Yeah, but will he learn to WRITE?


I had to groan at this item I saw over the weekend.

Catholic High School for Boys in Arkansas decided to get tough with helicopter parents, posting the above notice on its doors:

The all-boys private school in Little Rock has long had a rule barring parents from coming to the school to drop things off — such as forgotten lunches, assignments and sports equipment — for their children, but parents occasionally forgot about it and had to be turned away at the front door. So the school decided to post a sign as a reminder as this school year got underway….

Yeah, OK, fine. You’re trying to instill personal responsibility in the boys. And maybe they will learn to remember their lunches in the future.

But will they learn to write at a school that sees “problem-solve” as a verb?

Would it have killed them to write, say, “Your son will learn to solve these problems in your absence?”

14 thoughts on “Yeah, but will he learn to WRITE?

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    My brother’s Boy Scout troop leader, Ron Frontroth, had a great learning device: if you forget something on a camping trip, you do without. Works for me. My dad used to go to remote places looking for birds, and learned to use a packing list, because anything you forget is likely not available. Amazing how motivating that is….

  2. Karen Pearson

    Likewise backpacking or you may end up really needing something that is neither available nor able to be made from the materials at hand.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    Eh. I’m ambivalent on this. Sure, I see the need to have consequences for forgetfulness, but I also think this could be carried a bit too far. As a general rule, I dislike rules that don’t have exceptions. (Yes, there are exceptions to this rule.) See what I did there?

    For instance, if a kid forgot his shin guards or something for soccer practice, and it’s not a big burden on his mom/dad to bring them, what’s the big deal? We all forget stuff from time to time. I kind of feel like this is something the school should leave to the parents. If junior keeps forgetting his shin guards, after awhile, his parents aren’t going to be so quick to run them up to the school.

    Again, I get the sentiment, and I don’t totally disagree. I just hope the rule is being applied with some common-sense.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      When you didn’t have a mom at the ready, SUV gassed up, to bring you whatever you forgot, you pretty much didn’t forget. Even today, lots of kids don’t have a back-up parent ready to truck stuff over. They remember or do without. The only exceptions should be for medical necessities.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Sure, plus you don’t have all the cultural pressure mommies face to be the bestest mommy ever…

            1. Pam Wilkins

              Give me a break. Practically any feminist worth her salt would have the basic intelligence to critique the mindset you’ve assumed she must have. Straw man argument any?

          1. Bryan Caskey

            The mommy wars are real. It’s strange because the working moms feel bad because they don’t spend as much time with their kids as do stay-at-home moms. On the flip side, stay-at-home moms have the same guilt for not working.

            Women. Y’all are complicated.

            We men on the other hand are simple creatures. We eat, sleep, and try to do our best to provide for our families. Not as much inner guilt. That’s probably from the centuries of us cavemen chasing around woolly mammoths and/or fighting each other. There’s no time to feel guilty – we gotta go kill an animal or fight some other caveman.


    2. bud

      I agree with Bryan. Let’s not get all caught up in absolute rules. Is it a good thing for a child to do without their inhaler if they accidentally forget it? Occasionally missing lunch is probably not a big deal but an asthmatic without proper medication could be big trouble.

      1. Bart

        I agree with you bud. Sometimes kids do forget and when it is something like an inhaler or medication or glasses, turning the parent away is irresponsible. For other things like forgotten homework, shin guards, or something that is not a necessity of life, yes, turn the parent away. If I forgot something when I was in school, you can bet my parents didn’t bring it to me, they were too busy working to house, clothe, and feed us and there was no way I would dare call either one to bring my “homework”. But, if it was really important, they were there for me or my siblings.

    3. Scout

      I’d let the parents bring it, depending what it was, if the kid could come up with that as a solution and make it happen. i.e. he’d have to think of the plan and verbalize it, ask for permission to call, know how to reach the parent, and then be able to talk them into doing it. It could be because I teach language impaired preschoolers, and talking them through solving real life problems daily is a big part of what I do, but I don’t see why the problem solving would have to be just go without and deal with it. Maybe the parents shouldn’t be allowed it to bring it unless the kid realizes there is a problem and initiates that as a solution.

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