Okay this is an artless moment for me. I don’t normally tackle controversy or go against the grain, but every so often something strikes me and when it does, I can’t help myself. So if you are easily offended or hurt by this article, please accept my sincerity when I say, this is how I feel and nothing more.
What is happening to our children? When did Kindergarten become so high pressured that children need tutoring after spending a full day at school? A full day I might add that has become so intense there is no time for music or physical education programs. I am a firm believer in education, it is truly important, but so is being a child.
I see it every day, children constantly labeled by their testing scores instead of their individual abilities. When do they get to enjoy being young? They can’t climb trees, drink things with red dye or ride a bike without a helmet. They are padded, censored and tested beyond identity.
Teachers are bullied by test scores and budget cuts, and parents determined to win that ever coveted, imaginary award for excellence. I read an article the other day where a mother actually called her own child an “unmotivated, underachiever”; her child is 6 years old. Really? That’s your baby!
Which also makes me wonder how many more posts am I going to see where children are disciplined by means of public ridicule? They are forced to hold signs broadcasting to the entire world whatever offense they’ve committed. Parents openly welcoming judgment and shame to befall their off spring, the very person they are bound to protect.
I am guilty of challenging my children; trying to sway them to see beyond their own comfort zone. I am in no way, shape or form a model parent. In fact when my oldest was in preschool I made her cry, because I insisted she color a tree something other than its natural color. Keep in mind she was a very serious child, I wanted to provoke her to envision life as more than mundane. Time and existence are full of variables, creativity, excitement, and imagination. I wanted her to have a vision of her own, to embrace what lies beyond rules and what is expected. She is now a very promising artist, but it isn’t because of anything I did or anything her teachers did. It’s because this inspiring, beautiful person was already residing within her.
I’m not saying to let your kids slack in their education, or that discipline and guidance aren’t necessary. Good grades, studying and manners …all of it is crucial and extremely important, but it shouldn’t burry who they really are. We shouldn’t be so focused on an idealistic perfection that we forget to free them from time to time. Teach your children right from wrong; introduce them to hard work, ethics, morality and common courtesy. Encourage them where they excel and help them when they stumble. Open their eyes to all possibilities and instill in them the security that you will always be proud of who they are.
|Emily R. Haag age 15 |
My babies trees have come a long way