There is a family that I know well that told me a story the other day of something that happened in their household. Their son is a Junior at the local High School. This year he decided (seemingly for the first time) that he would try skipping two classes about a week ago.
What the son wasn’t counting on was that the mom has access to his attendance from her computer at home, and she checks on her kids from time to time just to stay informed. She noticed that he was marked absent, so she confronted her son about the situation.
“I was there!” was his reply, so the mother decided to call the teacher. When she did, she was told that he definitely wasn’t there, but he had been found roaming them halls during class and taken to another class where they used him for the duration of the period. So, not only had he skipped class, but he lied to his mom about it.
When dad came home they devised a plan. They wanted to make sure he remembered this and never did this again. By the way, this family doesn’t make threats. When they say they will do something as a consequence, then they follow through.
So, on Friday, the dad took off work and said to his son, “I’ll take you to school today.”. The son was shocked and asked “Why?” The dad simply responded that he had some meetings he needed to attend to.
When they got to school the dad followed him into the office and requested a pass. He told the office that he was going to be on campus all day to monitor his son. The office was stunned. No one had ever attempted to do this before in the history of that school. They gave him a pass to attend each of the son’s classes. The dad sat in the back of each classroom as the son went through his day. He shadowed the boy as he walked through the halls. The teachers were giving the dad high-5’s because he is the only dad they had ever seen who had cared so much about his son that he would do such a thing.
The son was totally embarrassed, but he got the point. The lesson was well made. His dad told him, “If you ever do this again, I’ll come back and make you hold my hand all day.”
I want to give that dad a standing ovation!
When was the last time you or your spouse gave that much attention to a poor decision your child made. They didn’t fly off the handle and yell at the son or hit him or spank him or ground him. They gave him the most effective form of punishment for the offense, and it led to the dad being able to have a wonderful opportunity in the school to meet the teachers and administrators.
So, how are your schools? What if we invaded our schools like that? No longer would we be ignorant to what our kids have to put up with every day. No longer would we be in the dark as to who these teachers are that our kids praise or curse each day. In fact, if parents (especially dads) decided to have a presence on the campuses of these schools, then that might hinder some of the actions of the other kids as well.
My point here is this: our society tells us that we have schools that we send our kids to. All we have to do is send our kids there and they’ll be alright. So that’s what we do. In fact, most parents any more are relying on the schools to raise their kids. Parents aren’t involved, and when the teachers try to contact the parents, often times they are nowhere to be found.
The world has set a pattern as to how to raise children. Look all around you and you can see that this pattern does not work. It is our God-given responsibility to take care of our children. Mothers tend to be more involved than dads, but even that is a cultural tradition that should be broken. This boy, though he was embarrassed because of the consequences of his actions, will always remember how his dad stepped in to show his son the difference between right and wrong and show how much the son is loved by the father.
God gave us the prime example of how dads should love their children – he gave up heaven to live and walk like one of us and eventually to die for us. We are called to give ourselves up for our children. We are called to be in their lives. Let’s take back the responsibility of raising our children from the schools.
By the way, if the schools are the primary places our children are being raised, then the teachers aren’t the ones doing the raising – its actually their peers. Don’t believe me? Look at the student/teacher ratios in our schools and see where the kids get most of their interaction each day.
Let’s recommit to being the moms and dads that God has called us to be. Let’s take back our schools for the family instead of allowing them to continue to grow as cesspools of character de-evolution. Let’s show our kids we love them enough to not simply threaten them, but to follow through. And let’s share our lives with them so that they will be influenced primarily by our lives rather than their peers.
What do you think? If you need anything, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 245-1611. God bless you!