Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Questions to Ponder on Parenthood

A while back I posed the question about how involved a parent should be in their child's school work. I also asked what was the perfect balance.

I totally believe in a couple of things. 1. Kids whose parents are very involved in their school life are most likely to grow up to be successful in school and 2. Schools provide the outline of what children should be learning, but parents are responsible for teaching their children.

That said. I need to find that perfect balance between teaching and not helping too much. Not only because I hate seeing kids' work that was so obviously done by their parents, but also because most importantly I want for my kids to learn.

Last week I spent the entire week helping my daughter with her Spain project. I got so involved that I even forgot to study her spelling words with her. When it was all said and done she had attitude with me. She’s six years old, so as they used to say when I was growing up, “she don’t know no better.”

She had the audacity to say to me, “You didn’t really do anything.”

My husband looked at her and said, “You better just stop right there!”

I was stunned! When I regained my voice I asked her, “Who scanned the pictures for you? Who resized them to make them fit?” And on and on… all the things that she’s too little to do herself.

To each thing she answered, “You.”

I turned to my husband and told him, “You know what?! Our parents had the right idea. Don’t help them with anything. If you help them they just take it for granted and they act ungrateful."

I was angry and my daughter could tell. It was obvious by the look on her face that she totally regretted speaking too soon. My husband laughed.

I had the same conversation a few days later with my friend and she agreed. She said her parents would have said, “I already went to school. That’s your work.”

We laughed so hard. Of course we both didn’t go into the Vanguard system until middle school. We wouldn’t have had such a complicated project in 1st grade. We did projects like that one in 6th grade. I remember because I did Denmark, Bangladesh, and Cuba.

So yes, I do need to help her for now. But once that little girl learns to scan photos and work the computer she’s on her own. I’m just going to observe and give constructive criticism. :-)

It’s a challenging road this parenting thing, but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m tired, my house is dirty, but I’m having a great time.

Which reminds me. On a funny note. I was talking to my cleaning lady today and I was asking her what time she’s coming tomorrow. When I told her I was on vacation she asked me why I’m not cleaning myself. I was taken by surprise for a second and then I responded. “Because I want to spend time with my children. Because I’m paying you to do it.”

She just laughed. We’re off to the zoo tomorrow.


Moose said...

Hmmm... cleaning lady? Keld read your blog... asked me if I wanted a cleaning lady too... I said... we already have one... Dee... get your ass to the KITCHEN. : )

Parenting is a hard job. I guess that's why I stuck to the saying, "If you don't be have and do right, the cucuy is going to get you."

ShoeGirl Corner said...

Rey and I always tell people that we can't wait for the kids to get older so we can have a built in house cleaner, clothes washer, car washer, and yardman/woman. Hee hee! We're evil!