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Is School Solely Responsible? by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families LLC

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Is School Solely Responsible?

by Brian and Sally Burgess, Forefront Families

You may be parents who prepare your children well for school. However, I have heard many parents say that it is the school's responsibility to educate their children. Is that so? Well, yes and no. Parents are the child's first teachers, training and guiding their children in readiness for the experts to commence the next step. Kids learn more in their preschool years than they probably learn at any other time yet many come to school with minimum skills and knowledge because their parents believe that it is the school's responsibility to educate their children.

Many skills, including tying up shoelaces, can be achieved by the age of three. The problem is that many parents don't realize their expectations are much too low. Kids can do far more than we imagine. They love to master simple skills and take on responsibilities such as chores at an early age and, most of all, they love to please you. We often do too much for them and coddle them causing them to miss out on some great achievement experiences.

At five, even six years of age, we find children who cannot count from one to ten. Ask them to identify colors and they cannot, nor can they recite the alphabet. Days of the week or months of the year remain a mystery. They often cannot recall their address, their parents' phone numbers, or their parents' full names. Some children are not fully potty-trained, while others cannot fasten buttons.

It is not the school's responsibility to raise your child, to teach them basic skills and character or to give them a set of values. This is definitely a parent's role!. School can help reinforce the things you have already taught them, but please don't leave it all for the school to do.

Why do parents abdicate their responsibility to be 'first responders' and to neglect providing their children with life skills, core family values, positive character traits, and basic knowledge before they go to school?

  • Ignorance. Some parents are just not aware that it is their responsibility to teach their children basic skills, or that their kids are teachable from an early age.
  • Inadequate role modeling. Parents may lack adequate parenting skills because their parents were not positive role models.
  • Busyness or self-absorption. Some parents don't have time with, or for their kids. Perhaps they are financially pressed and both need to work. They may not see their children for more than an hour or so each day, so teaching them behavioral expectations is the last thing on their minds. Some are more absorbed with fulfilling their own dreams than training their children.
  • Suitability. Some adults are not geared to raise a child. General ignorance and a regret that they ever had a child may be reflected in the child's demeanor, character and behavior.

To all parents who adequately prepare their children to meet the challenges of receiving a great education and who are working in partnership and harmony with the school, thank you! You are a blessing to your kids' teachers and are very much appreciated. You can look back with satisfaction at what your children have achieved and say, "We did a good job!"

If you are a parent who needs help in training your children about acceptable behavioral expectations, there is plenty of help for you. You can 'Google' search parenting topics and attend parenting sessions or seminars.

We are also a help agency that is more than willing to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at sally@forefrontfamilies.org. We invite you to also check out our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blog site at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com for further assistance.

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