In Support of Teachers: Parenting Mistakes that Mess Up Your Kids.

In Support of Teachers:

Parenting Mistakes that Mess Up Your Kids.

After twenty-five years in education, I have learned this about teachers:

  • Of all the teachers I have known, only two were patently disinterested in other people’s children.
  • Ninety-nine percent of teachers believe they are working hard and for your child’s best interest.
  • Teachers do not call parents eagerly; no one likes confrontation; and if you are an obnoxious parent, they really do not want to call you..
  • It is rare that a teacher will involve the principal without a serious reason.
  • Teachers do not fail children; they do that themselves.
  • Children who constantly misbehave exhaust teachers.
  • Teachers hope for your support with your child.

After Twenty-five years in education, I have learned this about parents:

  • Parents teach children how to feel about school.
  • Parents teach children the value of hard work, ethics and a moral code.
  • Parents unknowingly give their child permission to lie.
  • Parents usually deny their child has a problem.
  • Parents who maintain their child’s innocence, in the face of evidence to the contrary, will raise toxic kids.
  • Most parents believe that their child never lies.
  • Ninety-nine percent of parents will deny their child is using drugs, even when ten professionals say otherwise.
  • Parents whine, threaten, bully, and defame any educator who points out a fault in their child.
  • Parents who abuse their kids, have abusive children.

What I have Learned about kids:

  • Kids lie.Of sixty students in an eighth grade class, all admitted to having lied to their parents at least once.
  • Kids do not lie all the time, but they go into survival mode and all they want to do is get away from trouble. Never say my kid wouldn’t lie. Perhaps he/she isn’t lying this time, so wait until all the facts are revealed.

Being successful in school requires dedication, discipline, a distraction-free environment, and acceptance of delayed gratification to accomplish real goals. I have never met a child who said, “Don’t give me what I want, when I want it. Let me wait.” Nevertheless, children must learn this lesson to succeed.

Parenting Mistakes that Mess Up Your Kids.

No couple starts out hoping to be inadequate parents. Most parents dream about this beautiful baby, coming home to a Majestic Carriage Crib that looks like Cinderella’s Coach and retails for $19,995.00. In the fantasy, the baby smiles, never cries, just coos. This little princess will be a perfectly behaved child, who is a genuine pleasure.

Unfortunately, reality bursts in and babies cry, day care is inadequate and husband and wife are tired and cranky. In two months, you are back at work. Bills need to be paid, shopping done, laundry folded and you and your spouse are running on empty.

However, your roles as parents will not sleep. Ultimately, you must teach your children how to develop character, a moral compass, and how to treat people. Children observe parents very carefully. They will learn from not only what you say but also what you do. Eventually, they will take what they learned out into the real world: school. Children’s behavior is a reflection of the adults in their lives.


Lario came into the office, his younger brother Louis right behind him. Lario hit his brother in the stomach, so the lunchroom aide sent the brothers to me. Lario was crying inconsolably. Between sobs, Lario begged me not to call his father. “He will take the belt to me for being bad in school.” CPS crossed my mind; but proof is necessary. Children do exaggerate. Usually, they do not exaggerate about being hit.

“Lario, does your dad take the belt to you often?

He thought for a second, not sure he wanted to answer. Finally, he said, in defense of his dad, “He hits me with the belt all the time because I am always bad.”

“What do you do to get dad so angry,”

“Mostly I fight with my brother, Louis. He breaks my toys.”

“What does mom say to you when you hit your brother?”

“Don’t do that or I will tell your father!”

Lario finally stopped crying. Louis was listening intently. I asked Louis if what his brother said about him was true. “Yes. I break his toys.”

“Why do you do that?”

“It feels good to smash things.”

Lario, how do you feel about your dad?

He looked at me and his eyes filled up with tears again. “I am mad at him. He tells me not to cry because he got the belt much worse. But, it hurts. And, I hate Louis for breaking my toys.”

What have mom and dad taught the boys?


No one likes homework. Often kids detest completing it, many parents dislike checking it, and teachers are disappointed when it is not finished. Attending to homework is very important; it establishes routine, attention to detail, fulfilling one’s obligation and builds character. As early as kindergarten, support children in doing homework.

After teaching third grade all day and then supervising after-care, fatigue overwhelmed Mary Jane. Equally tired, her husband asked her to help Sean with his math homework. “You are the teacher, Mary Jane, and better at it than I am.”

As Mary Jane sat down with Sean, the phone rang. Her friend Nancy wants to know what the first grade has for math homework.

Mary Jane tells her that it is the five problems on page 16. “Personally, Nancy, I think this teacher gives too much homework. I am just too drowsy to go over all of this with him. I am going to tell Ms. Smith that he was too tired to complete it. What can she do about it? Easy telling she doesn’t have any children.”

What has Mary Jane taught her son?

Teacher is Always Wrong

Bobby arrives home with a note in his hand requesting a meeting at school tomorrow. “Just a minute, young man, why do they want to meet with me tomorrow?” He tells his mom that he left his backpack in after-school care and could not do his homework. Bobby’s mom is furious at the request for a meeting. Her husband is always out of town when such meetings arise. She has taken a lot of personal time recently. Then there is the matter of Bobby.

“They want to see me over your homework? Is that true Bobby?”

“Well, no.  My teacher hates me. She always picks on me. Today, when Kara said I took five of her pencils, right away she asked me why I did it. She didn’t even ask Kara to look in her backpack to see if they were in there.”

Mom asked Bobby, “Did you take Kara’s pencils?”

“No mom. I didn’t. I do not know why Kara said that. She just wanted to get me into trouble.”

“I swear Bobby, if you are lying to me I will throw every one of your toys in the garbage.

I’m telling the truth, I swear.”

Mom sighs, “I am getting sick and tired of the teachers up there. They all have it in for us.”

Mom arrives at school at 3 pm and heads for Principal Taylor’s office. The principal and teacher are waiting. Bobby’s mom slips into a chair and Bobby slides onto the time-out couch in Principal Taylor’s office.

“Look,” says Bobby’s mother, “I don’t have time for this. Bobby says he did not take Kara’s pencil and I believe him. He never lies.”

Mom turns to Bobby and says, “Tell them.”

Envisioning his toys flying out of his bedroom window and onto the front lawn, Bobby insists, “I didn’t take her pencils.”

The principal reaches behind her chair and grabs Bobby’s backpack. She hands it to him and says, “You might want to take out your pencil case. I think the mystery of Kara’s five pencils will be solved.”

What did mom teach her son?


Principal Smith calls Genine Baldo’s mother. “Mrs. Baldo, we have a strict policy of no cell phones in the classroom. Children are to surrender them to their teachers; they are put in a lock box until the end of the day when the students may claim them. Genine knows this, but she continues to hide her phone so she can play games during class.”

Mrs. Baldo says, “I will speak to Genine. However, I did give her that phone to use if she needs me during the day. She cannot do that if it is in a lock box. I think it is a ridiculous rule.” She hangs up the phone.

Mrs. Baldo looks for Genine. Genine is sitting on her bed, wearing earphones and doing her homework, oblivious to the fact that her mother entered her room.

Mrs. Baldo pulls off one of the earphones.

“Genine, the principal called. She said you were using your phone in class to play games. Is this true?”

“Oh, mom everyone does it. The principal just hates me.”

Mrs. Baldo calls the principal and tells her what Genine said. “My daughter claims that all the kids do this; why are you singling her out?”

What has Genine learned from her mother?


It was a dog of a meeting. Marcus, a first grade student, is constantly drawing the human body, male and female, with very realistic genitalia, including hair. Marcus is also obsessed with words like butt, boobs, kissing, and penis. He not only likes the shocked reaction he gets from his classmates and teacher, but he feels big because he knows more than the others kids do about such matters. Each time he draws one of his pictures, he shares it with his friends

The first few times Mr. Burns caught Marcus, he called home and asked Marcus’ parents to speak with their son.  Mr. Burns felt that Marcus was very young to be so obsessed with this.

Ultimately, Marcus’ drawings resulted in a meeting with the principal.  Mr. Burns, Principal Smith, Marcus and his dad attended the meeting.

Principal Smith began. “We are very concerned that a little boy would be so obsessed with naked bodies and words that describe their parts. Have you any idea where this is coming from?”

Marcus’ dad said, “Don’t you think you are overreacting? All kids talk about butts and boobs. He hears me tell his mother she has a great butt and her boobs are the envy of my guy friends. What’s wrong with complementing my wife?”

Mr. Burns asked Marcus’ dad where his son was getting such vivid pictures of the naked body. “I don’t know. Sometimes my wife and I watch adult movies but he is asleep.  My collection of Playboy is in my closet on the top shelf. I do not leave it around where he can see it. What kind of a parent do you think I am? I wouldn’t expose my son to that.”

What did Marcus learn at this meeting?