School is a melting pot of parenting styles, and that is why I hate school more now then I did when I was a kid.
I want to set the record straight, I have a love-hate relationship with the school. Growing up I loved it up until about high school when things started to turn south for me. I was in that awkward fitting in phase, and I was one of those who never really fit in. I was a quiet, shy, but smart guy that everyone wanted in their group project that involved a video because my dad was the journalism teacher.
Of course, it didn’t help that I grew up in a very cliquish small western Kansas town. I wasn’t one of the popular kids, except when one of them needed help with their homework. I was one of those kids who wanted to get out of that small town the moment I reached high school.
Knowing that my life wasn’t going to be in my hometown, I grew to hate school because it was the one thing that was standing between me and a fresh start in college. I only did what was needed to pass, graduate, and be accepted into a university that would fit the area of interest that I wanted to go into.
As my son started school, many of those memories began to come back the moment he stepped foot in our upper middle-class elementary school. Quickly though, I remembered that I loved elementary school. I loved it for my 5th-grade teacher who was the one teacher who saved the love of learning in my life. It was high school that I hated and that I shouldn’t be reminding myself of that time period in my life.
But as quickly as I realized that I liked elementary school when I was a kid, I hate it now as a parent. Elementary school is a melting pot of parenting styles. You get the parents like us, who shielded our son from Pokemon and Minecraft as much as we could (thank you Netflix for suggesting our son watch Pokemon). We told him that he couldn’t get any of the toys or we couldn’t download the Minecraft game. Partially because we didn’t understand it all, but in reality, we just didn’t think that it was necessary that he be exposed to that kind of stuff at his age.
Then you get the parents who (not to offend anyone) have more than one kid and who have realized that shielding their children from such things is ridiculous. If you only have one child and are this way, no offense either, I can only speak to those of us who have more than one child. I can say that now that we have two kids and I’m sure that there will be no way that we will be able to keep our second child from being exposed to whatever is popular at the time in 4 years.
This is where I hate school even more now. Our son has been exposed to Minecraft and Pokemon. I don’t want to pick on just those two things, but they are the two that I will never able to understand. I knew that it would be almost inevitable that the time would come that he would learn about Minecraft and want to download the $8 game. Little did we realize at the time though that it was only going to be a passing fad and 3 months down the road he would look up from his tablet screen someday and find something new.
To set the record straight, I don’t hate the parents who allow their children to watch such wretched things. To each their own. What I don’t like is that I don’t understand Pokemon and that I probably never will. No matter how many times he shows me all of those Pokemon in his master book and tries to tell me who is a mega and who can’t be, I’ll NEVER be able to understand it.
Part of me knew that this time was going to come eventually. I just wasn’t expecting during kindergarten of all times in his life. When trying to explain to me what Pokemon actually is and can do might take a terribly long 15 minutes to explain as he gathers his thoughts. Or being asked one day after guessing right about something Pokemon related (honestly I can’t remember what I said, but I remember his response), “Are you starting to understand Pokemon more now dad?”
No… no son, I’m not. And I never will, and I hate school for exposing you to it.