One great irony of parenting is that your kids’ faults, or anything bad that happens to them, is always your fault. Anything *good* that happens to them or they do is like some random chance.
“Your child misbehaved. Obviously, you’re a bad parent.”
“Your kid got hurt. You’re obviously a bad parent.”
“Your kid isn’t doing well in school. Obviously, you’re a bad parent.”
Then, when they behave, the school, or “genetics,” or the child alone gets the credit, as if the parents had nothing to do with it.
If they do well in school, it’s the school’s credit, or theirs, as if the parent has nothing to do with it.
Which is it?
Are parents just dumping grounds? I guess that’s one of the sacrifices.
This is a constant annoyance, but has come up several ways recently.
One was through a back-handed compliment. Our daughter’s orthodontist recently complemented her improved behavior and said, “If you’re doing something differently, it’s working.” I said she’s on a new ADHD medicine.
Another exception-that-proved the rule was at our second daughter’s First Communion Sunday, when our closest friends from our former town came to celebrate with us. They’re homeschoolers, and we met them through the homeschooling group there. They know our kids are in brick-and-mortar school this year because of our help.
The two eldest girls entered their respective grades with a few deficiencies we were aware of–and the school hasn’t particularly done anything to correct those deficiencies more than we would, except complain to us that our daughters weren’t performing well in those areas. The only exception is math, because the school has a nominal math tutoring program, but I’m not even sure how much that helped when it was one volunteer parent tutor dealing with a room full of kids from various grades. Our eldest “struggled” with math (on her standardized test scores from last year, all her other subjects were exceptional. Math was only a few points short of “exceptional”). She was, in the first couple quarters, a “B” student in Math, making her eligible for both math tutoring (B & below) and Math Club (B & above). She finished the year as one of the top performers in the 4th & 5th Grade category of Math Club, and her team won their big tournament last week, partly because of her key contributions.
Our second-grader started the year with a skills test that said she was at a 4th grade academic preparedness level. She’s had nothing but “Greens” for behavior” and high “A’s” all year.
Much of the commentary we’ve received from family has implied that this is *in spite* of their being homeschooled up until this year. Our friend at the First Communion party actually *credited* homeschooling with it, and it was so refreshing to hear.
If you seek help for your kid’s needs, you’re a bad parent because you’re showing weakness (“If you can’t feed ’em, don’t breed ’em” as the modern day Republican Scrooges like to say). If you don’t seek help, you’re a bad parent. If you seek help for your kids psychological or behavioral issues, you’re a bad parent because you’re showing weakness or “labelling your kid.” If you *don’t* seek help for those needs, it’s “Why do you let your kid act like that?”