floor; officer slam was fired, smiling for cameras beforehand, equal parts public pressure and stemming from the public viewing what he did, on par with most teachers depicted throughout this article. Residual understanding, teachers don’t always get it right when altering people to dirty water gets you suspended latest in a continued string of wrongly applied ‘school rules,’ punishing students for kindness, intervening on a student in crisis, when a teacher tells you to lie about sexually inappropriate questions from other students, racially charged epithets directed at you, journalistic investigation proves a teachers credentials fake, misleading, remembering school staff are responsible for the Kentucky 3rd grader handcuff footage, not a kid secretly armed with a camera, a distraught parent or standard surveillance placed in the school; i.e. it was so bad staff thought I needed to be filmed, said resource officer facing 2 lawsuits on behalf of students he manhandled. Curious, exactly when we came to believe school or compliance were universal panaceas to the world, America’s problems seeing teens experiencing scenes like the ones below, seeing young black/brown youth dead at the hands of police over misdemeanor level ‘crime’ none at all, when the 19 year veteran of X police force can’t own up to his actions after being shown video where he punched a traffic stop individual who’s hands were up, offered no resistance; truth be told there are children, teens who do well in school and flunk life, in fact kids who have moderate disregard for the rules during school are the identical ones brave, adventurous enough to try a new thing in business earning them more money. There remain multiple articles, studies, research endeavors proving select things taught in school turned out to be dangerous applied to the real, working world. But I’m still going to convey the message to my kids these adults have ultimate power over them in light of what Bill Cosby did to of age and underage young women, forget Roger Ailes, Bill O’Riley, Dennis Hastert’s molestation of high school boys, boarding school sex scandals, the Seattle mayor accused of decades ago abuse, pedophilia in churches, anyone else tempted to shout I don’t think so? Imagine what good would have come of adults speaking up about Jerry Sandusky and the oddities they saw, if students had been taught to be brave enough to report the teacher duct taping their eyes and mouth, putting roaches on their face, making them eat things that tasted funny (his own semen on crackers); horrific abuse might not have gone on for 30 odd years.
Of course it’s ok for kids to fail and they should under minor, everyday life circumstances; still this is where the author’s stories don’t line up with the crux of her argument, main point, adults all and everywhere in her children’s life should be able to tell them what to do their response: to snap to, a complete non sequitur to her encounter with the lab partner mom who just wanted to fix it somehow post both their sons flunking their lab project by failing to turn it in on time. It has nothing to do with the dorm mate who falls to pieces because ‘mommy wasn’t there to manage their life’ and utterly disregards anything else that could be going on with that person, i.e. onsets of several mental illnesses known to strike this age group, significantly undermines survey collected data by college students whose biggest worries are about incurred debt and will there be a job for me to get upon obtaining my degree. Addressing trend commentary regarding the uptick in students seeking colligate mental health services and self-reported personal crisis, A- did researchers bother to define crisis in the relaxed, slang terms students did, did they again bother to check in with students as little as a week, a month later to see if what they termed a crisis was still effecting them, reporting suggests not. B- God forbid we’ve finally made marginal headway in destigmatizing mental health problems, seeking mental health treatment no longer taboo; one colligate center for mental health executive director dismissing right out of hand the Speer assertion explaining everything from college being more accessible brings lower income students availing themselves of first time access to mental health services ever, to there being more services available on campus than in the surrounding community, concluding saying you don’t get a 38% increase in demand for services from ‘a lack of resilience’ and warned against criticizing them for lacking a characteristic, judging them for seeking help naming it victim blaming, he would be more accurate to call it parent shaming. Student and psychiatrist commentary on being alone and unprepared does have merit but far less attributed to helicopter parenting than originally assumed; living alone for the first time is daunting regardless which generation you come from, before adding on academics, living in off campus housing with added bills. Personally I chose to stay home during college for multiple reasons familiarity with the area, aging family members I wanted to spend time with, but I also quickly realized living out of town where VR wanted to send me for ‘more practical schooling’ than my original interests had too many moving parts to work effectively and me still do well academically; I stuck to my guns, achieved the degree I chose, was able to garner a minor and graduate cum lade. Frist time living alone, managing a household, paying bills bringing new meaning to unprepared as people likely took it upon hearing that statement, particularly if it wasn’t your idea, you were doing it because it was expected of you, though students who ‘failed’ at it, had an extremely hard time back in the day hid it in shame, never talked about it, downplayed it later in life to keep up appearances we are less consumed by today. Alone taking on a new connotation too if students moved hundreds or thousands of miles away to attend school, where they don’t know anyone or the area, living in a dorm or elsewhere; millennials so anxious and ‘can’t even’ when it comes to life, despite Buzz60’s reference to helicopter parenting truly because they suddenly lack the support systems they’ve had all their lives not limited to parents, encompassing friends, acquaintances included along with the waning stability of renting building block components like housing over buying. Solution both available and surprisingly simple, move out of your parents’ house, but closer than across the country, say in the next town; elaborating, millennials need to know this could be them and that their anxieties, no matter what anyone says, are normal (words for panicking, incredulous adults too), following a plan that works for them. And while we’re piling onto millennials pegging them, a whole generation with ever changing dates from start to finish enfolding roughly 35 years of children that age down to high school freshman into one big ball of negative stereotypes, used to winning, getting a trophy for everything, expecting to be congratulated for showing up, having done everything but punch a clock, doling out condescending tutorials to employers on how to deal with them, warning you can’t speak harshly to them, you have to be one part counselor, life coach and diplomat negotiating a treating when approaching them; cold hard reality was, you never needed to rage like Mr. Spacely at workers, treat your staff like the amalgamation of bosses inspiring The Devil Wears Prada, nag them, be on them every minute. You only thought you did; never mind doing so creates a toxic work environment, the working wounded chronically emotionally damaged persons who will go elsewhere at the first, slightest opportunity. Ironically the support system we mock, laugh about them needing to function, the work life balance they are trying to strike is the same one that produces centenarians in select Asian cultures, remote parts of the world; which causes Speer’s statement saying, if she’s the only one who can ever tell her kids what to do, she can never die because then they won’t be able to take care of themselves, to make less and less sense, owing to adults, even helicopter parented ones learn to take care of themselves just fine, adults, independent unique backgrounds sans abuse rarely need to be told what to do like small children, resenting it like hell when you try. Dido her comment about the mother who is at the school daily later calling professors about things that are none of her business only to be laughed at behind her back, another confusing mismatch to adults in authority being able to tell her kids what to do, society’s adults imparting wisdom and keeping them on ‘the right track’; 1 standing in absolute juxtaposition to colleges 7 years ago calling parents to rein in their intoxicated college goers, in the ongoing debates about trigger warnings and safe spaces on campus, supposed coddling of American minds at the colligate level uncovered is it’s professors and administrators who need life lessons in ‘adulting,’ handling confrontation, managing gown up issues. 2 neither is it making things perfect for your kid(s) not to allow every adult in their vicinity to tell them what to do, have 15 adults pulling (especially littler young people in no less than 30 different directions) leaving them confused, open to dangers. Part of the problem with Speer’s blog is she makes no differentiation in age except at the very end taking maximum 3 sentences to explain what adults might be telling her kids now about getting their feet off your coffee table, not to touch your belongings versus when they were smaller, not to run with that knife exc. The parent who spoke to her sister’s child stepping back fearing she’d done something wrong should have gone directly to that child’s parent because there was one to go to, she knew who the child’s parent was and subject matter, sharing, tells us it was probably a younger child more apt to listen to their parent than anyone else, ‘disobey’ someone else because they are a lesser known adult, complete stranger, not obey owing to being scared of the ‘stranger,’ unsure if they should listen, follow their directives; all her end examples are ones that should fall under a blanket directive of what to do in other people’s homes given when they started going over to friends’ houses to play, participating in sleep overs, incongruent with her societal message on all adults telling kids what to do in various situations. Far more dangerously insidious than she’s smart enough to fully comprehend she’s being, we think there are no, only positive consequences to the type of parenting Speer advocates, to the old school, to children minding society’s adults all (note the expansion to every social ill listed in the comment section by readers of the original article linked below)—suppositions proven totally untrue. Take little Zachary Williams (pronounced za-car-ree) removed from school by a confused grandfather because school staff mistakenly thought the man was his afterschool care, thankfully this was simply a confused grandfather not a predator taking advantage; however, his mother was perplexed as to why he would go off with a complete stranger, confusion deepening when she asked him why and he smiles shyly saying I don’t know, not answering at all. Readers may be asking by now why mom is so muddled arriving at the conclusion she told the kindergartener to mind his teachers the same way he minds mom and dad, a seemingly reasonable request, age appropriate explanation of behavior expectations during school, until something like this happens. Upon seeing stories like Zachary’s, we immediately go to either that would never happen at my child’s school citing policy or the recurring parent mantra ‘my child would never do that to be shocked by Dateline, other news show set ups putting kids and their parents to the test producing negative results to the exact contrary of what parents swore their children had been taught, life lessons believed mastered. Further we’ve deluded ourselves believing those instances in childhood, the ingrained respect for adult authority has no, only positive lasting effects on our kids once they mature to adulthood, again untrue; who remembers the 10-12 year old phone scam were someone calls a fast food restaurant claiming to be the police asking mangers to call in a female employer for a strip search on allegations of stealing an ordeal for one victim profiled by Primetime that included jumping jacks, naked spanking and oral sex on the male manger, scenarios playing out across the country were even the subject of a Law and Order Special Victims Unit episode. Psychologists speculating, in regards to the compliance, that the regimented structure of the fast-food work environment made people easy to manipulate, younger workers in particular; victim’s response to both the reporter and by extension online commentary pegging her stupid, asking how she could let someone do that to her, was to say she was taught when an adult tells you to do something you do it, important to remember she was maximum age 18 when it happened likely on her first job. Dovetailing into the sexual exploitation of teen fast-food workers by their managers who felt forced into sex to keep their jobs; it’s the argument in favor of corporal punishment, scoffed at correlations between childhood spankings and domestic violence, protestations that children grown into adults know the difference contrasted beside abuse cases rampant even in teen relationships. We keep ignoring reincarnations of the Milgram experiment, where people would do terrible things if a person in high enough authority told them to, not in a research lab but in the real world, habitual patterns of bad things resulting from our pathological respect for authority, obsession with respect. Beyond the catastrophic, the criminal repeatedly emphasized largely unquestioning adherence to authority tragically turns, predominately women, into people pleasing door mats who can’t say no, targets for bullying bosses one third more likely to experience it than their male counterparts according to 4 year old stats; imagine what it is 4 months into 2017, but Susan Speer deserves, forget parent of the year, parent of the decade. Facing brutal practicality head on talking about kids and failure we must come to the realization then failure doesn’t carry the same connotation it did back in the day, small failures inconsequential on the road of life compared to having an arrest record, getting into drugs, going to jail, having a felony on your record; absent those things you may not able to ‘lose your shit pick it up and move forward’ treating it like a recipe for an omelet, isn’t that what the 2008 financial crisis taught multitudes of older workers thrust back into the job market? Once more don’t parents, we, larger society own part of what we think is happening to emerging adults; their lack of maturity, their ‘fragile’ sensibilities not in terms of helicopter parenting but in the cutthroat nature we’ve cultivated around college admissions, not boiled down to the best person with a mix of academic achievements and extracurricular activities getting in, but taking that to its ultimate extreme, almost the sole, entire reason parents are trying, if at all possible, for the posh pre-schools, a certain elementary school feeding to the ‘it’ junior high/middle school, high school, enhancing their chances of getting into an Ivy League college, nationally famous college, perceived leg up in getting a job, college degrees fulling the market at such a rate where you went to college mattering more than many older adults might think. Speer and the rest buying her mantra painfully oblivious to facts these are parents holding 1, 2 college degrees working jobs, not careers, professions that barely make ends meet, don’t allow for a college fund for their kids, these are parents still paying off their own student loans, maybe they didn’t finish high school and their offspring are not only on track to finish but have a chance at college, something they never had. Don’t we own, as parents, our children’s fear of failure in a different way; in the big deal we made out of good grades, common phrases we drilled into our kids about what we’d do to them if they ever drank, did drugs, think pot, came home pregnant, got a girl pregnant, failed a class, instilling the concrete idea we would stop loving them, shun them, hate them if they did any of those things and more besides? But counselor commenting said kids need to know they can be human, can fail; yet the failure they can’t handle is the very failure they shouldn’t have to, losing your love, which they won’t but you didn’t make that clear enough to them. Catalyst behind babies born, left in toilets, shoeboxes, trashcans; parents who wouldn’t have been happy at the news but would have preferred it to their teen’s actions, them spending years in jail for killing their child because they didn’t know what else to do. The very failure they can’t handle is one that shouldn’t be and isn’t covered in the ‘adulting’ coping class, where minor mistakes can derail everything never to recover, be able to reasonably support oneself. Don’t we as parents, community members always calling everyone without a job a dead beat, degenerate, unless they are old or disabled, then own the pressure we place on students to do well, never fail, sending them off knowing just how much it costs us to grant them higher educations; aren’t we partially then responsible for the high suicide rate, the pressure students put on themselves going to institutions a-la MIT? Don’t we own, society wide, the problem, not regarding harsher analysis of helicopter parenting, flagging initiatives to stop it for the greater good, but collective contributions to the broader issue in our unending insistence on negatively stereotyping this generation to the nth degree, relentlessly calling them unskilled, stupid, useless, primarily because they do things differently, house different priorities than generation yesterday, directly feeding into what they think they can and can’t do, the skills they are programed to believe they are lacking but learned differently; independent how many are working, have careers not merely jobs but struggle to get ahead thanks to student loan debt, work in the gig economy where nap and game rooms, free coffee are their only perks in lieu of paychecks, given worthless equity packages in ‘the company?’ Astronomically important on the other side don’t we own, as a society, individual business owners, hiring managers, if you are, the fact that increased demands are placed on k-12 education, college to fulfill tasks it was never meant to while employers refuse to engage in the most rudimentary job training consistently complaining they can’t find workers? Don’t we, society, the public own the reality getting a job is about every possible thing under the sun but can you do the job, are you the most easily trained person for the position; instead eager employees are constantly caught in the catch 22 of need experience or certifications to make degree serviceable in the job market, no place to get those certifications, experience, employers who refuse to pay the full price for say child psychologists holding PHD’s choosing interns as an alternative, potential employees told they will be bored with the job, the thousand and one legal, harmless, silly things we can be fired for. A directive to all those biting their nails, writing blogs about kid failure, the perpetual lack of life skills you see, fear developing in your kid: fix that societal, baby boomer failure, the failure of what you told us we would get if we worked hard, focused on our educations, apparently only said to maintain social order, prevent dropouts, before worrying about how well we’re doing.
Yes it is ‘common sense’ there is no running around pools due to the concrete installed to prevent slippage and the serious injury you could do yourself if you run, slip and face plant, yes that then makes pool dad an undeniable jerk, difficult person to deal with but, when, trailing back to the 1950’s did, ‘wondrous society’ never mean having to deal with difficult people, how millennial, gen Y, snowflake can you get? Next, there are ways to effectively deal with such people sans creating a big hullabaloo, turning it into the 4 star production her blog has; first the lifeguard, monitor should have, at the risk of sounding redundant just like with the sharing example above, begun by approaching the parent because there was one there to approach, after that assuming this was a public community pool, private swim space for specific residents attached to a complex, home owners association, property development versus someone’s backyard pool, he had every right to ask him to follow the rules or leave. 2. Public or residents only pool area it should have surveillance cameras to aide lifeguards in keeping guests, usually in high numbers, from drowning also keenly capable of capturing lifeguard, pool monitors warnings, providing proof child X was running preventing liability when the kid does injure himself and the parent suddenly wants to sue, when he injures someone else, someone else’s child and wants to avoid financial responsibility. Going to the original posting readers are greeted with something quite interesting accompanying the printed content, a very large, in proportion to the text, length of text, blurry, obviously taken in motion picture of 2 children; minuscule caption reading ‘my own kid running at the pool’ spawning the immediate response, hypocrite much? Moreover you took the time to snap said photo at the very least before reprimanding your own child, seeing fit to write extensively about ‘pool dad,’ use him as a jumping off point for a broader, frankly socially repetitive, disjointed piece lambasting everyone else’s parenting; which are a dime a dozen and absolute white noise to actual parents who have infinitely better things to do than read your drivel? Posing the next sane, down to earth question—is ‘pool dads’ horrible response a matter of perspective; perhaps pool dad looked around and noted what I noted in her picture before addressing the lifeguard: few people/kids there, him not hurting anyone with his running, no real opportunity to hurt anyone, except himself, with his running really leaving it to dad’s discretion. Because what is not heard, described is that lifeguard seeing him almost crack his head while running, him run into, nearly causing to fall or come close to knocking unsuspecting kid/person X into the pool where they could drown; not entering into the picture incredulous other kids or parents starting to disobey the rules because he is, demanding he adhere to the rules as they are, angry he isn’t following the rules they must. Instead an alternate description is a lifeguard who sees a kid running, running is against the rules so alert the media, alert the media similar to the grade school tattle tails and 5th grade hall monitors who we all hated and for good reason; a perspective reinforced scrutinizing article text to grasp lines about this man, this father caring, involved enough to bother taking his child to the pool period were her ad lib characterizations of ‘big chested pool dad’s,’ stereotype in and of itself, attitude, not a quotation, paraphrase of words he actually aimed at the pool attendant. Maybe if all rules made as much common or otherwise sense as the pool dad scenario, we would have far less rule breakers in society big or small, but too many city and state laws fall under what could easily be called the pet peeve ordinances. Far removed from barking dogs, excrement created by those dogs, restrictions on old cars making your front lawn look like a junkyard, guidelines on grass height, not to be above 12 inches, reducing parasites like ticks, carrying lime disease, mosquitos carrying west Nile and now Zika, chiggers, hiding places for snakes, attractions for rodents, some of which seem instructive enough, home owners associations going even farther on the ridiculous scale, are the inevitably small towns banning dancing, included in one tiny Florida town skating rinks, a Kentucky town creating scenes straight out of Footloose teaching child satan is in Return From Witch Mountain (1980’s Disney version) and iconic Eagles Hotel California, Oklahoma just discarded its decades old ban on dancing within so many feet of select establishments i.e. church, so it could have a valentines dance. Banning articles of clothing worn in public even after the burden of indecent exposure prevention has been satisfied, no not in school where administrators have ‘become the only parents in sight’ are big on avoiding distraction and think their quickest path to achieving that is putting kids in the dullest, boring clothing and hairstyles just short of prison jumpsuits or those monochromatic body suits from Star Trek, but on ordinary, grown citizens in cities nationwide. Yakima Washington’s ban on thong underwear and ‘cleavage of the butt crack’ fully aware that all people who use said underwear don’t enact scenes in the articles photo or interesting Duluth Trading Company sells no yank tanks, V- neck shirts for women, long tail shirts for men to prevent ‘plumber crack’, muffin top reveals; funny ironic no one has attempted, to date, to ban the manufacture, sale of low rise jeans creating the problem to begin with, uniform, especially women’s sizes, so clothes fit well at affordable places like Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penny and Sears, parents waging a backlash against the disturbing lack of fabric in girls clothes versus boys, low rise jeans and Daisy Duke shorts what’s available on the rack if you’re looking for new clothing junior, teen, missy or adult. See through clothing worn in public likewise banned, though see through clothing is always worn over non- see through clothing satisfying minimum decency requirements, flip flops on Whitehouse tour guests, Louisiana’s, surrounding southern cities ban of sagging pants and pajamas worn in public; completing the pattern no one wants to acknowledge, holding rarely unforeseen tragic consequences when Ervin Leon Edwards was hauled into a police station over his sagging pants, dying after repeated tasing being pre-warned by his girlfriend about medical conditions making that highly unwise. When 2 high school students are introduced to the school to prison pipeline: arrested for violating the school dress code on baggy pants; why, school officials reached outside their jurisdiction to have them charged with indecent exposure to curb repeat offenders, flouters of the dress code, law siding with the teens that sagging pants, exposure of boxer shorts, looking nearly identical to regular shorts doesn’t constitute indecent anything except perhaps misuse of the law. When it’s not reaching those drastic conclusions, it’s those laws, ordinances and guidelines explained as just plain silly, ridiculous, police shutting down a lemonade stand run by 2 girls in grade school, why lack of permit; not that anyone, their parents included, knew you needed said permit, girls getting the last laugh and around ‘the system’ when they made the food items free, donations optional. How about the single mother facing jail time after stumbling into a sting operation trying to catch people selling food without a permit; forget she joined a food oriented group on Facebook swapping recipes, meeting for potlucks, sometimes trading, selling dishes and she did so in response to the fake request as opposed to hocking ‘could be tainted food’ on the internet, whereas had she given it away, hocked it to anyone who wanted it for nothing, the most she would be subject to is a civil lawsuit and only if food poisoning took place. Laws almost always with twisted, extreme religious connotations or screaming I’m a junior politician with too much time on my hands; look at North Carolina’s bathroom bill never about keeping children, girls, women safe rather a way to sidestep giving LGBT persons equal protection, protected class status previsions under the law, letting individual cities, municipalities do so if voters majoritively agreed. Take their current push to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage in North Carolina on the heels of their bathroom bill defeat and financial fallout of boycotts, tourism, business and venue losses; because they, bible thumping, holier than thou, ancient fossils holding local political office most likely elected through gerrymandering and years of religious fueled marginal literacy in the regional population believe it to be an abomination. Contrasted against what cities choose to craft laws allowing or prohibiting: petitions forcing all government documents in Kentucky to now say in the year of our lord how 1660 of us, bills, proposals to make the bible the state book; unlike student pushes for a state fossil promoting interests in archology, state amphibian highlighting environmental concerns and endangered species many times, student doing most of the leg work, positive side effect of hands on experience as to how government works, it is a waste of time and taxpayer money. That whole concept of separation of church and state unimportant, sentence 1 of amendment 1 beginning the United States constitution stating congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, can we just forget about it, because we only care about laws, the rules when they’re in our favor. Identical problem surrounding Alabama and a church wanting its own police force to go around enforcing religious law, compartmentalizing how Saudi Arabia, how Taliban of red blooded America’s Americans we’re back to the serration of church and state with an added side of federal law supersedes state law period. If it isn’t laws that have religious motivations turning dangerous it’s laws designed under their veil of keeping people safe, eliminating problems, curbing crime, saving taxpayer money plainly put in practice for an ulterior motive; enter backlash against New Hampshire good Samaritans who went about one town filling people’s expired, about to expire parking meters only to be slapped with court appearances and accusations of harassment for talking to meter maids [cough] parking enforcers about maybe getting a job where they won’t be so hated, treated akin to repo men. Court partially siding with civic minded citizens leaving open the option for a buffer zone around aforementioned personnel. Proving, just like red light cameras, toll roads and bridges, most fines in general, Keene New Hampshire doesn’t have a parking shortage derived from people overstaying in an expired meter parking space, just like Ferguson Missouri didn’t have a community full of horrible drivers, nor a dumping, breeding ground for degenerates constantly committing petty crimes, violations necessitating fines, rather a city finance system dependent on those fines to fill operating coffers; hints courts being open only one day per month causing people to miss their court appearance, be fined more money often jailed when they can’t pay. But for people, parents like Susan Speer it’s still all hail ‘the rules;’ maybe for the sake of not having one more rule to both follow and enforce it’s time pool surfaces got an upgrade similar to the padding of pre-school playground equipment turf , maybe it’s time we stop couching lawsuits as frivolous against McDonalds or Starbucks over serious hot coffee injuries equal to 3rd degree burns resulting from flimsy 5 cents to make cups and 2 cents to make lids that collapse and break so easily, in McDonald’s case serving warm beverages well above a safe degree level, and made the cups better, lids fit properly. Maybe for the sake of our future not looking like a scene for the D movie flick Demolition Man fining people money for violations of the verbal moralities code to satisfy blue haired old ladies thinking they are enhancing their chances of getting into heaven, grumpy old men just mad they couldn’t get away with sagging, flip flops in their youth due to social norms on ‘respectability;’ that fictional city letting loose a dangerous criminal with the opposite of rehabilitation, mental reprogramming to deal with their one remaining problem ‘degenerates’ who lived off their grid, occasionally surfaced to ‘steal’ food because they would rather keep intact their freedom of choice than surrender all will to what state, federal government, school or parent says is best, a little questioning, fighting back against arbitrary rules isn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately lacking any such innovation, critical thinking or basic refusal to go to farfetched, what if situations, rules along described lines read like they’re from Middle School: The Worst Years of My (book or movie version) where everything he’s wearing violates the code of conduct ‘no one needs to see where your chest hairs are going to be,’ no outside food in the lunchroom, talking, laughing in the hallway, told creative has no place at the school because the principal didn’t like his cartoon. One student setting out to ensure the school administrative bully breaks all the rules on dying his hair, touching the trophy case exc.; rules generated so lazy administrators welled to their desk chairs don’t have to get up and do anything all day, they are, as stated by a citizen in that Oklahoma town finally doing away with their dancing ban afraid of change, simultaneously petrified and uninterested in making a decision based on a unique situation, backing it up is for people with actual backbone. Who is it again who needs ‘adulting’ training, rules crafted as preemptive strikes against non-existent problems; if the kid saves up his allowance, lawn moving, birthday money and wants to die his hair, his parents don’t care, why do you, who was going to touch the trophy case beyond hand prints while admiring achievements put on display to be looked at in the first place until you made a rule prohibiting it, biting off a bigger problem when the student you hate converts it to a fish tank, see how that works or emphatically doesn’t? Ms. Speer said it herself she has a selfish motive, seemingly bound in the reasonable she wants to die knowing her kids can take care of themselves, won’t fall apart when she’s not there admirable goal especially in the helicopter patenting era right? Wrong, her truly selfish motive is somewhere between bragging rights her kids are better, ‘more equipped,’ what does that really even mean, for the world and wanting to hang up her mom hat the moment her children reach adulthood. I got news for you lady, you never stop being a parent; the relationship only changes when your kids get older, make their own lives, even after you die your parenting lives on in your child, children, they carry you with them all of their lives, good or bad. One of the thousand and one reasons I purposefully chose not to be a parent.