It must be a slow news day if I’m blogging about the newest case of a parent’s frustration with their child’s grades. A parent in Miami-Dade found out his son has received three failing grades this semester, and decided to discipline his 7th grade child by sticking him on the corner of a busy intersection for Spring Break with a sign that prompts drivers to honk if there’s something wrong with his grades and his “class clown” status.
This tactic has been seen before in Miami-Dade when a girl who was punished at school for fighting suffered a similar fate. Is this kind of parenting a sign of a parent who cares about their child? I am not inclined to think so. Public humiliation may be an effective motivational tactic for this young boy who is receiving failing grades in civics, math and language arts, but it will likely be a temporary one. I question the quality of parenting this child has received. If his father didn’t know about his failing grades until the report card arrived right before Spring Break, he probably hasn’t been supervising his son’s homework or been actively engaged in helping his son succeed in the academic world.
Quite frankly, I’m SHOCKED (note the sarcasm) that the child of a parent who does not see the value properly using the English language is performing poorly in school! The reason for his failure is elusive! I’m sure this public humiliation and scorn will in one week make him a new young man who knows all the tools of success. Public humiliation is the best answer!
Check out this video: Puppy Training by Will Ferrell
What makes this even better (or worse) is the father’s battered use of the English language.
Alright, all mockery and sarcasm aside, let me share a personal anecdote with you. My paternal grandfather only received an 8th grade formal education due largely to the migrant life his family had because of the Great Depression. When my father was a boy, my grandfather worked during the day as a carpenter or steel mill worker and after having dinner with his family he would go to a local high school to take math and English courses. He never received his GED, and he never went to college, but he continued placing value in learning and was an excellent example to my father by doing so. My grandparents monitored my father’s homework and placed importance on studying, learning, and receiving high marks in school. My dad put himself through Catholic high school because my grandparents couldn’t afford to send him there, but they encouraged him in any way they could. In 1970 my father became the first person in our family to graduate from college. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and has had a successful career for over 40 years in the insurance industry. My grandfather’s placement of value on learning and pride in your work pushed my father to success, and my father has returned the favor in greater measure with his children. My brother Jeff and I have always received excellent marks in school, though school was not “easy” for either of us, particularly since I have a learning disability. Jeff now owns a successful custom exhaust and engine repair shop in Phoenix where he takes pride in his work, loves what he does, and is teaching his daughter the same values our folks taught us. I’ll be graduating Cum Laude from Arizona State this May and hopefully will be attending graduate school next Fall. My parents supervised our homework, found us tutors at school if we needed them, and were committed to helping us receive a quality education in and out of a formal educational setting.
My point here is this: perhaps this father does love his son, and does want him to succeed. But mocking and publicly humiliating your child for failure doesn’t teach him anything useful other than it’s humiliating to fail. It doesn’t teach him how to succeed, and it doesn’t model for him the way to success. I have a sneaking suspicion that this father has done little to foster a love of learning, the value taking of pride in everything you do, and a desire to succeed. As such, his son’s failure is a reflection on him as a parent and as a man. Children learn by watching, so lead by example.