Something has been bothering me for the last few years. This past week I decided I had to try and find out what is going on with parents and their kids. Let me be more specific; parents and their grade-school-aged kids. Basically K-8 aged kids. Every school week for the past five years, I head to an elementary school to help 2nd.-graders that are reading below standards.
That is a different parental problem then the one I’m speaking about today. Here’s the problem I’m talking about today:
Coats, sweaters, back packs and other expensive items that are left at school. This picture is one of two such filled clothes racks that fill up and overflow three times a year. During Christmas break, the clothes are boxed up and sent off to Goodwill. And this past week, the week before Easter break, the clothes are again packed up and sent off to Goodwill. Usually there are between 90 and 120 different items from this elementary school of 900 kids. Another 30-50 items will be boxed up in two months when summer break starts.
I can’t remember coming home after school without my coat. My mom would march me right back to school to get it. If somehow I got in the house with the missing coat undetected, the very next school day, during these chilly mornings, my mom would be in my face, saying, “Where’s your coat?” I would probably stammer and say I forgot it at school and then I would be sent off to school that day with a huge fear in my heart that I better come home with my coat.
So what’s going on? How is this thing being handled by today’s parents? Do they just shrug off the $20-$25 coat and go by another? Do they really think the coat is lost in some black hole?
I don’t get it. I watch those two coat racks grow each week and then get boxed and sent away to charity and shake my head and somehow realize there’s a direct correlation to my working with really smart kids who haven’t learned to read by age 7.
Anybody got an answer?