Here's Auntlori:

Finally, the opportunity and motivation to comment on this blog subject, sorry for any spelling/grammatical errors-two toddlers in the back ground.....

OK, my husband is a high school teacher and coaches varsity sports, as well. He's had a lot of experience with teenagers, their parents and all kinds of over-indulgence and over-involvement, talked about on this blog, for many years. Here's the latest example of why so many of today's kids are turning out incapable of empathy, self-reliance, and motivation for anything beyond themselves:

My husband teaches a course to high school seniors that is required for graduation. It is called Senior Project. The project is of the student's choosing and the field is wide open. They spend half the semester doing research on their project and the other half of the semester putting their research into action. He's had projects such as raising chickens, producing a CD, midwifery, raising a puppy, cooking, etc. While there is freedom in choice of project, it is still a required course, with specific guidelines and dealines, and IT IS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION.

Each and every year, about two weeks before graduation, he gets the inevitible tears from the students who refused to take is seriously, refused every EXTRA opportunity to complete their work, refused all the extra help offered and now face the reality that they won't graduate. This year, one student's mother got involved, which is not uncommon but this parent actually threatened a lawsuit against the school if they did not pass her son, her son who did not complete any of his work, ignored all extra opportunities, and simply did not care. The parents ignored phone calls, emails and letters home informing them of his failure. The prinicpal, out of fear of a lawsuit, immediately gave the student ANOTHER opportunity and suggested that perhaps in the future the teachers could call home once a week to update parents on their child's status in school. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! These are 18 year olds! Last night, at 7 pm, my husband was sitting in his classroom with the kid and his mother, while the kid did the work and the mother was typing up his work. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????? This is a senior in HIGH SCHOOL!! A LAWSUIT??!! The school is going to be punished for doing exactly what they said and are supposed to do when your child doesn't do what he/she is supposed to do?

Do these over-involved, over-indulgent parents actually think they are creating individuals who will be able to take care of themselves as adults? These students end up in my freshmen college classrooms and fall flat on their face because no longer are parents allowed to be involved, no longer are notes sent home, no longer are there any reminders what so ever about due dates for assignments.

What the hell is a mother doing sitting in a classroom typing papers for her son at 7:00 on a Monday night, days before graduation?

Today's generation is not empathetic because THEY CAN'T SEE PAST THEIR OWN NOSES! How can you possibly have any empathy for anyone at all when the only thing you can see is yourself and the little bubble you are walking around in. Parents-WAKE UP, you're not doing anyone a favor. Let your kids fail, let them learn the consequences for their own behavior, let them learn appreciation, let them learn the thrill of becoming successful, let them gain confidence and independence. Your over-involvement is self-serving and setting your kids up for disaster as adults!

Here's PL:

Indeed, Auntlori, your example vividly illustrates the sad state of parenting in so many quarters, and the disastrous results for all involved. I will add one caveat, though, and it relates to The Wave of necessary change I've been talking about that is afoot in recent times. Our educational systems, just like parenting, have fallen flat on their faces when it comes to inspiring kids to learn. No doubt your husband is dedicated and seeks to inspire his students, but by the time they've reached him they are already late teenagers and tainted by years of rote, mandatory force-feeding of information, not that different in its effect than the spoon-feeding they were subject to by their parents. In the best of systems, kids don't need to be inspired to learn, it is an innate urge in them. The question to be asked is how to we drive that urge out of them in the first place?

To be continued, for sure, but thanks, Auntlori. Thoughtful as always!

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