I have been reading a wonderful book by Dave Burgess(@burgessdave), “Teach Like a Pirate.” He talks about being daring and adventurous as a teacher. Going into “uncharted waters” and discovering what is there. Dave makes some great points about teaching. Teachers need to focus more about presentation, making learning fun and an adventure. Shouldn’t parenting be the same way?
Parenting is the single hardest job anyone can take on. Parents don’t get paid in cash, but children who grow up and become successful, caring, positive contributors to society are better payment than any sum of money. Parenting has changed greatly over the past few generations. Not too long ago most families had two parents, now many only have one or have a surrogate leading the household. It used to be expected that one parent would stay at home and raise the children while the other worked. Now many children are raising themselves as parents have to work to afford to live. When parents do have time for their children, it is often used as special time to please the children: going on trips, out to dinner or the movies. Too often it seems that parents want to appease their children’s wants and desires, instead of helping their children grow. Many parents feel that is the “job” of schools.
Sure, schools are a place for learning. Schools have trained professionals to teaching math, reading, science, social studies, writing and many more subjects. Our schools do a pretty go job at it to all things considered. But parents are the one constant in a child’s life. Parents are there to support the educational process, If parents don’t model the behaviors taught in school, do teachers have a chance? Maybe is the answer. IF parents do model behaviors taught in school, students will experience their best successes.
Parents need to be bold pirates, following the teacher pirates off into uncharted waters. Parents need to help nurture their children’s dreams and MAKE them happen. Read books, act out fantasies, sword fight with sticks in the backyard. To often US parents take the easy road, let the TV be a babysitter so we can accomplish “grownup” things. We might even order our children to “Grow-Up”.
Children sure, do want to grow up and quickly. They want to have a cell phone, stay out late, and drive a car. Children think being a grown up is SO cool. IS IT REALLY? Grown-ups have to work for a living. (Not always fun) We have to pay the bills, feed the family, clean the house, clothes etc. Shouldn’t parents encourage our children to BE CHILDREN. Not letting them worry about the adult worries.
Parents need to be Pirates, taking children on adventures in learning. Steering the ship on a path of learning. Taking our children to nature centers, zoos, cultural festivals and the library. Enjoy fantasy time in your backyard or in a fort built in the living room. Allow your children to make a mess, be creative, explore the world.
Being a pirate parent also means setting boundaries and holding children accountable. Set rules for grown-up choices. Monitor TV viewing choices, limit screen time and cell usage. Don’t let your child become an adult because the neighbors are letting their children lose the joy and pleasures of childhood. This might be hard at times, but a pirate life is never easy.
Have the courage to be a Pirate Parent, it will pay off in endless treasures of discovery with your children.