The Marysville Parenting Examiner would like the readers to seriously contemplate the following article by Marjorie Haun titled Why some children can’t learn on September 27, 2011. A teacher and pro-family advocate, Ms. Haun describes the problematic issue facing our public education system. This dilemma, she refers to, is that of environmentally induced behavior disorder. A term she has personally coined:
My guess is that almost every classroom teacher in the country has been [affected] directly, or indirectly, by this blight. It disrupts learning across the board, blows apart classrooms, and has yet to be honestly or realistically addressed. It is the dilemma presented by students who have an “environmentally induced behavior disorder.” I made that up, but I am well traveled in the labyrinth of educational acronyms, and there will be many, many educators who know exactly the kiddos of whom I speak.
What exactly is Ms. Haun defining as environmentally induced behavior disorder? Her definition follows:
By “environmentally induced behavior disorder,” (EIBD) … I mean children who are coming to school with severe, sometimes unmanageable behaviors, who have no underlying cause such as a mental illness or a personality disorder. It is the home environment that is destroying these kids; their ability to learn, get along with others, problem-solve, and regulate their own emotions.
Marjorie Haun is not alone in this type of observation. According to the author of Raising Children who think for themselves, Elisa Medhus, M.D. writes that the many threats and challenges children face in our society today stem from one source – we are raising children to be externally rather than internally directed. This may not apply to those who come from dysfunctional homes of abuse and/or addiction; however, the relevance is still the same when we look at the five characteristics that Medhus establishes in her book regarding the self-directed child.
1. High self-esteem/self-confidence
4. High Moral Character
5. Being an asset within the group
Furthermore, Medhus states that fivequalities that define children as self-directed beings encompass two foundational qualities: (1) a strong sense of self; and, (2) a strong desire to be a vital and meaningful part of the group.
Granted, there are parents who strive to raise confident and self-sufficient children, teaching them to be vital members of society, giving them direction and boundaries to develop, grow, accept, and understand. In these situations, such children may choose to fall away and rebel against their parents, causing much discord and heartbreak, falling into various paths that are dangerous emotionally, physically, and even mentally. To these parents, they shoulder the burden and are concerned for the welfare of their child. They become resilient, faithful, and even seek direction to help their son or daughter in those dark hours. Sometimes, such parents suffer in silence in order not to appear unstable to those outside of their sphere of influence. They have done everything in their power to raise a child in the proper social norms of society.
It is those parents who have given into the false assumption of trying to be their child’s friend. It is the permissive parent who would rather allow their child to engage in unhealthy and addictive behaviors, or even lack the courage to discipline their children when the child acts up and is stepping out of line.
One example of this is an incident that was personally experienced at a major retailer. While shopping, my wife and I were walking down one aisle where there was another woman with three boys. The boys were out of control and one of them bumped into our cart. Without asking her son to apologize, she just casually laughed and asked, “did that hurt?” no concern for the welfare of my wife and I and our two year old that had fallen asleep on her daddy’s shoulders. However, as we continued shopping, these three boys were consistently running up and down aisles, having bumped into myself three more times without concern or an apologetic thought. Such parenting (or the lacking of parenting skills) in this incident is the reason why some children that come into the classroom are out of control. They feel that it is their entitlement to act in such mannerisms and behaviors because they get little to know discipline by their parents.
These out of control children affect the classroom when they are being disruptive, arrogant, selfish, unmotivated, and without concern for others or the dignity to accept responsibility for their actions. It is no wonder some teachers become stressful in having to deal with, not only these out of control children, but also their out of control parents.
Marjorie Haun observes:
The public school system has no mechanism with which to hold parents accountable. Private and charter schools may opt to have parent-school contractual relationships. But typical public schools traditionally are either too PC, or too overburdened to add another layer of tracking and liability to their already momentous tasks. Children with EIBD show up in declining achievement scores, disorderly and violent campuses, and ultimately, in group homes, jails, and mental institutions.
What then is the answer? How are we, as parents, members of the Marysville community and teachers help facilitate a restoration of the Family values in our own school system and community? Here are some answers that would facilitate a rebirth of true American Families and restore the central focal of all communities – the family. According to Ms. Haun, these are some suggestions to bring about a restoration of the family unit:
· Families with a man and woman at the head of the household and are legally married
· Live values of decency, maturity, physical and mental cleanliness, and hard work
· Remove any stigma or pressure placed upon women to continue to work while they raise little ones (where I diverge here is the new social stigmatism against stay-at-home fathers who have no choice but to be the parental figure raising the children).
· Make parenting skills as preeminent as professional skills, for they are both required.
· Love and nurture one’s children ahead of friends, relatives, lifestyle or possessions.
Issues that affect our community and the public classrooms are the issues that begin within the home. Destroy the family, and you destroy the community. As former President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated – No other success can compensate for failure in the home. As parents, we have an obligation to not only ourselves, but also our communities to do the best we can in raising children that will become tomorrow’s leaders. The responsibility rests squarely on our shoulders and one day we will be held responsible for how we train up our children.