Picture thanks to Brooklyn Reader. The article is pretty good.
The other night my daughter gets a call from her friend, mind you that they are in 7th grade, crying that her parents were yelling at her. It wasn’t so much the yelling but what they were telling her that surprised my daughter. I think the friend recorded a little of what the parents were saying, which was just outrageous. It seems she has a 95 in her math class, mind you this class is advanced math (Honors), and the parents do not understand why she does have a perfect grade. My daughter is in the same class and I have seen her homework, it isn’t easy. On top of that, it looks like the teacher does not explain things easily, not sure what that means, but for many of the students, they don’t understand what the teacher is explaining. Even when the students ask for clarification, my daughter tells me that the teacher says, “I just explained, weren’t you listening” and will not explain it further. Now, my daughter says that she does all the homework, and a lot of the time she will do the other problems not assigned because it is tough. She will come and ask me for help on those that do not have an answer, so she can confirm her answer. Now, I mentioned that my daughter feels that she needs to work a little harder, and in this class, she ends up helping other students, but the good thing is that her hard work has paid off, she has a 97 in the class, but she had to work a little extra to get it. Another thing my daughter told me is that a majority of the kids in the class have a C or lower, with several kids with an F.
I just wanted to set the scene on the difficulty of the class, so back to my daughter’s friend crying. My daughter’s friend is Asian, and I am only pointing this out, because it is well known that Asian parents are tougher on their kids, maybe not all, but it is in most cases. During the argument, the parents were asking her why she had a 95, the girl told them it was a bit tough because last year the math teacher did not get to teach the whole book, so when they arrived in this math class, they had to jump right into the next chapter, without any review. This math teacher told everyone that there was too much new material to cover and they would not have time to review the last several chapters. This of course was bad for everyone, including my daughter. During the argument, the parents began to tell the girl how bad she was and told her that they were disappointed in her. They said that her brother was getting all 100 and that maybe they should not have had a girl. They directly told her that she was dumb, and was going to amount to nothing, this was one of the comments captured on the recording. This continued for at least an hour, is what her friend told my daughter, and her friend felt worthless, and she started to agree with what the parents were saying. There were a few other choice words, that I would have never in my lifetime said to either of my kids. I understand that we as parents want the best for our kids, and we iterate that a little hard work will get you where you need to be, but I also believe that putting too much pressure on someone whether it is a kid or adult, could be detrimental to the person.
My daughter stayed on the phone with her and calmed her down, and told her that they would study together and work on the math together and not to worry. When my daughter was telling me this, she looked at me and said, “Thank you”, and I responded, “For what?” She told me that I do push her to do her best, but I don’t demand it of her and that I am not calling her names or making her feel worthless if she happens to bring home a bad grade. I told her I would never do that, and that she needs to make sure to tell her friend that she is not worthless, she will be fine, that a 95 is not bad. To tell her to keep her chin up, smile, and believe. I did listen to the recording it was short, but I was totally taken back by it, and I hugged my daughter. I know that parenting is tough, at all ages, and there will be times that you want to scream, or just explode, but there should never be a reason to call your kids names or make them feel bad. Like I said it might be the culture, and I am not trying to call anyone out or say that all Asians are this way, no disrespect to anyone. But the recording was an eye-opener because it wasn’t something I saw on social media, but it was something that hit close to home, which made it hard to take in.
Thank you for stopping by, I do want to leave you with this thought, “Whether you are talking to a kid or an adult, there is never a reason to humiliate someone. It is better to encourage, but more importantly, listen because at the end you will both be better for it”.