Pete Gilbert">

Parenting News That Leaves Me Shaking My Head

Here’s a list of some recent news involving kids that bothers me, but I don’t know what to do about, except share my frustrations with all of you…

1. Standardized Testing in schools. Twelve hours of testing. Twelve hours of testing is what my third grader, and all other third-graders in Indiana will subjected to this year.

If you need twelve hours worth of testing to get accurate “data” on my child, you’ve failed at your job. You’ve made something relatively simple so complicated that you are missing the forest for the trees. Everything you need to know academically about a third grader, could be figured out by giving them a few math problems, a few general knowledge basic skills questions, and a short writing sample. It would take, at most, a half-day in the classroom. Disrupting school for a weeks (remember we only want to test them in the mornings when they are at their best), stressing out students and staff, it’s just not worth it. SMH.

2. The mom who was surprised she had child services called on her because she slammed on her brakes when her daughter was misbehaving in her car. The headline makes you think, “Wow, what an overreacting society, how could this poor mom get in trouble for something so trivial?” After reading the story, you learn the twelve-year-old was unbuckled, sitting in the front seat, and hit the windshield so hard with her head that she cracked the windshield. SMH.

3. The free-range parenting debate that, for some reason, continues. Recently two siblings ages 10 and 6 were picked by the police and driven home as they were walking on the sidewalk without an adult. Once home, the police told their mother she could be charged with neglect and her kids potentially put in foster care if she didn’t “commit to a safety plan.” SMH.

4. The school that wrote a note to dad about his daughter’s unhealthy lunch. The note mentioned the girl’s lunch was unacceptable because it included marshmallows, chocolate, crackers and a pickle. What the author of the note (a substitute teacher) didn’t mention was the lunch also included ham and string cheese and the chocolate was also for a sibling and a friend. This not only falls under the category of SMH, but also mind your own damn business. If a sub has concern for a child it might make sense to speak with that child’s regular teacher, an administrator or school counselor before shaming the parent with a note home. SMH

It’s been a frustrating few days of parenting news. Let’s hope for better news next week.

-Pete

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