Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



By Domenick J. Maglio PhD Traditional Realist

Modern parents too frequently have things reversed. They are permissive at home allowing their children to do and have whatever they want. They do not set limits on behavior or teach moral values that assist youngsters in fulfilling their goals.

However, as soon as the child leaves the nest and enters school the parents attempt to micro manage the teacher’s actions with their precious child. The parent’s unrealistic hope is their child will be treated as if he is the only child in the class. They believe their child’s uniqueness, lack of conformity and the parent’s self-important status requires him to be treated as special.

Parents are worried the teacher might treat their child abruptly and harshly to bring his behavior inline with age appropriate behavior. These parents do not understand that meddling in school, the first opportunity the child has to function independently outside the home, is going to hinder his maturing into a functional person.

It is true that all of us are different and develop at different rates but we still have to conform to certain expectations and standards of behavior and moral values to make us culturally appropriate. When these lessons are not learned at home, it falls on the school to inculcate them. This task becomes more complicated and difficult the older the child.

Teaching every rudimentary skill like listening, potty training, waiting one’s turn and following natural and logical rules is being delayed or totally ignored. Not everyone can be first in line. Since many students are coming from single parent homes without extended family involvement, they never learn the need to contribute to others. Almost all modern children have limited opportunity to share and contribute in these affluent times. Whatever the child desires is often given to him without question.

Since consequences for establishing certain important behaviors are often taboo for modern parents, they become irate when their child is subjected to these rules by the teacher. School authorities are supposed to use tender loving care to control their child even when he does not respond to it.

Teachers need to be allowed to give lessons that cannot be accomplished at home but many modern parents feel these methods are too strict. This means pointing out their child in front of the class for inappropriate actions is unacceptable. Withholding part of recess while holding the teacher’s hand or eating snack or lunch separate from others is seen as cruel and unusual punishment. Any consequence the child does not like the parents will find unacceptable.

Today’s children need to be told when they are doing something wrong to learn how to be successful. When the child gets home and complains about an incident the parents think they know from the child’s account exactly what took place. They do not wait to hear the teacher’s version. They come to school and tell the teacher, “my child was not disruptive nor does he lie,” therefore the teacher is immediately put on trial by the parent. Instead of questioning the child, the integrity of the teacher is questioned when it conflicts with the child’s story.

The days of parents punishing their child for a bad report card in support of the teacher’s authority are dead. We have come full circle. Previously the teacher’s word was respected. In any mention of misbehavior by the child, the child was wrong and the teacher was right. Today any reprimand reported to the parent of the child’s behavior requires immediate notification to the parents or a conference. The child is innocent until proven guilty not by the teacher’s description of his misdeeds but by evidence of others besides the reporting teacher and a quasi admission by the child before the parent is convinced.

Without the teacher and parents being on the same page the child suffers academically and socially. When parents attempt to micromanage the school it is a losing proposition. However, parents micro managing their child at home will increase the probability the child will have the skills and values to make an easy and successful transition from home to school.

The parent’s diligence in observing and following up on the child’s behavior at home would automatically substantiate the fact that their child is far from perfect. This observational knowledge of their offspring’s real nature not their projection of the child’s ideal behavior will help them empathize with the teachers instead of resisting their efforts.

Parents will feel more comfortable to support authority figures by getting out of their way. This increased confidence in the teacher’s insight into their child’s mind and behavior makes it easier for them to ally with the teacher. This alliance between the parent and the teacher is essential in helping the child become the best he can be.

You can visit Dr. Maglio at

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