Every day I have people telling me to do things that I don’t want to do or don’t think I need to do. Besides having a wife and actual bosses, I work in a hospital where every doctor on site is basically my boss. I shut my mouth and do what I’m told because that’s what adults do. It’s called life.
We recently received an e-mail from one of the teenager’s teachers expressing concern because when asked to stop texting and remove her ear buds in class, the teenager informed her teacher that he needed to “drop the subject before she got mad.” She has tried this same tactic at home. Threatening to get angry? Was there an accident that I missed where she was exposed to high doses of gamma radiation? Should we really be expected to back down from the wrath of a fifteen year old girl?
It seems to have worked at school though. The phone was not taken from her, there was no trip to the principal’s office. The impression I get is that we were only notified because this has happened before. She, of course ,assures us that “everyone does it.” Shouldn’t a “no phones during class time” policy be implied? I’m guessing that the e-mail home was an attempt to put the responsibility of discipline on our shoulders, thus allowing the teacher to remain the “good guy”. The teachers at her new school also allow the students to call them by their first names. Is the lack of respect so prevalent in today’s teenagers that teachers have given up any pretext of trying to receive it?
Besides the actual “learning stuff”, I believe learning respect for authority is one of the most important functions of school. The three year old listens to us about as well as you’d expect from a three year old, but she knows that she is supposed to. She now needs to get used to the idea that there are other people that she needs to mind, starting with her teachers.
I’m aware that as long as there has been teenagers, there have been old men like me lamenting their lack of respect and worrying about the future. So far every generation has managed to keep society functional.
I do have real concerns, however, about how well she is being prepared for the “real world.” I don’t know when it happened or how I missed the clues, but some serious attitude adjustments are going to be necessary for her to be a productive member of the work force eventually.
We’ll continue to try and impart these lessons at home. In my house, I still demand respect. I’m not sure how much I’m actually getting, but I’ll keep on demanding it anyway. Kayla is not my “friend,” my “peer” or my “equal.” She is my daughter. There are rights and privileges that she can expect as such, but I shall be accorded respect in return.
I really wish that her teachers felt the same way, because somewhere down the road a boss is certainly going to.