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Kids Behaving Badly

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm annoyed at how often I see kids misbehaving in public and parents doing nothing at all about it. I'm a teacher and I have no problem getting a kid to settle down in the subway or elsewhere although I refrain from doing that unless the child is personally attacking me (which is not as rare as you might think).

Just yesterday at the laundromat I was putting a $10 bill into the coin machine to get quarters and there was a 4yr old playing nearby. As soon as he saw me go to the coin machine he rushed up to catch the coins. His mother sitting nearby waiting for her laundry didn't do anything more than call his name and tell him to stop in a whining moan. "Jerry, stop, Jerry..... come here..... come here Jerry..... stop......Jerry...... come here Jerry......." Of course it took me a few minutes to get my $10 bill straight enough to be accepted by the coin machine, Jerry poised at the coin release slot ready to grab my coins, and so this "Jerry chanting" went on for that whole time. Finally my bill went in, my coins came crashing down and Jerry wedged his hand into the machine to get them. I have no idea what to do at this point, just waiting for the mother to come over and do something so that I won't have to. He drops many of the coins and as I reach to pick them up he tries to take them out of my hand, and only then does the mother come over to get him. He pops a quarter in his mouth and she grabs him, takes the coin out, throws it on the floor at me and walks away without so much as saying "sorry about that." :confused:

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 10
my wife teaches elementary level.

currently the school has, under court order, two teaching aides assigned full time (that's about $90k/yr) to 'watch' a youngster who has 'behavioral' problems.

they sit there, all day, every day, the entire school day, the entire school year, watching and waiting for the kid to misbehave. so the kid can be suspended, again. and again, and again.....

the mis-behavior consists of hitting and punching teachers, and uhmmm, errr, 'inappropriate' sexual contact with teachers and other students. the behavior is so outrageous even the elementary level class mates will not go near the student, anywhere, and on no coercing, suggestion, or "let's all be happy" approach.

the child, innocent as may be, has serious issues which are never going to be solved by "main streaming" the kid at mega-bucks/yr.

your tax dollars hard at work, and play, and recess, and hall duty, and lunch room, and . . . .
post #3 of 10
IMHO you cant blame the child for rudeness and illmanners. They know only what they are taught and parents today do not teach manners nor do they practice them themselves.

I worked for years in a "big box retail" establishment and daily we would see parents come thru the door holding their little childs hand and then once the doors closed they were let loose unattended into the store. As an employee, I was expected to make sure these children didnt get hurt, but if I stopped a child from doing something that could cause bodily harm, the parent would jump down my throat for telling their child what he can and cannot do. The proplem is most definately parents who need a swift awakening.

(Here comes the had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to school comment that will not be popular with the masses I am sure.) In my day, if we were missbehaving our parents didnt hesitate to remove us from the store or what ever the case may have been and paddle our butts.....it hurt but we learned....and we knew not to do that again. The lecture came after as to why it was wrong and brother it stuck in too. There is a difference between child abuse and dicipline...my mother and father knew that and thank God they did.
post #4 of 10
At the age described, I would say this is more an example of parents behaving badly.
If it were an older child I would have higher expectations.
The parent has no excuse.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 10
I taught cooking years ago in a New york Voc High School. It got so bad that the Board of Ed actualy set up a sought of Auxellary Police Staion in the school, This is required because when they are younger the parent doesnt care and just lets Johnny out the door in the morning and thats it. Yes I also Blame the Parent. Same applies its not the dog that has to be trained, ITS THE OWNER
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #6 of 10
When i was cook- in- charge at a high school in dundee, My office was broken into countless times. The teachers used strong hand tactics with the students and a police sub-station was being planned.

This was my first experience of life in the bloody awful lane.

My first day at service, a counter assistant was asking a student what he wanted.

"A pie" was the very aggressive reply. I stepped in and asked him "A pie what?" expecting him to say please. Big mistake!!

Instantly, he was clamouring over the hotplate towards us. Almost as quickly, a teacher had him by the scruff and dragged him back. Calmed him down and forced him to be polite. I was told by my staff that we would suffer for that. and sure enough, most of our windows were broken the next morning.

What really got me was that a) he was a child. ( i wouldnt want to have to deal with his parents - The poor teachers do)
b)He genuinely thought his actions were acceptable
and c) I was considered slightly daft by my staff to expect anything less.

20 years later i still feel sad about that time. That boy probarbly has his own kids now, growing up with those same standards. It seems hopeless.

Ileft after 2 years and the school was demolished a few months later. Its now a Morrisons supermarket.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #7 of 10
In In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan hypothesizes that the rudeness and ill manners of today's children are partly related to the demise of the family dinner. The dinner table was traditionally the place where children were taught manners, as well as the art of polite conversation, and where parents learned about their children's activities and imposed penalties for misbehavior.

Can't you hear you mother now??? "Quit playing with your food." "Don't talk with your mouth full." "Don't argue with your sister."
post #8 of 10
I totally agree KCZ
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #9 of 10
MFK Fisher made a related argument, that kids also learn awful things from the way their parents maltreat each other at the dinner table. She gives the lovely example of a woman who slams food down with a snarl because she wants everyone to know that she's working hard and should be appreciated. Seems to me that the combination of the two -- nobody eats together, when they do they watch television and are rude to each other -- none of this does anything good for the kids.

Of course, another problem is this ridiculous idea that all children should always be encouraged to express themselves and be independent and creative. Which is fine, of course, but all the development people also tell us that a significant part of children get socialized is by pushing what they perceive as limits until they find out where the real limits actually are. Over time, they also develop a sense of what those limits are about: why they're there, what's at stake, and so on. But in order for them to do this, they must already have a good sense of the limits themselves. Parenting without setting limits is thus wildly destructive to the socialization process.

Usually, however, you don't see parenting without setting limits. It's just that the limits are absolute and defended powerfully. In other words, the kid gets no significant pressure as he pushes the envelope, further, further, further, and then suddenly the parent is screaming. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if Johnny got holy heck when mom got him home, but from his point of view, there was no real indication along the way that what he was doing was anything other than minor mischief.

I'd also note that a lot of parents think the schools should be teaching their children to behave themselves, and the schools are increasingly hamstrung in doing so, even insofar as they might be so inclined, which isn't far. So nobody ends up doing it, and it's no wonder the kids are so lost.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been teaching in Harlem for several years now and I've seen the worst you can imagine. It's scary to see so many people disconnected from eachother and so connected to their sense of anger. I used to care a lot more about my students' circumstances but now I know I cannot make any real change. I go in, do my job, and hope for the best. I don't expect anything in return (which is good because I get nothing in return really, it's a thankless job). I'll never forget my first year when I had a terribly misbehaving little boy and could never get hold of the parents. Finally after months I ran into the Mother dropping him off at school and I tried to talk to her. She stopped me and said "From 8:00 to 3:00 he's your problem" and walked off.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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