Personal Responsibility

Is it lost on our kids? Today I read a meme on Facebook. It was a cartoon showing Wile E. Coyote strapping himself to a rocket and lighting a wick to blast himself off, undoubtedly in pursuit of the Road Runner.

The insinuation is bad enough even without the comments that followed which included parents now owning up to educating or being responsible for their children and that we have had a whole generation of kids that just don’t have a clue. I don’t think I’ll bother to glaze over my response:

Oh please with the sweeping generalizations and mass pigeon-holing. A lot of kids get bad marks because someone thought they’d go to teacher’s college for lack of anything else to do and didn’t even really WANT to be a teacher. A lot get bad marks because of difficulties at home. A lot get bad marks because they have a learning disability which has yet to be identified. We do not have a whole generation of kids who don’t have a clue because we have no way of measuring A WHOLE GENERATION. And guess what? Our parents were saying the same thing about our generation. They were just saying it face to face, not on the Internet where it reaches millions. We’re so separated from what this allegedly ‘clueless’ generation is up to, it could be argued WE are a bit clueless.

Do we have a problem with the education system today? Yes. Did we when we were growing up? Most certainly. I do believe our parents, the parents of those who are likely the ones teaching today, DID say the very same things about us just as their parents did about them.

As a mother, I’m offended. And if I thought my son was a problem, I doubt I’d be complaining about him on Facebook. I’m quite certain I would be working WITH his educators to solve the problem. Part of that work would be trying to identify if, in fact, the teachers tasked with educating him are up to snuff. It’s naive to imagine that the mere title of ‘teacher’ puts you above responsibility. There are bad teachers out there. Deal with it.

There are also very good teachers out there. It requires cooperation and communication between home and school. We can’t just shuffle our kids out the door each day and expect that they are learning all they need to know at school. We also can’t claim that ALL parents are doing this and that an entire generation of children are clueless.

Guess what? I was completely clueless. I did things my mother did not approve of and probably still doesn’t. I had friends who did worse. I had friends who did almost nothing wrong. If we are trying to teach them to think for themselves and take responsibility for their lives - revel in their unique qualities, then how in the world does a sweeping generalization and pigeon-holing teach them that?

Are we going to tell an entire generation that this is what we think of them? ‘Forget it, kid. Your generation is lost. Don’t bother trying.’

Remember, parents, when you make a statement like that, YOUR kids are part of this so-called clueless generation. Also try to remember that they very well might be reading what you’re writing. While you’re complaining that the parents of this generation aren’t taking responsibility for their kids, what is it you’re doing with yours?