Friday Two Cents: Who Truly Has A Sense Of Entitlement


 

‘Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.’ Nadia Boulanger

 

‘The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.’ Benjamin Spock

 

This week I had the opportunity to revisit an old school that I had supplied in the past. I know the students and the teachers. It is a wonderful school and I enjoy going to there whenever I can. Yet I noticed something very interesting when I was there.

Standing on guard for thee

As in every school the morning routine begins with the singing of O Canada and then the morning announcements. The thing that surprised me was that once O Canada came on over the PA system the kindergarten students all stopped their activities and stood erect and sang the entire anthem. This shouldn’t be too surprising yet in many kindergarten classes, to get the students to stand and sing the anthem and not talk to one another is a constant struggle.
This incident made me think about why did these students stand and sing the anthem proudly and in other classes I have to constantly remind them. Is it because the students are older senior kindergarten students? No, there is an even mix of junior and senior kindergarten students. Is it because of the teachers? No, in every class I have been in the teacher is always the first to stand and remind the students. They are the perfect role models. Then what was the reason?

New to Canada

The only conclusion I could come up with was that the school’s student population (school A) was largely made of immigrant families and visible minorities and the other schools’ populations were largely 2nd, 3rd or greater generation families. In those other schools’ classes I had to remind students on a daily basis to stand and stop talking to their friends during the anthem. Yet that was only one of many differences that I noticed about the students from school A. Wherever I went in the school, the older students would hold the door open and use manners when interacting in the hallway. It made me think about the interactions in other schools with a smaller immigrant family base. There were times I had to remind students to please hold the door for others. Say please and thank you and show proper manners such as not burp in public and say excuse me.
Yet right away my mind went to the question of ‘Why?’ Why were these students in school A showing “better” manners and respect for others then other schools? Is it truly because the families are immigrants? Is it because they are from places where staying alive is a constant struggle and living in a country as amazing as Canada is a blessing?
I have and many studies have shown it, that parents are the greatest influence in their child’s life. More than teachers, celebrities or athletes, parents influence and mold their children into the people they will become as adults. It would seem that the generations of parents born in this country do not know or take it for grated, on how lucky they are to be in this country. New arrives to Canada know from first hand experience how difficult it is and the struggles they undertook to come here.

Parents have the greatest influence on their children.

Many people say that this generation of students is entitled and they want things done for them and I have examples of seen this. Yet perhaps people should be looking at the root cause of this sense of entitlement, the parents. Instead of passing off their children onto others and expecting them to teach their child to be responsible and respectable citizens, they should be looking to themselves. It’s their job, their responsibility to instill manners, respect for others and to be grateful for the blessings of living in a wonderful country like Canada. Maybe the people who need to stop having a sense of entitlement and expecting others to do things for them are not the students.
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3 Responses to Friday Two Cents: Who Truly Has A Sense Of Entitlement

  1. Mama Cormier says:

    Most students are polite and display good manners but when you put them into a class where where three or more students are rude and disrespectful those students colour our view of the entire class. The poorly behaved children also negatively impact on the behaviour of the normally polite children. The sense of entitlement of those who are well off financially and socially (this includes some immigrants as well) is the thing that bothers me the most. If the parents aren’t willing to teach their children to be empathetic, well mannered and law abiding then it falls on the shoulders of us as teachers to teach them right from wrong. It makes our job more difficult but if we can’t control children in our classes we won’t be able to teach them either.

    • Paul Gauchi says:

      Your word are very true. It does come down to us as teachers, yet why does it come down to us. It appears that the parents are the ones that need to refocus their efforts on the family itself or perhaps refocus on who is the true focus in the family.
      I found this article and i think you would enjoy it. It is entitled – Why your kids should not be the most important people in your family. Below is a link.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/87930732/Why-your-kids-should-not-be-the-most-important-people-in-your-family

      • Mama Cormier says:

        Good article. It makes sense but I think there is a middle ground between what our parents expected and what today’s parents expect. I wouldn’t want to go back to ‘children should be seen and not heard’.

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