Before the 1950s, most mothers did not work outside the home. Their main job was to raise the children while the husband was the provider, bringing the money home to pay the bills, buy the goods and pay for the necessary services. Both fathers and mothers had full-time responsibilities, although usually, the man worked outside the home.
After the fantastic victory of WWII, most military men were raring to go to work, to establish a wholesome family and create a positive lifestyle for their future. Betty Crocker was the symbol of wholesome women becoming productive housewives and mothers in the home rather than competing with men in the workplace.
Almost 75 years later, much has changed. Females have been “liberated” by entering the workforce. They have been promoted to many high-paying positions as well as many positions that were once dominated by men. With skyrocketing divorce rates, many women had to take occupations outside of the home to maintain the lifestyle that the husband had originally provided for the family.
At this point in the 2020s, divorce is a reality for even more women. Even when the father is present, many mothers work to supplement the family income to increase their financial quality of life. This means there might be no parent home to greet and care for the children when they come home from school (latchkey kids). It is difficult to handle all the daily obligations of a mother as well as the demands of a professional position. Working parents need a break to relax when they get home and have little time or patience to discuss each child’s school experience, homework and test scores.
Another reality is it is difficult to be granted an appointment with their children’s teachers or with school administrators. Most of these questions about their child’s academics and social progress are answered on the report card, although without any details in this one-way communication from school to parents. The report card with specific grades and positive or negative remarks too often creates a false impression for the parent’s uncertainty about being conscientious parents.
If their children’s in-school report shows them as straight-A students with impeccable behavior, it puts a “feather in the parent’s cap.” The parent’s concern of not knowing what is happening with their child at school is now settled and removes their fear of being a noninvolved parent.
The mother is immediately relieved of guilt for not taking the time to learn what the child is doing in school. They know they should have asked and discussed their child’s progress each day. The glowing report card removes all the guilt from the parents for not being in close contact with the child’s daily behavior and learning.
According to administrators in government schools, parent-teacher meetings are too time-consuming to accomplish due to the shortage of teachers and administrators. The best answer, therefore, to parents and school administrators who lack time to meet is the one-way communication of the report cards and special rewards.
The guilt of not doing more of a conscientious job as a parent is wiped out by these official school awards and accolades. The general recognition of the student and inflated grades is sufficient for parents to feel comfortable concerning their child’s education. It eliminated all the parent’s remorse and guilt for not understanding what the child was learning.
Being placed on the principal’s list and other special honors is often an attempt to cover up the child’s lack of learning and achievement. This inflated report card and the principal’s list are a fraud. The grades and remarks are nothing more than a “happy drug” for parents but destructive to the student’s possible future academic achievements.
Any inflated positive feedback is like any drug that creates a mirage that everything is great. This mirage gradually caves in on the parents as they realize their child did not get the guidance and consequences needed to keep the child on the straight and narrow path. Eventually, the student’s evaluation demonstrates he is functioning several years behind.
Less than accurate feedback is a policy that has long-term negative results for students and, eventually, the parents. The student and the parents can temporarily feel satisfied with their child’s education. When the false drug of high grades and mastery of subject matter is exposed, the truth of the victimization of another student and parents becomes undeniable.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.