The Parenting Project: School & Parenting

The Parenting Project: School & Parenting November 5, 2012

If you’d like to participate in the Parenting Project please take a look at the Introduction and Childhood Questions.

Today’s questions deal with the way you were parented or disciplined during your school years and your parents interaction with the school rules. Were they on board with the ways in which your teachers tried to make you behave and educate you?

1. How did the discipline you received at school differ from that at home?

2. Were you homeschooled? If so did the parenting/discipline you received differ during your homeschooling hours or even between siblings?

3. If you were not home schooled did your teachers tell your parents of your misdeeds or failures at school? Did your parents punish you again?

4. Were you expected to do your home work daily? Which parent helped you with your homework and school projects the most?

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The Parenting Project Introduction

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • The_L

    My situation is a bit unusual, even for this blog, but I feel the need to share it because a lot of the attitudes are similar (even if the reasons for the attitudes were different). The numbered questions overlap for me, but I did answer them all. This will be very long and rambly; I’m sorry. I find this blog therapeutic, and sometimes you just have to let it all out, I guess.

    I went to a private, church-run school. I didn’t find this out until years later, but they asked you when you first enrolled your child/ren whether you wanted to allow corporal punishment by the school or not. This information was put in your student record, and if your parents had opted in, your teachers could paddle you if you misbehaved. (I never saw anyone spanked or paddled at school. My guess is that the very threat of public corporal punishment was enough to terrify a lot of those kids into sitting nice and quiet during class, because from the way my mom told it, the corporal-punishment option was strongly encouraged.)

    Fortunately for the continued functioning of my bottom half, my parents opted out of corporal punishment for me and my brother from the start–because my father wanted to control us more than that, and HE wanted to be the one to spank us. I’m not sure which would have been worse; sure, being spanked in front of everyone is humiliating, but when Dad spanked me, he acted as if I had been deliberately acting out JUST TO MAKE HIM ANGRY. And he was angry–terrifyingly so. I’m pretty sure that his bare hand was as painful as a wooden paddle would have been.

    I would like to point out that for me, school-related punishment happened on at least a weekly basis, either in the form of detention, writing sentences, spanking at home, or a combination of the three, until I was in at least 4th grade. I had severe ADHD, and was gifted and accelerated on top of that, and I was bored stiff in class. So I acted out a lot, or changed the problems on tests to make them harder.

    There were no extra activities for students who finished assignments early, either–no coloring pages (“Coloring is for art class; wait until then”), no brainteasers, nothing. And my parents wouldn’t let me bring a library book to school to read, because “I’m glad you like books, honey, but you already read plenty at home.” Usually the first-grade teacher just pulled a high-school geometry book from behind the desk and told me to read that, because at least if I was reading something, I was quiet and relatively still. The second-grade teacher refused to provide me anything extra to do at all–to her, a child who didn’t wait patiently until it was time for the next activity was a rebellious child. This is about the time my ADHD was diagnosed, and I finally got psychological and medical treatment for it. I was 5.

    Most kids thought I was weird, too. I was several years younger than they were; I was the only Catholic in my grade, and one of only 4 in the entire school; I didn’t know the lyrics to the Ini Komoze and MC Hammer songs that the “cool kids” sang when the teachers couldn’t hear. (Everyone else’s parents listened exclusively to either CCM, or to soft-rock like mine. And no one wanted to sing Celine Dion or CCR.) Which meant that recess, for me, was always spent alone. Pent-up energy wasn’t really being released–I tended to hide out in the tractor-tire obstacle course or mess around in the sandbox.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, while I never really lost my love of learning, I hated school with a flaming passion by the end of grade 4. I begged not to have to get up in the morning, because getting up on a weekday meant having to go back there.

    As for homework, I did it. It took me AGES, because of my ADHD and fruitless begging to wait until my favorite cartoon shows were over, but eventually it got done. Mom helped me for everything that involved memorization; Dad never did. In fact, Mom “helped” me so much that when I got to college, I had no idea how to set aside study time, or how to study for a test, at all. I was helpless without her for a year or two until I finally figured it out on my own.