Bring on homework, bring on books, bring on teacher’s dirty looks. It’s back to school season and I can’t figure out if I’m happy about it or not.
Some parents get excited to get their kids out of the house every day. Some parents get upset because it means they’ll have to endure more traffic and the inconvenience of chauffeuring the kids to and from school, practices, after-school activities, etc.
For me, that stuff never ends. My oldest son has football practices all summer and my daughter keeps a rotating schedule of activities. So, the “Daddy Uber” stays busy year ‘round.
I am happy to see that the kids are looking forward to school, for the most part. It’s such a cliché dad thing to say, but school today isn’t like school when I was their ages. I’ll admit: From middle school on, I hated school. It was eight solid hours of lectures and bullies. Not to mislead you, I wasn’t constantly bullied. But, bullied enough that it’s still a vivid memory. To further sell the point, my biggest middle school bully married my high school crush. But, I digress.
School for my kids is much more fun, which it should be. There are much more creative ways to learn and more appealing school activities with which to get involved. They have much better lunch options and can bring snacks and stuff. It almost makes me wish I could go back and do high school over again.
My oldest’s high school even requires us to get him a cell phone. To be clear, he already has a phone, but it’s a constant struggle with him. When he’s punished, that’s usually the first thing we take. As any parent of a teenager knows, it’s the way to hurt them the most: Take away their lifeline.
However, now teachers are requiring students to keep up with assignments, etc., through apps or texting. Way to help out, there, teach. Next time he gets in trouble I’ll have to actually get creative and find a different punishment. That’s way too much work.
But it did make me wonder about parents who can’t afford a cell phone, because they’re not exactly cheap. What do they do in this situation? I feel like it’s a privilege for the kid to have the phone, but now it’s becoming a necessity. It’s kind of like a teacher telling parents that the student is going to be required to watch educational movies all semester, so he’ll need a 50” TV in his bedroom. Maybe I’m being 2017’s version of old-fashioned. While the kids are super excited about the phone requirement, I’m coming around to accepting it.
As for the school year, I’m filled with optimism. I am every year, actually. It usually lasts until the first report card day. I’m kidding. My kids all do much better than I did in school. If all the newness and cell phone requirements are the reason for it, then I’m all about it.
To all the other parents in the CSRA: I’ll see you in the car line. Just be sure to keep it moving’ along, will ya?