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Parental Apathy Toward child's Education

Updated on September 11, 2009

Parents and Schools need to Cooperate

Most often one will hear in schools with little parental participation that there is no interest in parents toward their child's education.  The schoools are bitter in their condemnation of parents who seemingly ignore their children for their own self interests.

Many of these schools fail to take into consideration the lack of two  parents in the home.  Often mom is unable to take more than a passing interest because she is outside the home working and perhaps caring for other siblings without any help.

the writer worked for a time as a substitute teacher where observation of the different dynamics between the "moneyed" parents and the school, and the schools with lower income parents.  there is more interest at home when two parents are available to monitor and help with homework and other activities

In the lower income schools, it isn't necessarily that there is no interest, it's just that there is no time for the parents to look after homework and other assignments.

There were also single parent homes  where the parent was more interested in self gratification and dating than in what the children were up to.  There was selfishness and outright neglect.  Teachers were frustrated because there was little they could do to alter the situation.

Sometimes children would hide physical abuse or ask a teacher not to bring it to the attention of the authorities.  A p;arent might have been behind it and scared the kid into believing that the nesxt step was a foster home if they revealed the abuse.

Society has lowered the standards for parents and how much they should participate in the child's education.  In addition, standards including those concerning other values interfere with children learning. 

Youngsters today want more mental and visual stimulation that keeps their mind off the work of learning more complex concepts.  They would rather passively listen to good music than go through the work of learning how it is played or why it is a worthy value to support as citizens.

If a child has a parent in prison, and the prisoner learns nothing except how to survive in prison, he or she has little to teach the child about why school is important as a social value. Instead, the child learns that prisons are important and that he may be involved with prisons in the future.

If the expectation is going to be that more prisons need to be built but schools are being under- funded, salaries are going down, and schools are being closed, what is the message we give to our children as students and future citizens who vote? The writer is not an expert nor does he profess to have knowlege in the field. He only makes his observations on what he has observed while briefly working for school districts  finishing a masters degree in another subject other than education or sociology..


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      Paulette 6 years ago

      Of course, there are teachers and parents who do a great job and then, there are teachers and parents who do not. I teach in a public, urban high school and overall, student apathy is increasing at an alarming rate. While there are a few teachers who are unmotivated, the number is slim, maybe 5%. That could be said of any organization. The focus needs to be more on holding the STUDENTS responsible and throwing out the AYP standards of No Child Left Behind. That is the single most influential factor in this debate. Give the schools back their ability to enforce standards and the students and parents will be forced to fall in line...and teachers will too.

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      Susan 7 years ago

      I am a single parent and find your comments one-sided. Not all single parents are out playing the field and partying. My daughter is my number one priority, and so is her schooling. I find that teachers, on many levels, are the obstacle to a good education. There have been many, many occasions where teachers in our school system have failed the students, BUT, they are still teaching. Tenure needs to be ended in the school system and teachers need to earn their salary on a yearly basis; you do your job well, you get paid. You slack off, you may lose your job, just like most of us in the work force. We don't have our jobs guaranteed because we have worked at them for "X" number of years. EVERYONE needs to get on board to make education work, targeting parents who are not doing their job as parents is just one of the problems.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile image

      Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN

      I am a teacher and have taught "at risk" as well as advantaged youth. You raise some valid and interesting points. Undoubtedly, education in our country has declined over the years. The reason why is complex, but I think society has lowered the bar, so to speak. Yet, we still have many success stories. Ultimatelly, education begins at home long before children go to school. Julie