On October 9th, BSE had their first Parent Education Night of the school year. Even though Ann DeWitt has spoken at Bonny Slope before – her topic and conversations still ring true. That night she discussed how to raise kinder, less entitled children. Which, is just so perfect seeing how we have a 5th grade student who is working on collecting warm clothing for homeless people (we have until November 4th to make these donations). And, our school is also doing its first ever Backpack Food Program (there is more on those details in another article). So, it’s clear that families at BSE are always thinking on how to raise children that are more aware of the world around them and how, when making their contributions, it is done is a positive way.
The night was spent having open conversations, lots of dialoging between the thirty parents and Ann. Some things that she touched on were:
What traits do you want to see in your child when they are 30 years old
How can we share our vision, our goals with our children? How do we actively get them involved?
What does it mean to be “Entitled”? And, WHO is it a problem for, being entitled?
Is this generation more entitled than others? What measures are we using to make that comparison?
There were a plethora of ideas and thoughts tossed about, from everyone. These I felt really resonated with me:
Being entitled isn’t always a bad thing
By fostering a deep care and concern for the Environment, we can immediately work against this idea of being entitled
Children these days do not understand the concept of ‘hard work’. Nothing they do on a daily basis is contributing to sustaining the family.
Work to look inward, see your intrinsic value to the world around you. How are you contributing
How can you talk, so your children really hear you, truly listen
The goal is to prepare, not protect – I found this one to be key to my family goals
Obviously when discussing privilege and entitlement, the subject of jobs and chores always comes up. And that, really, could be it’s own whole article. Luckily, on Ms. DeWitt’s website she provides an entire list of age-appropriate chores. https://www.dewittcounseling.com/teaching-responsibility.html Check it out and see which your families already do, and which of them may be ones you want to start implementing.
Another resource Ann discussed was the book, “The Price of Privilege” by Madeline Levine. https://www.powells.com/book/-9780060595845
Overall it was a very good evening. And, I am sure it is safe to say, that everyone left there with new ideas. I know I did.