October 8, 2013

What School Doesn’t Teach Kids

I am a firm believer in sending kids to school because they learn a lot while attending school. And, let’s face it, the world has changed. It used to be that employers didn’t care what level of education one had before they hired a person. Instead, they looked at references, competence, work ethic and reliability. If a person worked hard, cared about his job and did his work well, then he would be able to move up and eventually be in management.

Nowadays, most employers require some college completed (if not a degree) before they will even consider a person. Therefore, it’s more important now than ever before that our children pursue education.

While there are many things that kids can learn in school, there are a number of things that school can’t teach our children. These are the things that I believe are left to the parents to do. They include:

Good Work Ethic: Sadly, a good work ethic is something that is hard to find in people nowadays…especially children. While teachers give students homework and tests that they have to study for, they aren’t able to teach a child what it means to be a good worker. I’m talking about doing a job right even if it means that it takes longer to do and finishing a job once it’s started. I guess, taking pride in your work sums it up nicely. This isn’t something that school teaches kids at home. Kids learn what it means to have a good work ethic by watching their parents.

Compassion and Respect: This is another problem area that I see among the youth of today. While schools do all they can to encourage compassion and respect, this is something that honestly starts at home. Again, kids are like sponges and they soak up everything. Not just the things they hear, but also what they see. Therefore, parents need to be careful about how they treat one another when they are upset and especially how they treat others outside the home. If mom and dad show compassion and respect to one another (and the kids) at home, as well as, strangers then the kids are more likely to grow up doing the same.

Financial Responsibility: I honestly believe that schools should start teaching money management classes for high school students. Most high school students get a job in order to pay for a car and other things, but don’t understand what it means to manage their money and end up spending everything they earn. Sadly, this habit is something that follows a lot of people into adulthood – only, once they are 18 they are able to start applying for credit cards and end up in a lot of debt as a result. However, as schools aren’t yet teaching money management classes (at least the schools where I live don’t), this is something that is up to parents to teachtheir children.

Take the time to sit down with your kids (when they are old enough to understand) and show them how much things cost: utilities, mortgage, vehicle (payment and insurance), etc. Then talk to them about how you budget your money to make sure everything gets paid and you still have enough left over for a few “fun” things and savings. If you can teach your kids good money management skills while they are still in high school, then they will most likely continue these good habits for the rest of their lives.

As you can see, school can’t teach our children everything they need to know about life. That’s why parents are needed. Unfortunately, too many parents are leaving their job to the schools and then wondering why their children are turning out to be irresponsible and disrespectful adults.

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