"Child behavior begins in the home." Raising children is just about the hardest job a parent has. It takes lots of love, common sense, and dedicated consistency. Children learn at a very young age what is expected of them, and they rise to those expectations when given the chance--when praised for good behavior.
We, teachers, easily recognize those children who come from supportive homes, and we applaud those parents. It's not easy to juggle jobs, house and family management, school, and raising kids. We know parents arrive home from work exhausted, overwhelmed, and often stressed beyond belief, but their day is not over. We know because often we are those parents too.
Children are stressed too as they balance playdates, after-school activities, HomeFUN (aka homework), dinner, and bedtime routines, which loom large each evening. Their school day is intense not only filled with learning, but also with juggling both their social and emotional behaviors. So, what's the answer? Well, there is no easy one.
But maybe we should all consider cutting back, slowing down. It might help. I remember doing my homework, then running out to play until dinner--no scheduled events--no dance classes, baseball or soccer, no gymnastics, or martial arts classes. We had more idle time--more time for our minds to be free. I spent hours lost in books--lost in my own mind.
We, as teachers and parents, need to de-stress the lives of our children and students. We need to offer them more time for themselves to learn and discover who they are. We need to provide consistent and safe environments for them so they feel secure and can thrive. Teachers need to do it in their classrooms and parents need to do it in their homes. After all, all learning begins at home.
I am the author of Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver's Tale. It's the true story of how my husband almost left me--three times.