Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another Elephant Enters the Room: Lousy Parents

My daughter almost got hit by a car on her way to school today. Right in front of me. This mom, like so many other parents in a hurry every morning, made a three point turn in the middle of the street and then drove up on to the curb, AS MY KID WAS WALKING BY. I totally lost it. I went off on this mom, in front of a lot of other parents and kids. I was so furious that I drove straight to the police station.

Every day, I am upset by the many close calls that I see going on in front of the school. But I try to keep my cool because I'm the PTA President and I don't want to make a scene in front of the kids (plus, you never know if one of these wacko parents might be violent, so it's best to keep your cool). So, as PTA President, I've looked for ways to "empower" and "educate" parents (as if they were children) on how to be a "safe driver" when taking their kids to school. Because that is the politically correct thing to do. Well, enough already! I've had it with being politically correct.

I have had it. I've had it with selfish, careless, lazy, and dangerous parents. I'm sick of keeping my mouth shut and I'm sick of politely ignoring the other elephant in the room of public education. Lousy parents!!!! Lousy parents are a big part of what's wrong in public education today. But nobody dares talk too much about that. We look the other way or make excuses for them because it's not p.c. to call a lousy parent a lousy parent. So here goes. Time to call a spade a spade. Or a lousy parent a lousy parent.

You know you are a lousy parent if:

You let other people raise your kids (contrary to quiet popular belief, being an immigrant or poor doesn't automatically make you an inferior parent - being too self involved does).

You don't help your kid do his homework or show up at parent teacher conferences.

You are in the principal's office all the time, blaming the school for everything under the sun, but you never show up to any PTA meetings, family nights, or other school activities. You just complain. And your kid is out of control.

You don't know who your kid's friends are and you don't care.

You don't know your own child's strengths and weaknesses, so you're not available to help him develop or correct them.

You don't teach your child basic social skills so they can get along with others in a classroom setting (and then later in the bigger world) - you leave that for the school to do.

You blame everybody but yourself for your own faults and failures.

You spend money on things that result in denying your family food, shelter and clothing.

And finally, and most important of all, if you endanger the lives of innocent kids walking to school in the mornings by double parking, driving too fast, sailing through stop signs, making U-turns in the middle of the street, or dropping your kids off on the wrong side of the street and then pushing them into oncoming traffic. You are more than a lousy parent, you a threat to society.

To all of the parents who step up and fill in for the lousy parents at every school, going above and beyond by caring for neglected kids who are innocent victims of lousy parenting (that goes for private schools, too - lousy parents can be found everywhere, but private schools have a way of getting rid of them because they're bound by contract law and not constitutional law, public schools are stuck with them!)........thank you. You are exceptional parents and we all benefit from your thoughtfulness and generosity.

And to anybody who wants to defend lousy parents by offering up excuses for their neglectful behavior: DON'T. I'm in no mood. My kid was almost hit by one today.