Opinion: Children Are Getting Worse
A Small Rant From an EX-child Care Worker
Walking down the dusty halls of my old job, I always heard the same conversation. "Children have gotten worse." Walking down the dusty halls of my (once) new job, I hear the same thing. I didn't believe it at first, believing children to always have been bad, but now I fully agree. Children, in my opinion, have gotten worse. And they keep getting worse. Every educator has their own reasoning behind it. Ask the veterans and they think it's violence on TV and in video games. Ask the newer teachers and they think it's due to parents. As someone that has grown up watching violence every day, I agree with the parental theory.
When you work with kids, you work as a team. When a child acts up, it's customary for the team to talk about said child after the day is over. 9/10 it's the team discussing how bad the parent is and what our parents would have done if we had gotten in trouble. If a child acts up, you don't get upset about the act. You get upset that he did it because now it's your fault. So few parents will take your side and it's infuriating. How are we supposed to properly do our job when no child takes us seriously? Parents shrug and say it's not their problem—but it is. If they don't respect the face they see more then their parents, who will they respect? So many people are leaving the child care industry that I believe it will soon be an expensive wasteland. Think childcare is expensive now? Think of how it will be when we need protective training for every single child because a parent doesn't want to discipline their child correctly. Once upon a time, the "b-word" was off the table. Now it's the name for the female employees.
If you ask the childcare veterans, they'll tell you about the days when the parent wasn't allowed to come back after throwing a fit or hurting a worker. My opinion isn't solely based off of their stories, though. I work very closely with kindergarten families and I truly see them behaving worse each year. It's normal for kindergartners to not understand the full concept of hurting others. My problem is when a kindergartner tries to "curb stomp a b----" for telling on him. I was stunned. What kept me from sleeping that night was the parents saying I shouldn't have allowed him to watch TV—knowing full well TVs and electronic devices are not allowed in our program! This last year I had a girl that didn't know well how to communicate, but she'd hit others then threaten to have me fired when I stopped her. Both things she had learned from her parents—and her parents were proud.
I get that there are places worse off and better off. But I've been in the childcare industry for a long time and I've worked at many schools/sites. My first job wasn't a cake walk but I was only harassed once by a parent. After that, it only went downhill. I quit my job a few days ago because I was punched in the stomach after asking a student to stop playing basketball. It was nothing to everybody. I have severe stomach issues and it only made them worse. The student came back the next day due to the parent thinking we were being too hard. I'm done and over it all. I am a very caring person, and most of my money goes to taking care of the children I work with. I can spend $100 on school supplies and a parent would get upset they weren't cute enough. So I'm done for now. I was going to school to be a family social worker, but I think I will have to change.