Tag Archives: parent involvement in education

Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 6/9

Since I was a public school teacher from 1975 to 2005, I saw the self-esteem movement among parents change the schools. I not only saw it but my job as a teacher was made more difficult as false self-esteem became the focus of the “average” American parent and not academics. Instead childhood “fun” replaced “work”, which is what a child must do to learn.

Due to the self-esteem movement, there was pressure for grade inflation and dummying down the curriculum so it would be easier on the students to be successful and feel good about him or herself.

Once the “average” child started spending that 10:45 hours a day talked about in Part 2, students went home and put pressure on parents still practicing old-world parenting methods.

Research shows that peer pressure has a much greater impact on adolescent behavior than any other factor.

Think about it. Your teenager spends more of his or her waking hours with peers than with family members. That interaction is more powerful than the influence of teachers and other authority figures. If a child feels compelled to fit in, the teen may do things that go against his or her beliefs simply to be part of the group.

Peer pressure may lead to experimentation with drugs and alcohol, sex, skipping school, and various high-risk behaviors. If you notice a sudden change in your child’s appearance, clothing, and attitude, especially if accompanied by secretive behavior, the child may be succumbing to the influences of peers.

Parents should be especially alert to sudden changes in the friends who make up their core peer group. An unexplained change in the type of friends your child associates with could indicate that your child is vulnerable to new influences that may not be positive. Source: Aspen

The need of teens to conform to peer group norms and values has often been witnessed by teenager workers as well as parents. When one refers to the “tyranny of teens”, one is expressing an awesome appreciation of the powerful energy and pressures generated by this strange social configuration called the peer group.

Parent/s often surrender to the power of the teen subculture. The parent/s experience feelings of futility. “There’s nothing I can do; they won’t listen anymore.”

When that happens, the teenager is left trying to manage his life while the adult ponders just where his approach went wrong. Another variation in a parent’s response to the teens peer subculture is enlistment in the opposition thinking, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Then one or more parents try to become like a teenager leading to an ineffective parenting. In Part 7, I will write about a proven way to overcome the negative influence of peer pressure.

Continued on May 10, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 7 or return to Part 5


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 2/3

Studies and statistics show that the “average” American child spends about 10 hours a day either having fun watching TV or playing video games or social networking on Facebook or sending endless text messages with a mobile phone.

The high school I taught at in Southern California for many years has a low state ranking and was one of those underperforming schools and still is five years after I retired.

One year, there was a story in the news about the school’s scores going down and one of my students with a failing grade mentioned this in class, which caused others to laugh with looks on their faces that said it was a teacher’s fault.

I said, “Walnut Valley High School has a state ranking that is a nine out of ten and our school is a three.  If we swapped students from Nogales to Walnut move the teachers, that ranking would go with the students and Nogales would have a nine and Walnut a three.

“The score comes from the students—not the teachers. You started kindergarten in a different school.  After seven years, you went to an Intermediate school.  By the time you walked through my classroom door, you had been in school ten years and probably had fifty different teachers.”

They stopped laughing.

At the time, half the students I taught were failing my classes. The reason they were failing is that they didn’t read at home, do the homework or study for tests.  I should know. I’m the one who recorded all those zeroes in the grade book.

I’m the one that called or attempted to call parents to get them involved.

Then when students fail, Washington D.C. blames and punishes teachers.

Continued in Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 3 or return to Part 1 or View as Single Page


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 1/3

Study after study show that the “average” American parent talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and that 80% of parents never attend a parent-teacher conferences during the thirteen years his or her child is in school.

The “No Child Left Behind Act” became law in 2001 and it was ignorance personified since nowhere in the Act were parents or students held responsible for anything.

Two presidents have pandered to the popular myth that bad teachers are the reason so many of America’s children are not learning what they should in school. George W. Bush was the first president and then there is Obama.

I’m writing this as a protest about Obama’s words concerning underperforming schools that should fire teachers. When schools do not perform, politicians have always looked for scapegoats and teachers make good targets.

Yes, there are poor teachers but no more than any profession. Most are hard working and dedicated. I should know. I taught for thirty years and my weeks were often one hundred hours of work, because I often worked at home correcting papers or planning lessons.

This reaction to fire teachers when students do not learn is wrong. Why not punish the students and the parents instead?

When I was a child and educators said I would never learn to read or write due to severe dyslexia, my mother taught me to read at home. Both of my parents were avid readers, and my parents were my role models—not my teachers.

Continued in Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 2 or View as Single Page


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


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