May 17, 2015
Today’s post comes with a “Warning! Due to the strong nature of today’s post, some readers may be offended. I apologize in advance.”
Parents who blur the line between parent and child are doing a great disservice to society at large. Unsure of what I am talking about? Take a look at the following exchange between a parent and a child. The mom is on the left, while
her 12 year-old daughter is the one on the right. Before you ask, neither the mom nor the daughter are African American. And, before you ask again, I know because I swiped this from one of the social media sites in which I belong. This is a true exchange.
I could enumerate any number of social missteps this mother is creating in treating her 12 year-old daughter as a friend; but, I won’t.
I could also attempt to explain why this nonsense destroys the relationship between teacher and student when allowed to seep into our schools at such an alarming rate; but, I won’t.
What I will do, is shake my head and bottom-line it for you, dear Readers. When you treat your 12 year-old daughter like a friend, don’t be surprised when she starts treating you like you are hers. Would you like to know how middle school girls treat their friends? They yell at them to get their attention; they slap, pinch, and/or push them; they call them names (worse than this exchange); they make fun of them; they talk about them behind their backs; and they ignore most of what their friends say, unless it has to do with that cute boy who sits in front of them in math class.
Bottom line here? 12 year-old girls treat their friends with no respect and little to no loyalty.
After seeing this post, I understand why my 7th grade students cannot comprehend why I, a 50 year-old teacher, am allowed to have my cell phone in class, but they are not. “Ms. Kunzmann, how come teachers are allowed to have their cell phones during class, but the students can’t?” Here was my response:
“You and me, we’re not equal, not even close. I have earned the right to better and more privileges by virtue of my age. Your mom may treat you as her equal. But, you and me, we ain’t equal, not even on the same plane. In no such reality or alternate universe would a 12 year-old child and 50 year-old, grown adult teacher be equal insofar as possession of a cell phone is concerned. And not only do I firmly believe that I have earned the right, I am disciplined enough to at least turn my phone’s ringer off so as to stop it from going off during class. You, however, are not even disciplined enough to use proper English when addressing your own mother!”
“What? Wait, what?”
And so on. They may never get it.
The unintended consequences of parents treating their tween children as friends, is that the lines get blurred. And that’s an awfully scary place to be…just ask Miley and Robin ;-) Peace, ~v.