Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maybe schools aren't the problem

UPDATE: Kolbert's article in the New Yorker about spoiled children continues to make waves. Here's another reflection about it Leslie Crawford of GreatSchools.com

maybe it's the students.

So, here's a topic that's making the rounds these days. Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker analyzes a book and an essay to conclude that, thanks to over-cuddling parents, children in the United States are growing to be lazy and complacent. We don't let them learn how to tie their own shoes because it's not expedient: we're in a hurry, we have to get to work, so we do it for them. The result: they grow up feeling that everything can be handed down to them, that they don't have to work hard for anything. And that, if they're not being entertained, there's no point in anything.

Then comes a response from Lee Bessette, a teacher of writing in Canada, who concludes in this blog at Inside Higher Ed that people are now getting their satisfaction primarily from parenting because everything else in life is so unrewarding that getting that smile of approval from your child is worth the world. Your reason for being.

Which makes me wonder: what will happen with those children when they grow up and we're not there to make them smile, or hand them down life on a silver platter?

I sort of got my answer from this video, posted on CNN by Joseph Ryan: kids don't want to learn. They expect to have things handed on them on a silver platter. To them, if it's not fun, is not worth doing.

And learning is hard work, it's dedication, is discipline, and if we don't teach that to our children, no matter how much "school reform" we embark on, things are going to continue to look pretty dismal.

P.D. -- And maybe, our cuddling's the reason for the U.S. to have dropped in international rankings on innovation.

1 comment:

  1. FINALLY! While a multitude of other blogs, newspapers, and magazines ask us as parents to provide the best we can in education, health care, nutrition, and community, etc., I've noticed that our children, teen, and young adults are left out of the equation.

    Why? As a family, everyone should pitch in, every day and that includes kids. It doesn't make for a popular parent, but like I tell my sons, this isn't a popularity contest. It comes down to life at its most basic--There is no such thing as a free ride--another phrase met with grunts and eye-rolling, but that's fine with me as long as the chores get done.

    My Man and I have raised our kids mostly Old School and they've turned out to be funny, bright, polite and great young men, but sometimes act either like a character out of South Park or wake up delusional expecting Prince William and Harry's life in Buckingham Palace.

    So when I came across Claudia Meléndez Salinas' post i cheered and have sent it on to others. Come on parents wake up and let the kids make the coffee...