Our character is not defined by what we do when people are watching, but by what we do when they aren't.
My kids have been in school for a little over a week now, and the biggest lesson I have learned is that parents do not play by the rules. My first warning should have been open house. The mom in the halter top swimsuit with short shorts and the one who felt it was okay to bring her dog, should have clued me in. Basic rules of etiquette were going to be ignored.
The next big warning sign was car line. There is always that parent who thinks it is some sort of race track instead of a parking lot, and the parent who ignores every posted sign by stopping by the door to drop off instead of pulling forward to allow others space. Then their child gets in trouble for being a "line cutter" in the hallways and they wonder why.
The automated calls to parents the first week back were telling. One school reminded parents that there was a dress code clearly outlined, and it was expected that parents would pay attention to what their child wore. The problem has not improved. Another school was reminded that parents could not bring in fast food lunches for their child and their friends, leave it at the office, and expect it to be delivered. Rules do not apply to me or my child is the message that is sent.
I have a book suggestion for next year’s summer reading list
The problem is that the school exists to educate our children, not police them. They don't have the time, resources, or energy to enforce rules that should be taken care of in the home. We, as parents, can choose to either teach our child that rules are to be followed even when they are not enforced, or we can teach them that cheating is okay when no one is watching. The school is supposed to help grow their minds. We are supposed to help shape their character.
Your child is watching you. If you show no respect for their teacher, then they will show no respect in the classroom. If you take short cuts to get ahead, they will have a "me first" mentality. And maybe most importantly, if they know you are not completely honest with them, they will never be completely honest with you.
My teacher friends joke that they have no problem students, only problem parents. I'm starting to realize just how true that is.