Sunday, October 4, 2015

As a Parent, I Wish You Knew.... #iWishParent


Welcome to the 3rd part (in a 4 part series) of "I Wish You Knew....".  Part 1 was all about what Administrators wished you knew, part 2 was all about what Teachers wished you knew, and now Part 3 focuses on Parents!

I really wanted to gather great ideas and honest opinions from parents.  So, besides just getting parents on social media channels to leave comments, I also sent out the form to the parents at my school in Navasota, Texas.

The responses were honest, they were raw, and they were real.  Many of them made me tear up, a few made me flat out cry, but more importantly made me look at things through a different lens.

I hope you enjoy reading the responses of what parents wish educators knew, and be sure to check out next week's final post in the series, all from the perspective of students.  And make sure to share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #iWishParents.

Here goes...

"As a parent, I wish you knew how much it means to me when you WANT to know about my child; about what makes him tick, about what makes him excited, about what makes him sad. I wish you knew that knowing a little bit of his background, like how his two brothers never came home from the hospital, or how his daddy has to travel for work, and were able to apply these things to mentoring him. I wish you knew that he is my everything, and I do expect you to leave the proverbial flock to find him if he has gone astray. I wish you knew that I support you, especially when you're supporting him. I wish you would really take the time to know him - because knowing him has changed my life." 

"That when we mess up, we beat ourselves up more than you can imagine. We don't enjoy being frustrated, angry, or harsh. We do our best day in and day out, but we screw up and through this hopefully we teach our kids the power of the words "I'm sorry, daddy messed up". We hope that through our example our kids learn to take responsibility for their actions...good and bad!"

"That each child is different and as such must be rewarded and disciplined differently according to their personality."

"I dread homework. I want to spend quality time with my child after a long day at work. I would rather read with her, help her where she is behind, teach her to cook, or work on our own learning projects. Instead we fight with each other over hours of pointless, busy, homework each night. I wish you knew, homework this year is damaging the relationship I have with my child. I wish we could look forward to homework each night."

"Each child is different, so you can not treat them all the same, and expect the same outcome for each."

"Teachers, I wish you knew that homework takes too much of my time with my kid! My kids work hard during the day at school - and after school if they do something extracurricular - and we want to spend time together as a family instead of battling homework every single night. Please, value my time with my child and allow work to stay at school." 

"I don't like projects...especially elementary projects. But if you are going to send one home - it's worthless to grade it because I already went to school...and passed. I don't need to get graded again on a project that is essentially all my work because it is above the ability level of my child."

"that my goal is to raise well-rounded children. I want them to be involved in leadership, in athletics, community service activities, and enjoy their educational experiences. I am not aiming for them to get 4.0's or higher or to rack up AP credits. If they are able to do it without being stressed out...great, but I have seen too many teenagers fall into the stress of school, and I refuse to let my kids go through that."

"She is not just a "ADHD kid", she is intelligent, creative, and wonderful. Her brain just moves faster than her body can keep up. She is so much more than a label. "

"We try our best to be there for our children, but it's difficult to have so many hats to wear simultaneously. Sometimes, our children can't be our priority, and we feel terribly guilty about it. "

"I wish you knew there are times when life gets in the way of me being the first teacher. I know it is my responsibility to teach my child in every aspect but sometimes I don't take advantage of a teaching moment because it does not occur to me at that exact moment that I should teach here."

"I wish you knew that I AM teaching my child manners but sometimes she just doesn't obey. It's not because I'm a bad parent or she's a bad child. It's no different than when your boss asks you to do something then you immediately have something come up in your personal life and you forget or misplace that information. They make mistakes too and their attention span IS shorter than ours."

"How difficult it is for my children and family when you assign a lot of busy work as homework and expect that we get it done. Please don't assign it. We work children get home late and we need time as a family."

"That it's even harder than it looks, but worth every minute!"

"I am a single mother to six kids. 5 boys one girl. My priorities change as my children and situations change. I've noticed it's hard for my friends and family without kids to understand why I do the things I do for my children. What may be important to them, isn't important to me. My children come first."

"Kids don't come with a set of directions. and we know our kids do not always tell parents the truth!"

"What little time we have with our kids - we do not want to fight over homework. Keep it short."
  
"It's hard to find time to read and sign all those forms and papers. Keep in for short and to the point."


"That not all kids have both parents at home or in the lives on a daily basis due to distance but as a parent I would still like to be informed on my child's progress and parent type activities because their other parent doesn't/refuses to communicate such things. I wish I didn't feel so left out."

"how much I really do appreciate and value all the hard work teachers do in instilling not only education into my kids life, but also on how to be a better person. It really means a lot when teachers keep us updated on what they are doing with my kids on a daily basis. As a parent I do realize how important it is to continue that education at home and do appreciate the reminder to keep that up."

"As the parent of an ADHD child, I wish people knew how much he, and other kids like him, struggle when dealing with their own hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and lack of focus. He is a very bright young man, although he is often failing his classes because his inability to pay attention is often mistaken for disrespect and lack of concern. He is 16 years old and has been on medicine since he was 4. He recently stopped taking it because it alters his personality severely and causes him to be too tired after school to participate in the sports he loves. Everyday is a struggle for him and I wish people knew that a little patience and understanding goes a long, long way with children like him!!"

"I wish you knew how much anxiety I get when I drop off my child at school."

"I wish you knew how much I can see some teachers and staff trying harder than others."

"I wish you knew the feeling I have everyday when my child comes home discouraged because the other girls are continually chipping away her confidence. I wish you knew that we have tried everything to make her understand that, "it's not her," that the other girls have problems at home," that "she can't keep having headaches and stomachaches," that, "it's cannot keep coming to the school." I wish you knew that all the pain, is real to her...."

"being a parent is very challenging yet it teaches you so much about yourself, that feeling of having your heart outside of your body is scary yet a huge sense of accomplishment because you created that child." 
"Being a parent is hard work, you must be able to multitask. Most importantly you have to put your children's needs before your own but above all that being a parent is a blessing!"

"Time spent at home with family is extremely valuable. If you are going to assign homework for any reason, it needs to be valuable and meaningful. A lot of students do not have a healthy school/personal life balance."



In the end, the biggest thing that stuck out to me was that parents wanted to feel understood and heard.  I think these comments are a great glimpse into and reminder of things we as educators can't forget!  Add in your thoughts on Twitter using the #iWishParents hashtag!  And check out the final post in the series, next week, all from the perspective of students!