Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Taking Responsibility

        "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." Some how in the last 30 years, this morphed into, "There is no failure in the home that can't be blamed on someone else, or that shouldn't be compensated for by the government." I know, it takes a community to raise a child, but here's the caveat, a community can only help raise a child IF real reaching is taking place in the home.  It is not anyone's responsibility but your own to make sure your kid graduates high school and leaves your house knowing at least how to be a productive member of society. 
         Yesterday I had a new teacher meeting during my lunch break. I have these meetings every month and I usually just quietly eat my lunch as my thoughts wander off into space. I leave having learned almost nothing. Luckily my lunch break is only 34 minutes long, so I only wasted 34 minutes of my life. Something was said in yesterday's meeting that upset me. Another first year teacher asked the group how she could help a group of students that would not turn their homework in. Most of the ideas went something like this: "remind them everyday to turn it in so that they know you care". My first instinctive solution is this, "Fail them, so that they know you care." I don't know where other teachers stand on this issue but here is where I stand. It's not my responsibility to make sure your kid succeeds. In fact no matter what I do or how often I remind your child to turn their homework in, I can't make them succeed. I can only give them great opportunities to learn how to succeed. I think that by reminding them every day to turn their homework in, I'm enabling them to be lazy. I'm enabling their parents to not do their job. There is not much I can do if you chose to work 80 hours a week between the two spouses and only left 30 minutes a day to spend with your 3 or 4 kids. 
         So here is where I'm going with this. People love to gripe and complain about our educational system. There are too many lazy teachers who are only doing it for the job security. There are not enough teachers and too many kids. Teachers shouldn't have guaranteed salaries, they should be performance based. Guess what gripers and complainers! Your child's education isn't the public school system's responsibility. It is yours! Spend a little less time working and watching TV and take a little more time to explain to your child the importance of personal accountability. Teach your children that their success or failure in school has little to do with who their teacher is or where they go to school, but has everything to do with their ability to push themselves and with their desire to learn. Kids turning not turning their homework in and being disruptive in class isn't the problem, it's the symptom. The problem is the erosion of the family unit in society and the slow shift of responsibility from the individual to the group. 
       I don't believe that this problem is going to go away. The prophets and apostles have warned us for years that this would happen. They have told us how we can avoid these problems ourselves. I just want to give one piece of advice: Follow the council of the prophets as outlined in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Event the parts you think are outdated and old fashioned.  Here are a few of my favorites: 

HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.  Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
If we heed these warnings, we will be successful in our families. I know it, I have seen it. 

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