Parents Should Be Aware Of What Their Children Might Learn At School
School is much more than a place your children go to be taught by responsible adults. When children spend time interacting with such a huge variety of other children, it is inevitable that they will learn some unwelcome habits.
No matter how high the standards you set in your family are, your child will probably be influenced by parents who have lower standards. Curse words, violent behavior, aggressive games, the latest trends, clothing tastes, music tastes, and even how she treats her parents. All these are likely to be influenced by other children's attitudes and behavior.
You, like many parents, might strictly shield your child from becoming involved with the action-packed world of professional wrestling on television, for fear of dangerous action and physical harm. Your child, however, could be playing wrestling games every single day at school with nobody in a position to monitor the action-packed fun. The only way you find out he is playing these games is when he slams a sibling to the ground at home. It is far more difficult to prevent something like this happening than it is to take action after a shocking incident. Often, as a parent, the only clues you will get that something needs to be addressed when you observe the result at home.
Even the most obedient child will be influenced by her peers, and there is very little, if anything, we can do about it. Children, more so than adults, have a human desire to conform, to fit in with their social companions, and that means they copy what others do, say, and want. If others at school are playing with the latest, expensive, space-based action toy, then the chances are high that your little one will desire the same toy. Companies know children are easily influenced like this, and have made millions by ensuring that their product is the next great thing children crave. It is rare for a parent to raise a child without ever feeling the pressure to buy something that a child is desperate for, even though the parent has never heard of it.
In a similar way, the actions of other children often have just as powerful an influence. No play-fighting at home does not stop your child from enjoying play-fighting at school. A strict ban on any cursing at home will not prevent a child from picking up a dozen curse words form other kids. The atmosphere in a tranquil household can be changed in an instant with behavior that the parents would never have expected. If your child mixes with children from homes where there is very little in the way of rules, discipline, control, patience, understanding, love, or care, then you can expect that some of the less-than-desirable traits of these children will have an impact on your child.
If your child is being negatively influenced by other children then you should talk to her about it, but be careful not to overreact, depending on what it is that she is doing, or saying. Step in immediately if there is danger involved, or if her behavior is completely intolerable. Be very cautious if you are considering warning her away from her friends, because the closeness of friendships at school are extremely important to her, and often this will not help the situation in any way. Instead explain how and why her actions are unacceptable, and try to persuade her to think about the impact she might have on those around her. If you know without doubt that a particular girl at school is a trouble-maker, then you could encourage your daughter to avoid contact wherever possible, but it is then possible your child will have more of an interest in the girl.
It is important to remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with children learning and mimicking the ways and habits of other children. They are usually not aware that they are copying others, and it is natural for children to pick up a few bad habits now and then. It can also work the other way, of course, with a polite, well-behaved child having a very positive influence on more unruly children. Try to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative.
Another thing to consider is that bad parents do not always raise bad children. Just because your daughter's friend has parents who you consider to be bad, that does not mean that your daughter's friend is also bad. You should not assume that your daughter will be any better off by attempting to drop a friendship because of your opinion of another parent. Differences in parenting methods can be very evident when you observe how children interact at school, but most of us do not get to see this interaction. The only way we are presented with a problem is when our child provides evidence in the form of problems she is involved in. If one of your child's friends is obviously a bad influence, then this does need to be addressed in some way, and understanding how important a friendship is will help you greatly if you are faced with a situation where you have to intervene.
It is likely that you will often be presented with problems caused by influential school children, but most of these can be rectified by communicating with your child and understanding her needs. If problems persist then you should talk to your child's teachers and search for a solution together.
For parents unfortunate enough to be facing a more serious issue, then homeschooling could be the answer. Taking your child out of the school environment to teach her at home is a huge step, and one that should not be taken without full consideration of the implications. Social interaction, in general, is good for all of us, especially children, and the sudden change could have a negative impact on your child if you are not careful. One important factor is to ensure that your child regularly mixes with other children. Social groups among parents who choose to school their children at home are popular, and it is advisable to research these groups before you make a decision. If you approach homeschooling well-prepared, and with a positive attitude, then your child should benefit greatly from it, and so should you.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Get more tips for successful parenting at http://parentingadvicepages.com/. Gary Thomas is a father of five who assists parents with the problems that often come with raising children. Click here to ease your worry by finding solutions to your parenting issues.