Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why Don't We (They) Give a Fuck About School?

The basic question that has plagued the minds of social commentators, teachers, and directors alike. Why does it seem that the majority of the student body in America, or at least the most vocal, doesn't care about their education? I have to think that the answer is simple, but not. They don't see the point, they don't grasp the concept of a career. Even if they do, a career to them is the enemy, the end to the party. It's the ultimate killjoy that stops the fun and starts the monotony.

The problem starts with a word that has become entirely leeched of its potential impact, the role model. The majority of celebrities, prominent musicians, and artists that pollute popular culture do not express through their actions an understanding or belief in the conventional standards and morals promoted by our education system. You don't see a prominent musician talking about how he obtained his classical instrument credentials from Princeton. It isn't widely believed that it takes a college degree to perform stunts on a skateboard or bike. This is just the tip of the problem, something that any "shmuck" who regularly tunes into TMZ can tell you. This isn't the root, the core, that lies in the household.

What do I mean by this? Do I mean that parents are far too nonrestrictive when it comes to their children? Do they not enforce strong enough discipline upon their child when he knowingly makes mistakes? To be frank, no. I've personally seen examples of a household where the parents would be considered responsible. The problem is not that they did not supply a strong structure for their child to grow in, but that they didn't provide the -right- structure to suit their individual child's needs and preferences. They did not take into consideration the forces working upon their child as anything, but opposition, and this is wrong.

At the age in which people attend middle-school, high school, and even in the early years of college, a strong yearning for independence and personal rebellion swells up inside them. They feel as though they have to distinguish themselves from their parents, while they still are directly affected by how they were raised. It's a sort of sick paradox in which a kid tries to oppose his parents, yet the way his parents raised him shape a good portion of how he goes about it. To put it plainly it's a complete fallacy to believe that an idea on how to raise a child formulated in the head of a parent before the birth of said child will hold up.

The solution? Destroy preconceptions on how a child should be raised and study your child, learn not just his likes and dislikes, but also his personality, what he values and structure discipline, learning, and development around it. Not only learn, but understand what draws him to it and involve yourself in it, unless your child strives with freedom and rebels under constant restriction, then give him the freedom. Some children work better under certain restrictions and some do not, not all children love a strict structure, but to say that none do would be moronic.

The most important thing to realize is that your child is not a miniature version of you, he will not share your exact values, likes, dislikes, and he will most likely not have your personality. True the way you raise him will shape him as a person, but there are thousands of other factors that come into play and you need to take them into consideration.

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