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Parents’ involvements

I can’t believe I have just sat through almost two hours of parents’ meeting, most of which revolved around folder requirements for the different classes and instant online grade notifications.  As I sat there, I felt my anxiety for my son slowly melt away and in its place, a rather simple, and possibly obtuse question – since when did we become so involved in our kids’ schools?  In certain circumstances, I agree that we, as parents, need to step in to guide our kids because that’s why we are the parents but folder requirements? Really?! They could have just communicated that to the kids directly, perhaps? And an app that notifies parents about their kids’ progress and attendance throughout the day? Whoa!

Perhaps it has been brewing and fermenting for a while somewhere in the corner of my mind but I honestly think that we as parents are getting way too involved in the kids school and lives nowadays.  Yes, as parents, it’s our duty to help them and guide them so that they can reach their full potential and be happy.  But, if we step in when we really should not, are we taking a precious learning opportunity away from them?  The time to fumble and to make mistakes is when they are young, when the consequences aren’t dire.  If we do everything for them, when will they learn that they are actually capable of doing it themselves?   If they don’t make mistakes and try to learn from their mistakes, how will they know how resilient and resourceful they can actually be? Or, how creative they truly are?

I know that most parents like knowing what is going on inside the classroom because we all want to know the areas in which we can help our kids. But, to be updated live on the going-on at school is going a little overboard to me.  I remember when I was growing up and my parents would not have any idea of my assignments, the classes I was taking nor my grades, in some cases.  As much as I love my parents, I treasured the time away from them and to carve out my own little world.  I can’t imagine growing up in the environment today where parents are held accountable for their kids academic successes and social lives.  I was held accountable and so were my friends.  Maybe I am out of touch with the ways of the modern world but I feel that it’s really the kids who should own this.

Of course, every child is different and therefore needs different kinds of assistance and varying amount of help their parents.  But, at some point, I think all the kids have the needs and the rights to experience failures, to struggle and to eventually feel the satisfaction when they finally get it right and are able to do things on their own.  As for the going on in their classroom?  Maybe we need to learn to have a little faith in them and let go a little so that they will start taking more control and responsibility.  They need to start learning to advocate for themselves because we don’t live forever and can’t do it for them forever.  As long as we stand ready to support them when they need us and as long as they know that we love them unconditionally, isn’t that enough?

What are your thoughts?


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