Oh?!?! You’re a Parent! Where’d you get your degree?

I think choosing to become a Parent is a wonderful thing. It’s a choice SOME people make because they want to bring a productive person into the world.  They want to see a beautiful representation of their love running around filling the world with pleasantries and moments of mirth.  Your child is an amazing expression of God’s presence on this earth, and we are all pleased they are here.

But, you don’t have to get a degree to be a parent.  You push that baby out, and they send you on your merry way.  You don’t have to take a class, watch a training video, not a NOTHING.  You just get wheeled to a car, and venture out into the world.  “Whatever MJ, I saw What to Expect when You’re Expecting! That told me everything I need to know.” 0_o Oh. Okay.  You have to take a test, to drive a car.  But to raise a human being, just pay and go.

I am not negating your fertility struggles if they existed.  No, I praise how hard you worked to bring a child into the world.  But, you didn’t have to get a degree to be a parent.  No one believes your FB posts about your little love bug, who was speaking in whole sentences before he could sit up straight.  I know more about your child’s development than you do.  I’m not saying I’m better than you, per se. I’m just saying you don’t know everything you could about your child.

For too long, I have been silent while watching ignorant parent’s ruin their children because they have no clue what they are doing.  Frequently when I do comment, it’s blown off.  Which is of course every parent’s right to do.  But Dammit it’s time we Educators of the World speak up.

Let’s go down a very truncated list of Excuses I hear when talking to New Parents about why they don’t have to take child rearing advice from anyone.

1) You aren’t a Parent, You won’t understand until you have one.

Okay, first of all.  Thank The Birth Control Jesus I don’t have a kid.  I don’t want one.  I might never want one.  That doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about children.  Let’s just leave out the fact that I have been caring for children since I was about 7,  at My Nana’s house.  We won’t even talk about how I learned how to change a diaper before I could ride a Two-Wheeled Bike.  Nope. We won’t.

Let’s discuss my DEGREE IN EDUCATION. The United States Government paid the University of Dayton $55,000+ dollars to educate me.  In Child Development.  In Language Development.  In Disability Awareness.  I have the transcripts to prove it.  I have the GOT DAMN DEGREE to prove it.  How DARE you tell me I can’t give you any pointers on your child’s growth/education?  I skipped an ENTIRE semester of classes, but ACED my Finals (Geaux Depression).  The UD School of Education changed their attendance policy because of me.  So PLEASE don’t tell me I don’t know your child.  I know everyone’s child.  I’ve raised/educated plenty of children who aren’t mine.

Text me, I’ll send you references.

2) Well, I’m their Parent. I know them best.

Unless you home school your child, you don’t.  Stop lying to yourself.  Do you know their overall personality, yes?  Do you know their little quirks and irritants? No, not always.  For at least 8 hours a day, they are with someone else.   For at least 40 hours a week (more if they are in daycare) they are in the care of someone else.  This person deals with their good days and bad days.  They know how to calm them down with a word or a look.  Most kids like Captain America.  Having a themed party doesn’t make you the #1 Parent of the Year.

If you are a GOOD Parent, you have developed a relationship with your child’s teacher/caregiver and they communicate with you on a daily basis.  They give you pointers and tips about how to handle your child in various situations.  That’s called Parenting Advice.  WEIRD, right? Hopefully your child is in the care of someone who respects your position as a parent and takes pictures of the first step, and records the first word in case you miss it.  But other people contribute to your child’s life.  You aren’t the only person who knows your child, and knows them well. It takes a Village . . .

3) My Parents are so Old Fashioned

Did you survive your childhood? Are you now a functioning member of society? They did something right. I grew up in the Get your tail in the house before the street lights come on,” era of Child Rearing.  *I’m still usually in the house before dark if I can help it.  Judge me not* My mother grew up in the “Children should be seen, not heard,” era of Child Rearing.  This new era, “The No We Don’t Spank Tommy, We Want him to feel free to Express Himself,” is some complete and utter bullshit malarky.  People who have no boundaries violate the boundaries of others.

For some reason, these New Parents think they know everything.  You don’t.  This new trend of, “Screw how I was raised.  I’m making it up as I go along!’ is messing up the order of the world.  Rules aren’t made to be broken.  They are made to keep order.  So yep, I’m going to tell your kid to sit their lil’ butt down, especially if they are about to break something.  Being the consummate professional I am, I won’t say it like that.  But that’s what the Hell I Meant! I DEMAND respect from children and they give it to me.  Because I do it with love.

Most Educators chose their field because they have a genuine love for children.  It sure as hell isn’t for the money.  Many teachers have a gift when it comes to kids.  If we say something to you about your child, it’s usually in the best interest of your child.  It’s not meant to insult your parenting skills, or usurp your role as Parent.  It’s because we care.  However, always remember . . . You Didn’t Have to Get a Degree to be a Parent.

I had to get one to care for and educate your child.  

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