Who's running the zoo?

When I was in school we had a principal that had a presence. The sight of her made the hair on the back of your neck stand up! If you walked past her office and there was someone sitting in there, you knew he or she was doomed. It was many years ago; however, not that long ago. No one was walking 10 miles, uphill both ways, in rainstorms.

Recently, I have noticed some less-than-respectful behavior from our young people. For example, I watched 10 young men behave ridiculously at a coffee shop the other day. Business people, seniors and folks just wanting to enjoy a nice cup of coffee surrounded them. The boys were cracking plastic water bottles, clapping together (ridiculous) and screaming at each other. They knew where they were, so why did they think this was OK?

I have watched children misbehave over and over in classrooms when teachers ask them to stop. Every time a teacher has to stop teaching because of a conduct issue, it takes a lesson away from the children who are behaving.

The final example I will share is the one that caused me to write this article. I have a friend who is a professor at a local college. The other day I asked her how she was doing. She said she was not great. She had a student that had not attended her classes, not turned in the assignments and done poorly on her tests and she was torn on what to do.

Seemed pretty clear to me. She said she couldn’t fail the student. I asked why and she said the administration would not allow her to fail a student. The parents would be furious and it could ultimately affect enrollment.  

I said, “You have got to be kidding!” NOPE! So she had to figure out how to find this student and plead with them to turn in the assignments. How degrading, I thought. I felt so bad for her.  

So I ask, “Who’s running the zoo?"

How did we get here? When did teachers lose their right to discipline disruptive children so that the good kids could learn? When did it become OK for kids to blatantly disrespect environments where good manners are expected? When did money become more important than holding someone accountable for their actions and assignments?

I am certain these individuals will grow up and wonder why colleges, Corporate America and society doesn’t look at them favorably. It’s what happens when you grow up without understanding consequences.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. If you see one of my children behaving poorly, I want to know about it. I take my children’s behavior very seriously and I will appreciate knowing what they are doing, when I am not around. Thank you in advance, truly.

If you are a parent hoping to raise a child that thrives outside your address, “you can tame the kitten now or the lion later.”

Colleen Harding

I run the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.   I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, Friends of the Westside Catholic Center and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.

I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.   

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.03.2018