“There is a desperate need for authentic, authoritative, unpopular parents.”
Lewisville teacher, Debbie Hulme Rush, uttered these words to Dallas Morning News’ columnist Steve Blow in an article published May 27, 2012. As the 2012 school year came to a close, Rush entered her retirement years after 36 years in the classroom. She has seen quite a bit over the years but says there is one trend that must be stopped, that of befriending your kids.
Rush says that parents and children should not be friends. "God did not put you here to give birth to your friend," she said.
From Steve’s column:
“Parents are now reluctant to be direct and forceful with their children because they can’t stand to see them upset or angry. ‘Their feelings are going to be hurt. That’s OK,’ she said. ‘Believe me, they’ll get over it.’”
When it comes to punishment, Rush says, “Kids need to face real consequences. They need a quick, uncomfortable response to misbehavior.”
And watch out for those empty threats.
“She said parents lose authority by constantly threatening punishments they would never really do. ‘Don’t say it unless you mean it. And if you said, it, do it,’ she said.”
“Finally, Rush tells parents to back off from defending their kids at school. She knows its hard, but don’t try to shift blame from your child. And don’t bail them out. ‘Let your kids get in trouble. It’s not going to kill them,’ she said.”
So, McKinney parents and teachers, do you agree with Ms. Rush’s assessment? When is it appropriate to defend your child at school or is it never appropriate? Will befriending your kid set them up for failure when they enter the real world? I am particularly interested to hear from parents who have grown children.
Childless in McKinney