By Erik Fisher, PhD, AKA Dr E…
It is true the expertise of the school faculty is to help provide your child with an education. It is also your job to support that end. One of the biggest challenges is many parents do not feel skilled at educating their kids, and many times the techniques or ways their kids are being taught can be difficult for parents to understand at teach at home.
For many people when they feel inadequacy or failure, they would often rather not play the game instead of playing the game and losing. Parents are people too, and if we all look honestly at this, this could be part of the motivation why we may not be more involved in our kids' education. If we are going to model more productive behaviors to our kids, we have to be willing to face our emotions, and even ask for help on how we can understand what are kids are learning. Also, be willing to feel happy your kids are learning possibly more than you did, because that may open up more opportunities for them.
One of the tendencies of people when we feel failure is also to blame others so we are off the hook for our emotions (remember the victim wants to be off the hook). This is often why we want to blame the teachers, the school books, the system… Aren't we then playing the victim? But who is going to rescue our kids, and what are we teaching them. Who inspires your children more than you? You can inspire them to want to be better people, or you can inspire them to believe that when things get tough, it is someone else's fault. How much do we see the latter in our culture?
The entitlement I see from many parents when it comes to their children's education is not based in a right to demand the school teach your kids, it comes from a dependency on others to deal with things they don't want to and an arrogance they should be off the hook. Your kids see this and learn from this. As I have said before, "Your kids are always watching." Know and realize partnerships often result in better outcomes. No one can win a team sport by themselves. Your child's education takes a team to win. Become a part of it.
I would like you to consider taking my pledge. Repeat after me (well, you know what I mean). "I, (State your name), love my child enough to make sure they get the best education I can help them to receive. It is my hope they one day will know more than I do, and I will be the wind that fills their sails to propel them where they want to go to help them grow. I will do my best to advance their education not only in school, but in life. I acknowledge I am always learning and my child will always be learning. Life is full of opportunities and I will seek to embrace them openly for and with my child."
About the author:
Erik Fisher, PhD, aka Dr. E…
, is a licensed psychologist and author who has been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX and CNN. Visit him at
to learn more about his books "The Art of Empowered Parenting" and "The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict or to check out his blog. Permission Granted for use on Dr.Laura.com.