From the Trenches

Aiming for the middle ground.

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"A room without books is like a body without a soul."— Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Posts tagged "parenting"

I am in Florida, which the article mentions, and students regularly use Florida Virtual School (FVS) for credit recovery their senior year so they can graduate.  I hear, on a regular basis, how many kids brag about their mom taking care of their assignments for them.  I’m all for parent involvement, but it’s, again, an example of how much parents are screwing their kids over under the guise of “helping them out”. 

I must be on a kick, but man, the whole parenting thing is really getting to me lately.  This article from 2009 talks about how parents aren’t reading their kids classic fairytales any longer because they think they are politically incorrect or too scary.  One commenter said that she doesn’t like Jack stealing things from the Giant up that beanstalk, and that she “wouldn’t know what to tell her kids” about people dying in them.  

Really?  You are going to eliminate a chance to talk with them, to have them learn about an issue in an age-appropriate way that they may have to deal with in real life anyway?  THIS IS WHY THE SCHOOLS TEACH SOME OF THIS STUFF.  Because parents WANT to do it, but when it comes down to actually teaching their kids something or teaching them what they would like their own children to know about a certain topic, many parents CHICKEN OUT because they “don’t know what to tell [their] child.”  

Whether it’s about death, sex, drugs, homosexuality, etc., take the opportunity to TALK to your children about the issues that come up rather than avoiding the issues all together because you don’t know how to explain it.  Especially if you’re the type to tell the schools they don’t have any right to teach your kid about that stuff.  Man up, people, and be a parent.  


Not The Onion About The Onion of the Day: A story published by The Onion about a new parent education study attributed to the California Parenting Institute of Santa Rosa resulted in major headaches for the 33-year-old nonprofit when many parents took the satirical publication seriously.

According to the The Onion, CPI had determined that there wasn’t a single style of parenting that didn’t cause children to become “profoundly unhappy adults.” All parenting methods were equally successful at yielding grown ups who were bitter, isolated and utterly “unprepared to contend with life’s difficulties.”

The institute’s executive director, Robin Bowen, said she had a hearty chuckle when the article was brought to her attention by her daughter. But the laughter stopped as soon as she reached the office.

Bowen and others spent the day fielding calls from parents worried that there was really nothing they could do to raise their children right. “It’s obviously not OK to list our agency,” said CPI director of marketing and development Wendy Hilberman, “even in satire.”

CPI was eventually forced to release press statement denying the existence of the study and dismissing its results. “The falsified study quoted in The Onion states that all parenting styles lead to the same outcome — unhappy, miserable adults,” CPI says in its statement. “We have been around a long time because we know that parent education does work.”

The Onion responded with a comment saying this wasn’t the first time an article they published was mistaken for hard news.

Sonoma State University communications studies professor Jonah Raskin says people should be more skeptical of content their read online. “If you go online, you will find all kinds of things that are false and misleading about products and individuals,” he said. “If anyone takes The Onion seriously, they are sadly misunderstanding The Onion.”


I agree with this post only if she is speaking about high school.  Once a student gets to college, they ARE expected to educate themselves.  In college, students are expected to be self-motivated and exploratory, and be able to bring up suggestions in class when they see a gap in the professor’s thinking.  I have issue, not with the topic this post deals with, because she is absolutely correct, but with the level she is pointing it to.  I’m not going to make assumptions about her daughter, because if the topic of rape is so disturbing to her, then obviously there is some other issue at hand that needs to be dealt with on a personal level that I am certainly not going to judge on. 

However, in college, just like so-called “real life”, students need to be self-advocating.  No one is going to be careful of their feelings or troubles unless they happen to be a nice person.  So if something a professor says in discussion or lecture comes up with holes, like here where their wasn’t any sort of rape victim advocacy, then it is up to the student to bring it up at that time.  

Now, it sounds to me like in this particular situation, it was the student who emailed the professor, to which I applaud, but there are SO MANY parents out there who are still hovering over their students in college the way they hovered in high school.  Remember that Alexander the Great wasn’t even 20 when he began one of the greatest military campaigns in history.  If we start to treat our teenagers as adults, they will begin to act to act like them.  A parent’s job (I’m saying this as a teacher) is to bring a child up to be a successful adult in society and give them the tools they will need to DO IT BY THEMSELVES.  By college, unless there is some overwhelming issue, parents should not be involving themselves in their child’s academic affairs…they should be dealing with it by themselves.  

One more example, before I step off my soapbox, I have a friend who didn’t know she was supposed to file for income tax because her parents always did it for her without telling her about it.  So she turns 18 and moves out, and two years later, she gets a notice from the IRS saying she will have wages garnished and faces heavy fines for not filing.  She never knew she had to do anything.  THAT, my friends, is irresponsible parenting under the guise of good parents “just helping their kid out”.  

Just saying.  </soapbox>


it’s a poor idea to leave it to the students to figure them out and react to it as they will, with no guidance. New and complex issues should be dealt with as thoroughly as possible both in the context of the literature at hand as well as that of the students’ experiences, society, and sometimes…