I just read a post on a parent group in facebook and about choked while sipping on some water. The parent began by boasting about how their kid got a great scholarship to go into a smaller private university and study pre-law. Great. Your kid is has academic smarts. Yippee. We don’t care. The post didn’t end there. The parent went on about how their students needs to know more people in college and start their network now for college (it’s close to the end of the kids high school career.) The parent was reaching out and asking if any other high school peers are going to the college or if anybody has previous kids who went there before or currently. C’mon parent. It’s time to let go.
This to me is a major problem with what is going on with high school and college students these days. I recently did a poll on Twitter (@peterhostrawser) and asked business owners what the most important job skill for an entry level employee was and listed the following options: Problem Solving, Oral Communication, Analyzing Information, and Initiative. The top two choices were Oral Communication and Initiative. I think you see where I’m going here.
Back to the story. How in the heck can we teach our students initiative if our parents do everything for them? How do we teach students oral communication if our parents speak for them? Parents, I get that you want to help your kids out. Let me give you a little advice. Let them do it themselves. You can show them ways to do it, and then LET THEM do it. If they don’t they will learn the lesson. Going back to the post I saw… if I were the parent and my kid was obviously super smart like the one described, I would tell them to find four people who went to the college they are going to go to by the end of next week. Give them a measurable goal to complete in a time frame. Let them do it! If they don’t accomplish that task, revise the task after working with them on what they tried. Make the kid the decision maker. Even if they screw up and do nothing, talk with them about how they DECIDED to do nothing. Then work with them on making better decisions. Then try again. This is how a parent can #disrupteducation and make their kids actually learn to do rather than wait.