Disclaimer: As you will be able to tell this blog was written on Friday. Due to my daughter’s baby shower it just sat waiting to be revised. Hence, the Happy F-ing Friday! LOL
This week I was completely enchanted (good word) when:
- I walked into a bar and someone who follows my blog came up to me and was like “What the hell?!?! You haven’t posted a blog since May 10!!” It was May 15th. She continued on to say that she went onto the blog at work looking forward to a new post and was totally disappointed not to find one. (Insert tear here).
MY blog guys! She looked forward to MY blog. I feel like this officially makes me a blogger!!!!
2. I was speaking with a co-worker who I invited to read my blog back when I started. She never mentioned it. After a seriously rough day at work (I recognize I am blessed, but still it was rough) she said, “OMG, Ms. Formentin!” She still calls me that making me feel all old and shit.
Anyway, she was like “I have been reading and following your blog and I love it!
“I especially like the one about the guy with the socks.” LOL. She said it is so relatable and “I love how you express yourself.” (insert second tear here)
Both of these made my day and it reminded me that I need to be more consistent with my blog. And so here I am! Because it really is all about connecting with people. The images, the followers, the comments – THOSE are all secondary, maybe even third on the list of why and how I want to grow this thing.
Anyway, so here I am! Happy FUCKIN Friday! Yes, HAPPY FUCKIN Friday! What a week!!
I need to talk to you guys about our kids! Kids growing up now. Little boys and girls. The little monsters that we are creating!
As you all know I am educator. I am in my 13th year of teaching. Three years longer than I originally anticipated.
I’ve taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.
I’ve taught in urban and suburban schools.
Over the span of my thirteen years in teaching, I have witnessed what I describe as an epidemic decline in the integrity of our children. This is manifesting itself as a severe lack of empathy for others. I know I sound dramatic, but that’s because this current situation is serious.
Every year, educators all over the world, face behavioral challenges in their classroom. Author included. However, I have never experienced some of the issues like the ones this year. Challenges is definitely an understatement.
These kids are downright rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate and mean. BULLIES!!! (Another disclaimer: Not all of them. A select few.) .
They have no fear of authority. They talk back. The mock. They mimic. They hit. They gossip. They walk out of classrooms. Talk about teachers to their face. They want to have the last word.
OMG! I am a grown ass woman and let me tell you I still fear my mom. These kids do not care. And they will tell you.
- I don’t care about my grades.
- I do it because I want to.
- I do it because I can.
- She’s so annoying and ugly. (Talking about a sub)
- You’re a ________________ (insert N word here). (Yes, the “N” word!!! At the 4th grade level.)
- This is boring.
- I just want to go home.
The responses run the gamut. I’ll tell you what, had I ever responded this way to any adult and it got back to my mom, you best believe I would not be here today. Back then it was a community affair – that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
My brothers grew up in the Dominican Republic. I remember one time they were acting up on the way home – I don’t know what. But I do remember that by the time they got home, my uncle had heard about it and he took a branch right to them in the alleyway. Yup. Community affair.
The crazy thing is I can’t even blame the kids today because as we all know this is LEARNED behavior. Kids are born with a clean slate. Yes, some traits are inherited but we also know most traits are learned.
Who are the real culprits here? Parents! Parents in combination with technology are single- handedly ruining this generation of children. And I believe it is going to get worse before it gets better.
As parents we are so wrapped up in whatever it is we wrap ourselves up in – careers, fitness, homes, making money, travel, socializing – that we forget that our single most important job is – OUR KIDS! If you’ve been blessed to have them. Raising them, loving them, protecting them.
Clothing and putting a roof over their heads does not make us parents. Loving alone does not make us parents. Making sure our kids go to school does not make us parents.
Parenting involves talking to our kids and engaging in conversation. Listening attentively without the phone in our hand. Being present. Listening to both the spoken and unspoken words. Modeling behavior like speaking properly, helping the elderly, volunteering, kindness, dressing age appropriately. The list is endless.
We think that because kids are absorbed in their technology that they are not paying attention to us, when in reality, I feel like they are way more aware. It’s like the brain is soaking up the conversations around them and being filed for later use.
Have you ever had a conversation with let’s say your best friends while your child is playing on an iPad or smart phone nearby? You think your kid is completely absorbed paying you no mind.
A few weeks later your kid will ask something like, “Who got arrested?” or “Oh, like daddy’s friend who went to jail?” You’re like mouth-wide-open because you swore at the time he wasn’t paying attention.
THIS IS TRUE STORY. My grandson Max did this. He will bring things up a week or two later that he subconsciously listened to and stored.
It’s the same thing with behavior. You may think that when you are cursing out the salesperson because they were rude or disrespectful or just having a bad day, that you’re teaching your kid to defend himself, when what you’re actually modeling is to be rude and disrespectful. If you’re not explaining why you are doing what you’re doing, and this is your pattern, it becomes their pattern.
What do you think happens when you call that kid’s teacher and lie that the child was sick and that’s why he didn’t finish his work? But in reality he was fine. The child learns to lie, to make excuses, to not take responsibility for anything because his parents got his back.
Your children spend a good portion of their day in the classroom with teachers, other adults and other kids.
There is nothing uglier to me than that kid that E V E R Y O N E knows because of his shitty behavior. Parents THIS is NOT cute. Start modeling the behavior that you want to see. You want an honest child, don’t lie. You want chivalrous young men, open doors. You want a classy daughter, don’t be twerking and then posting that shyt on social media.
Look I am not and haven’t been a perfect parent. We all make mistakes. But as we grow older and we see this overwhelming inundation of technology and the effects it is having on our children, we need to be more mindful of the things we say and do in front of our children.
Because once that foundation is rooted, it becomes twice as difficult to undo.
Just don’t be the parent with the a*@hole kid!
This is one of my favorite quotes about kids! We have no idea how we damage our kids…
“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”
― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven