Who should raise boys? The schools or the parents? The answer is important.
Schools are for educating children; parents are for raising children. That might sound like the same thing, but it’s not. Failing to make this distinction can lead to your children lashing out, leaving you confused and frustrated. It’s the reason that so many boys are unable to move forward and getting left behind, ill-equipped to deal with the world as an adult. Today, let’s focus on the boundaries between school and parenting and help your child as a result.
What to expect from school
Things get a lot clearer when you view a school as the place your boy gets educated. How to do long division. How to write in cursive. What happened during the Civil War. School is not the place where a boy becomes a man, or at least you can’t count on it as the primary contributor.
The parents’ role in their teen’s education
While education is the primary function of school, learning doesn’t stop there. Parents need to consider themselves a supporting player in this process. Review his homework, track his progress, and get him extra help when he’s struggling.
What teens should be able to expect from their parents
While education is the primary function of school, raising a child is the primary function of parents. Instead of looking to the school to teach your child everything, take ownership of the life skills that your child needs. Things like:
- Manners: How to treat people right, whether it’s peers, family members, or authority figures.
- Time management: It’s not your teacher’s job to sit down with your child and make sure he knows how to balance his homework, studying, friends, chores at home, and entertaining himself. That’s on you. Make sure he learns to balance everything in his life, and make sure he’s not neglecting any of them — including things like friends and entertainment. If you raise a son that only studies and does homework, you’re not teaching him how to be well-rounded.
- Morality: Sure, your school will suspend your child if he does something wrong, but that doesn’t mean they’re systematically teaching him morals. That’s for the parent to do. Instill your son with a sense of right and wrong. Role play scenarios if it helps. If you pass judgment, you can only deal with your child’s behavior after the fact. If you teach judgment, you can influence your child’s behavior ahead of time.
- Practical life skills: There are things that a school isn’t going to cover. Things like hygiene, cleanliness, organization, cooking, budgeting, how to change a flat tire and make small repairs around the house. Having a broad set of life skills helps your son build confidence that he can stand on his own two feet and be his own man.
School’s role in raising children
It’s not the school’s job to raise your child, but that doesn’t mean that school doesn’t have a place. School provides a great proving ground for the lessons you’ve taught your son. It can confirm that he’s listening to you or that he isn’t. You can use school to measure your success or failure by looking at his grades, his happiness level, the quality of his friendships, and feedback from teachers on his behavior.
A symbiotic relationship
You raise your child, and school can help support that process. School educates your child, and you can help support that process as well. By understanding the role of each, you can do a better job of preparing your son to be a man of quality.