Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Warning: Rated PG-13 Post

Dear Self-Absorbed, Shitty Parent (SSP),

I know you're busy with your adultery and all, but do you think you could take a break from all that hard "work" you do every night til all hours and pay a little attention to your kid? Please? She's great; sweet, funny, smart, but most people can't tell, because she never does her homework and is usually in trouble around here. She's very busy acting out in order to draw attention to her home life, which is more than I can say for you; at least she's doing everything she can think of to help.

What does it mean when a middle school girl is working harder to fix things at home than her own mother is? I wouldn't say a word, SSP, if you weren't so full of excuses for why she doesn't get her work done. You keep asking us to understand her, but what she really needs is for you to act like a parent and get your self-absorbed ass to the kitchen table with the homework. She needs you to at least act like you care. Today, she told me you don't "really care" if she does her homework and that she just goes home and talks on the phone or hangs out on the computer until she falls asleep waiting for you to come home. That kind of flies in the face of the load you give me about how hard you try. (And yes, I do believe her over you, because she actually has more credibility than you do, I'm afraid.)

Do you know that your daughter can draw; that she really has talent? Do you know that she cries herself to sleep many nights, and that she has an on-line "boyfriend?" Do you know that in spite of everything, she loves you and thinks that you walk on water? You don't deserve it.

You really tick me off, you know that, SSP? Because while you are out screwing around and carelessly throwing your daughter's self-esteem in the trash, we are busting our tails to keep her out of it. For every message we send that she is intelligent, talented, and precious, your behavior sets up noisy interference. Would you PLEASE, just for a day, stop and think of your daughter?


Wow. That felt good. Too bad I can't really send it. This is a classic example of why I love working with students with behavioral disabilities. I think these kids are the heroes in their families much of the time, even though they are scapegoated; they are willing to sacrifice themselves to draw attention to their families, to get some help.

As a sidenote, I'm not saying that I think behind every juvenile delinquent is a crappy parent, but you cannot argue the fact that I have worked with at least a couple of hundred such kids and can count on two hands the number who turned out that way in spite of adequate parenting. I'm not talking about genetic, uncontrollable disabilities. I'm talking about the ones that came about because of neglect or abuse. And yes, I know...many of these parents are parenting the only way they know how; the way they themselves were parented, blah, blah,blah. It doesn't change my frustration.

Don't worry about me; I'm not freaking out or anything. I'll keep fighting the fight. It would just be nice once in a while if it was a fair one.

12 comments:

  1. Happy and saddened by your post. I know there are many great parents in the world but I unfortunately know first hand how many shitty ones there are. My daughter has a friend who she loves, the friend is loud and rude and full of bs but my daughter loves her anyways.
    Her friend's mom works for the post office but will not take her to the doctors nor the dentist for anything! The poor kid has teeth literally rotting out of her mouth. I've seen them and its to bad because she really is a beautiful girl.
    Shitty parents suck.
    Keep on pushing and trying to save the world one child at a time.
    Its what you do best :)

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  2. you know, one person CAN make a difference - keep it up!!

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  3. WOW, I don't envy you, nor could I do your job. I've actually told my son's special ed. teacher that on more than one occasion.

    I've also had to apologize for my OWN sister's son, who is the same age as my son, and goes to the same school. It's sad really, as we both had the same parents, but somehow, my sister turned into an "SSP" after her divorce.

    I marvel at her lack of parenting skills...she once told a teacher that her son was only misbehaving due to the fact that she (the teacher) wasn't a good teacher.

    She also blamed his bad behavior on missing recess (for not doing his work in class), and told the teacher it was her fault, yet again, that her son couldn't respect adults or follow orders, because he just really needed his recess (my son tried the same thing, and I threatened to come sit in the classroom and make sure he did his work, no problems since then, because he knows I'd do it)!

    Talk about giving your kids so many crutches that any behavior can be blamed on something other than the parent or the child.

    Teachers like you have my utmost respect, and I think don't get the recognition that they deserve.

    :)

    Terri

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  4. 1. i'm glad you're her teacher. it's so much worse for a kid who has hell at home to have hell at school too.

    2. i'm glad that you have this place you can vent. being able to express such things is far more healthy than doing the nightly "let's find out whow quickly i can find the worm in the tequilla bottle" fix for frustration.

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  5. You sound like an amazing woman. I'm happy I stopped by so that I can comment: I hope I have your strength in ten years' time - I'm still in the middle of a divorce that involves a sweet 2-year old. You are a strong and admirable parent. Keep fighting the fight!

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  6. You have got to be one devoted teacher.....there are several great teachers in the world, your top notch my dear.
    Hmmmmm I wonder if Hoss' teacher thinks I am a SSP? I will let you know....Parent Teacher Conference is tomorrow! =-)

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  7. Thanks for the "props," everybody. I do love what I do and know that it's what I was meant to do. I will do anything for parents who care; I have several right now, and it's a real pleasure to work with them. As for the rest, I just focus on their child instead (my efforts on them are wasted). I know that these kids are angels on earth, too (just like the "good" ones are).
    DW-Great point! How did you know that I don't drink?! (I might if I could, but I think I'm allergic). Writing is better, and it has no hangover!

    Good Luck, JAX! Let us know how it goes, haha.

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  8. Kandee, if you haven't already, you should call and report that girl's parents to child protective. They would act on that for sure, I would think.

    Terri, I'll keep your nephew in my prayers...

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  9. So sad. And so sad that so much isn't fair, for some kids. *sigh*.

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  10. Teachers like you make such a difference in kids lives, because you are sometimes the only adults who truly understand what's going on with them, and CARE! I could never do your job, but I have such admiration for YOU for doing it! Don't ever lose heart. You are truly doing God's work.

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  11. I love teachers like you who care probably too much.

    Your letter made me smile and giggle all at once.
    You hit it right on the head!
    Self absorbed!!!

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  12. I can tell you are a good teacher. One I would love to work with. Too bad you can't actually send the letter... actually, if you did it probably would not make much difference.

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