Friday, August 26, 2011

School Conferences: Disciplining Your Child in the Presence of Others by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

School Conferences: Disciplining Your Child in the Presence of Others by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Has your presence been requested by your child’s school for a conference due to your child‘s adverse behavior or action(s)?

You may or may not have foreknowledge of the reason (s) for the school conference; however, in Parents Taking Charge in Education Parental Guidebook Series 1, “How to Hold a School Conference,” one recommendation is that you request prior to the school conference the purpose and issue(s) to be discussed during the conference if not forthcoming from the school prior to the conference. Such affords you the opportunity to prepare, gather information and/or in this case, get your child’s perspective of the situation and have your child explain his/her behavior and/or action(s).

Parents, I would not presume to tell you when or how to discipline your child, but I would like to ask you to consider your actions during a school conference and the disciplining of your child due to adverse behavior or actions in the presence of others during a school conference.

Suppose you attend the school conference and learn that your child is at fault and the child’s behavior and/or action(s) totally unacceptable. As a Parent, you are displeased, embarrassed and/or angry at the child. You may even view your child’s action as a reflection of you as a Parent and/or your parenting skills. Parents, what you do at this point is crucial to all involved and parties present.

Ÿ  Be careful how you speak to your child- speak in a caring and calm voice.

Ÿ  Make sure your child knows and understands that his/her behavior and/or actions were inappropriate or incorrect.

Ÿ  Be careful of your actions. You have good intentions and may even feel it important that others in the conference realize you do not condone your child’s behavior or actions and are serious about correcting the problem, behavior and/or action. If you feel it necessary to discipline at this point, halt the conference briefly and remove you and your child to a more private place.

Ÿ  Do not use the situation as “tit for tat” or a means of retaliation; the child’s behavior or action(s) have embarrassed you and now, you choose to publicly embarrass the child. Consider disciplining the child later at home. Such gives both you and the child time to think about the situation and you, time to consider the best action(s) to take in rectifying the situation and/or dealing with your child.

Ÿ  If amends and/or restitution to others are necessary, do so and ensure that your child issues a sincere apology. Many Parents also issue an apology on both the child and Parent’s behalf.

I suggest you consider the above, because and from experience I have found that:

Ÿ  Educators often treat your child/ren the way you do.

Ÿ  The manner in which you handle your child and the situation speak volumes of you as a Parent, as well as your parenting skills.

Ÿ  Most children will disappoint Parents at some point and time. In this case, how you, the Parent handle the school conference publicly with your child can build or break a bond of trust and communication between you and your child. Should you allow the bond to be broken, others will use it to their advantage and you and your child’s disadvantage.

For more tips, see, by Author, Mrs. Dorothy Barron’s, Parents Taking Charge in Education Parental Mini-Guide Booklet, How to Hold a School Conference? Parents, do you also have your PTCnEd Parent- School Conference Tracker Mimi-Guide? It can assist you with keeping track of the conference and keeping the conference on track.

                                            PTCnED Parent-School Conference Tracker
Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education (PTCnEd)

Friday, August 19, 2011

School Uniforms or Not? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

    School Uniforms or Not? By Mrs. Dorothy Barron

The question, should students should be required to wear school uniforms or not resurfaces from time to time? First, I will list some pros and cons and then share some insight. Please feel free to add to the brief list below and/or compile your own list.

Parents, should students be required to wear School Uniforms or not?

            PROs                                                                          CONs

1. Uniformity - dress code wherein students                          Lack/loss of Individuality
are all required to dress in a school uniform                         which can produce negative often down to the same type of socks and shoes                                           conditioning and mindset

2. Hassle free for Parents - less clothes/one outfit                  Cost of uniform& lost items

3. Viewed as balancing the playing field - children               Underestimation of a
less uncomfortable with what he/she does not have             child’s perception of peers
if all are dressed alike                                                              and world in which they live

4. Educators’ view- means of added security-                      Fights and worse over decreases in fights over possessions                                                                     possessions

Secondly, how does your child feel and what are his/her thoughts on the subject of being required to wear a school uniform each school day; have you inquired?

As a Parent, for some, it would be easy not to have to worry about the purchase of different school outfits. In the case of school uniforms, most likely someone else has determined and decided what your child will wear. For many, if all children dressed in uniforms will decrease school fights, for most it is a no-brainer. Many Parents and others endorse school uniforms.

On the other hand, clothing in one aspect expresses one’s individuality. Many adults have special clothing that when worn provides a sense of confidence, comfort and/or security. Such may consist of a favorite dress or suit, a “power” tie, and old comfortable tweed jacket, a favorite pair of heels that sprightly click of assurance and confidence, etc., etc. Children are no different; a favorite set of bows, a special dress, blouse, shirt, pair of jeans, jewelry or shoes may present the same for them.

What may be even worse is the message this dress of uniforms sends to both children and adults when mandated by law. Will students become geared and conditioned through the mandated wearing of uniforms that it will not be difficult to exchange a school uniform for a prison uniform later in life? Will students already reduced to student numbers and statistics eventually forget their individuality and become conditioned to not only dress alike, but act, think and look alike? We have actually reduced society’s standards. Instead of teaching the importance of each person’s unique and different qualities and other necessary lessons of the realities of life, the mandating of uniforms have/are being substituted.

Parents, the decision of whether your child/ren should be required to wear school uniforms or not are ultimately up to you. Should you and other Parents oppose uniforms, you should pursue the issue. Should you and the school decide in the affirmative, make sure you discuss this matter with your child and if the child has concerns, discuss and try and resolve them; make sure your child’s school promotes a positive image of student uniforms and not simply a solution to a problem or problem children and finally ensure that you and the school promote and advance each student’s individuality and uniqueness. Society has enough followers; society needs more leaders.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, August 12, 2011

Prepare to Serve and Lead by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                           Prepare to Serve and Lead by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

First, I want to apologize for having placed a Slinging Stones Blog Post here at my Parents Taking Charge in Education Blog two weeks ago. Somehow, it would not post to the designated website. My preference is to keep each blog separate. From experience, I have found that most Parents have enough on their plates and for a good number politics complicates their lives even more so. Do not misunderstand, I am not saying Parents are not interested in politics, only that most have full schedules and with children being a high priority and time consuming, there are only so many hours in one day and politics in many instances take a lesser priority. Then again, it is said, “everything happens for a reason.” With having said that, I am going to use this opportunity to encourage you to become more involved in the Political process. I have also added a link to my Slinging Stones Post titled Going to the Law- The Constitution of the United States: Pt. 2 of 3 World Order or Social Disorder and Destruction by Mrs. Dorothy Barron at due to its relevance.

Parents, others may assist, but “no one is going to do for you what you should be doing for your own child/ren” (Mrs. Dorothy Barron). Some of you who have children of school age should consider preparing yourself for politics in an effort to insure that families and children are kept at the top of this nation’s agenda. We live in a country where there is so much wealth, yet families are struggling, unable to make ends meet and some are even on the street.

It is time that younger men and women who especially have families pick up the political gauntlet and assist with moving America forward and upward. It is not my intent to speak disparaging of America’s leaders; I simply state that which is obvious. Of the nation’s leaders, a good number have lost touch with society and the present needs of society; some live in the past and the good ole days and focus on the recapture of such. Due to the fact that many no longer have school age or young children, families do not appear to be their top priority even though families are the most important unit in a society and children are the posterity of both.

Parents, there are a number of ways you can begin to be involved in politics and the political process. Education is both big business and political. A few consist of the following; you can attend PTA/PTO meetings and become acquainted with the organization’s laws and due process and procedures; attend school board meetings, community and neighborhood planning meetings, city board meetings and/or stay abreast with what is happening in government and politics. As you learn the process and procedure prepare to serve and run for office. For many students, the new school year has already begun; remember, a better world begins with each of us.

May both you and your child/ren have a good school year.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Little Boy Who Could Run by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

The Little Boy Who Could Run by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Once there was a little boy who could run very, very fast. In fact, he would rather run than walk. When he began school, of course running inside the school was not allowed. The teachers, principal and other students would often remind him not to run, but he kept forgetting. Due to school budget cuts and focus on testing and retesting in preparation of standardized tests, there was no longer time for physical education (P.E.) or events such as May Day, which allowed students to show off physical skills and abilities. All he ever heard was “stop running,” “slow down,” and “do not run.” He heard the same at home from his parents; “stop running in the house” and “slow down or you will fall.” It took the little boy a couple of years to finally remember to stop running and he did stop running, at least around and in the presence of grown-ups.

Others did not realize that running was the little boy’s talent. Not being very good in school and constantly told not to do something he absolutely loved and was extremely good at adversely affected his confidence and self-esteem.

When the little boy reached middle school, his friends who knew his love of running decided to take matters in their own hands. Before rehearsals for the track team occurred, his friends manipulated events that got the school coaches on the track field and the friends challenged the little boy to a race. There was no contest; the little boy was in his element and boy did he run! The coaches never without their stopwatches hit their timer buttons and stared with amazement at the little boy. The friends had long dropped into the background and when the little boy came to the finish line he kept going; the coaches hit their stopwatches again and the little boy repeated the performance only this time breaking his first record. The coaches raced down to the finish line and asked the little boy why he had never brought it to their attention that he could run? The little boy look at them and simply replied, “I have always been told by adults to stop running or do not run.”  Needless to say, the little boy was back to running with approval this time from adults. Feeling good and accepted for his talent and ability to run his confidence and self-esteem improved as did his grades.

Parents, are you providing opportunities for your child to use and/or showcase his/her talents and abilities? Educators, is there at least one subject or activity within your school in which each student engages and accomplishes that enables the child to feel good about self and which can increase the student’s confidence to master school subjects and other skills and activities?

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education