Poor parenting leads to violence in schools

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Barefootgirl's picture
Barefootgirl
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Poor parenting leads to violence in schools

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17553210

I don't disagree with this at all. I also think its very interesting that the report says that the obnoxious, violent pupils are as likely to come from affluent, middle-class homes as from scummy homes. The mother who insisted that her little cherub could do no wrong and was simply 'picked-on' by the teachers used to a joke, or a figure of fun, but it seems that this parent (or at least her attitude) is becoming more and more common.

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Daedalus
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I hate this kind of survey.

You ask teachers (and TAs) why children are poorly behaved in class and the answer is always the same - it's the parents' fault.

How true or not that is, I can't help but think it sounds like asking turkeys to vote on what people should eat for Xmas dinner.

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Well as a former teacher the whole article reads to me like "bears s--t in woods"

Some teachers and some schools have problems with a lack of discipline, due to being inconsistent etc, but the main problem is that there are more and more kids who routinely misbehave in really obnoxious and disruptive ways.  If it's just one or two in a class like that you can keep a lid on it (although it will still have a negative affect on all the other students, the quality of the lesson and the teacher's stress levels) but if you have five or six kids like that then you spend the whole lesson managing behaviour, you plan lessons around behaviour managment - I used to teach science and there are some practicals you just can't do for safety reasons when you don't trust several pupils in the class not to do something stupid or dangerous, so the whole class misses out, and you really are not able to deliver the kind of lessons you want to deliver for classes like that, and the good children who want to learn end up getting very little of your attention and they are held back because of it, as lessons don't progress at the pace you'd like, due to the teacher constantly having to deal with behaviour.  That's even with good behaviour management strategies in place.  No amount of planning can prevent it if there are children who are dead set on disrupting everything.  It's not the same as a badly planned lesson/classroom where kids start to misbehave out of boredom or confusion because they don't know what they're supposed to be doing.

As for the kind of parent that BFG describes, yes I remember one such year 7 child who had a mother like that and he felt himself to be above the rules, and even gave lip to the deputy head and refused to comply with instructions from senior teachers after the senior teacher was sent for in lessons because he was refusing to do anything the teacher asked.  And he was a bully and his behaviour was next level. And the mother complained that her child was being picked on (she may even have complained to the LEA).... It was this feeling he had of being above following any of the rules, that IMO was the biggest problem.  If I compare his behaviour and attitude to that of kids who misbehave that come from really awful backgrounds, and those with problems like ADHD, yes it was a lot worse, because of this whole "I'm above the law" attitude.  The individual incidents within the classroom may have been quite similar, but the attitude to teachers when they try to deal with the behaviour is quite different.  Even when kids argue back to teachers there's a difference between arguing back as a knee jerk reaction to being told off, and the very arrogant attitude of someone who feels that they're beyond any reproach because no matter what they do they know their mummy will believe them and attack the teachers on their behalf.  

I've actually come across quite a few kids like these, and although they come from quite affluent homes, affluent does not necessarily mean happy, and I don't think parents who do this to their kids necessarily have a good relationship with their kids at home.  "making a rod for your own back" is the phrase that springs to mind, because spoiled kids who feel they are above the law also act like that with their parents, and also I think this refusal to see any bad in your kids is masking something wrong in the relationship.  IMO it's not healthy or good for the kids at all, and maybe families like that need help.  You can't just assume poor = bad family background, and affluent = happy family background.  I suppose that some deepseated problems in families may lead to poverty, and single parents have only half the earning power of couples, but it's not a foregone conclusion.

Anyway, it's a growing problem, and some kind of intervention is needed.  It's good that teachers have more clear powers to deal with kids who disrupt lessons and I think that will help, especially if the most problematic kids get the message that they're not above the law, but I also think that some intervention for families like free parenting classes and support from child psychologists would help as well.  Maybe teachers should be able to refer families to services where they can get help with kids' behaviours, and any other help the family might need.

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Daedalus wrote:
I hate this kind of survey.

You ask teachers (and TAs) why children are poorly behaved in class and the answer is always the same - it's the parents' fault.

How true or not that is, I can't help but think it sounds like asking turkeys to vote on what people should eat for Xmas dinner.

Except that teachers work with these kids day in day out, and these days there are very few teachers who are clueless about behaviour management, those that are tend to be the only one struggling when the kids behave fine in every other lesson.  That's not the same as a child who misbehaves for every teacher and even senior teachers.

There are likewise differences between schools, weak senior management and a lack of support for teachers can make the problem a whole lot worse.  That's always been the case, in fact if anything schools nowadays have much *better* behaviour management, much better systems in place, and newly qualified teachers learn behaviour management a lot quicker than in the past... because they have to.  There is a serious problem of kids behaviour getting worse and worse, and more and more kids behaving like that.  Teachers who have taught for 20+ years all attest to it.  Their ability to manage behaviour has improved a lot over the years, while the number of disruptive kids has gone up drastically too.  

And when you have kids who are in the same system with the same teachers, and 20-25 out of the class don't do anything more than minor misbehaviour and will be, on the whole, co-operative, then you have 5-10 in the same school, same class, with the same teachers, who are constantly disrupting, constantly misbehaving, failing to co-operate, even giving grief to senior teachers, and it's not because of any neurobiological issues or compensating for a lack of ability (you find such kids in top sets too these days) then what is it to do with....?  And when you meet their parents and their parents are also obnoxious, uncooperative, defensive about their kids' behaviour (and then a bit later in the same meeting complain about what a total brat they are at home).......... well what are you supposed to put it down to?

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You've kind of defended my point, Ummbintaini.

As you say, there are some poor teachers and some weak leadership. But if you just survey teachers, on the whole, they are going to point somewhere else. As I say, I'm not saying it's 100% home or 100% school, but if you ask teachers you are, understandably, going ot get a biased result which doesn't point to their own potential failings.

That's why I hate this kind of survey, they are not independent or objective.

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But in my experience teachers do know when its their own failings, for example teachers will be very aware of it if their class is the only one kids misbehave in, and unless they want to leave soon with a stress related illness they will generally seek help with behaviour management.  Also teachers will be acutely aware of it if they're not getting support from senior management in their efforts to deal with the behaviour, in fact in the latter case they will probably hand in their notice and find somewhere else to work.  Maybe the senior management in those kinds of schools blame the teachers.  But I don't think that it's a case of teachers not being aware of their own faults. 

I can see your issue with the fact that if you ask employees to tell you the reason that a particular problem occurs then they're less likely to blame themselves than external factors, but there is a danger that you end up discounting the fact that *they could be right* and also not taking into account the fact that the ones who are on the front line dealing with the problem, are also the ones that have the clearest and most in depth view of the problem, as they deal with it on a day to day basis.  There's a danger that taking that attitude just leads to further denial of the problem and nothing being done about it.

shazzersere
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Why should a teacher,or a ta,or school management be blamed for a childs behaviour? im sorry but it is down too the child or the background the child comes from,all the school can do is manage the behaviour that the child comes too school with,and yes bfg i agree it can be any background,not just poor.

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So Shazz, you don't think that a child could go to school not a bully, be bullied and decide the only way to stand up for themselves is to bully back (or bully someone else)?

You dont think that bullying is learned behaviour and if teachers, ta or school managements answer is to look the other way, deny it, or even blame the victim that that could possibly lead to the victim becoming the bullier?

I'm not saying it happens all the time, I'm not even saying it's the majority reason, but (and I understand it's human nature) if you ask teachers (and this survey was just a very small number of teachers) they are likely to point the blame away from themselves.

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Shazz, my dear! I was only thinking of you the other day!

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There is no discipline in schools except lines, detention, suspension or the worst one expelling them.  

Yes, there is parents out there that cocoon their children as in he/she isn't a bad kid and turns out to be the next Ted Bundy/Mary Bell, but did they think to ask a few parents cos for one I would be disgusted at the pupil that threatened the teacher to wipe of her smile. I'll bet that her parents would of grounded her if they knew really. 

One of my children is violent am I a bad parent according to the schools he went to of course it was my fault the list was endless they sited and you know what it was a lot of crock. He is at a school we all work together for a better future for my lad and its working the other schools where too quick to write him off and blame me so how many do this seriously how many cos I'll bet its a lot. 

Sorry this is too one sided for me. 

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It all depends on how you do the logic:

Poor parenting can lead to violence and bad behaviour in school.  Agreed.

However, this does not mean that all bad behaviour and violence in schools is caused by poor parenting.

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