Its all the parents fault!

24 Mar

Now there’s a comment I do not hear very often in the news!! BUT, I heard it today, and I was surprised to say the least. 

Usually, teachers are blamed for a raft of problems related to children in society today. There is not enough sex education in schools, there is not enough drugs education in schools, there is not enough discipline in schools, the list goes on and on. For a number of years now, teachers have been feeling ‘got at’ by the government, and in my opinion, a number of issues that really should be dealt with by the parents, if not in conjunction with schools are now being left to teachers. 

So, the news has now decided that there is not enough discipline and boundaries set at home, which could be responsible for the declining behaviour of children in schools. 

A number of papers are reporting this today: 

among many more

This was a survey carried out by ATL ahead of its conference this spring.

A new survey, conducted by the union ahead of its conference, also suggests that behavioural and emotional problems, attention seeking and a dearth of positive role model are contributing to bad behaviour in schools.

Teachers have been forced to deal with youngsters – in some cases pre-schoolers – pushing, scratching, punching, kicking and spitting, the poll suggests.

More than half (53%) of the school staff questioned said student behaviour has worsened in the last 10 years, with a similar proportion (53.2%) indicating it has got worse in the past five years.

At the same time, there has been a rise in the numbers of children with emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, the survey suggests, with over half (55.5%) saying they have seen an increase in the last five years.

The Guardian takes a slightly different angle, stating that teachers report that staff had recorded a rise in the number of children with emotional, behavioural or mental health problems. 

They report that a combination of factors including lack of boundaries at home, deflammatory media campaigns and an increase of violence in media coverage are to blame. 

Personally, I agree. The world has changed. Not only does the news report ever increasing violence around the world in more vivid detail, but the development of electronic gaming enables children to minim graphic violence through computer and console gaming. The more that children are exposed to this, the more they accept it as normal. How can this kind of thing NOT have an effect on their behaviour? 

I HAVE seen an increase of more challenging behaviour in the 15 years I have been a teacher, without a doubt. The ADHD diagnosis is in fact something I have a problem with, and I have taught children who definitely need medication to balance them out, whereas many others have the label as a cover up for ‘naughty boy’ in my opinion. I have a huge problem with ADHD being coupled with ASC. Why? Well, look at the definition itself.

A-D-H-D = Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

That is a contradiction of terms in itself. Deficit and hyperactivity…??? They are opposite. In ASC  (Autism spectrum condition) students, their issue is not being able to filter irrelevant information in their surroundings in order to focus on the task at hand. Think about that. That isn’t attention deficit… it is actually the opposite. 

Where do these naughty children come from? 

We live in a changing society. Home lives are very different. Parents are different, relationships are different. When I was a child things were very formal, we always ate at a table together for the evening meal, you did not speak out of turn, and you asked to be excused from the table. Things are just not like that now. 

Who is to blame?

I think its a combination, parenting skills have changed, not necessarily for the better, as rules are relaxed within the home. News, media, films are all much more realistic and violent than they used to be. Access to them is easy, meaning the age banding on films is often irrelevant. Students I teach watch 18 films at home, they tell me themselves. Many are little more than 12-13 years old. Games consoles make interacting in a violent world much easier than ever before. There is a danger that some less able students with certain diagnoses may begin to struggle to separate fantasy from reality. That’s where the problems REALLY begin. 


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