This teacher is tired. Emotionally drained. I have seen a big change in the inner workings of children since the beginning of my teaching career in the Intermediate Phase (Grades 4-6) just 13 years ago.
Children are living in a world where instant gratification is key in their hierarchy of needs. We are existing in an age where your popularity is judged by the amount of likes you receive on Instagram and how many followers you have on Snapchat.
This has leaked its way into the classroom and I am finding that more and more children want to work FOR something rather than the pride of completing a task to the best of their ability for THEMSELVES. Often I hear the words: “What do we get?” The shocked looks when I reply “nothing” speaks volumes.
We have created this generation of children. As parents, we have been exposed to a myriad of books telling us contradictory parenting methods and disciplinary techniques. Added to this, we too are constantly judged on social media platforms and feel pressured by what others post.
We regularly question our parenting due to the immense pressure from the world around us, readily available at our finger tips due to the invention of the Internet. We compare ourselves with others via their posts on social media. And this is impacting our children.
Of course this is a generalization. I have taught many respectful and diligent students who have a genuine enthusiasm for learning. But what is becoming more evident is the number of children WANTING something in return for giving.
How do we fix this?
Ahhh, but this is the simplest answer of all. LOVE. Love your children. Love them enough to make them feel confident within themselves. Shower them with praise when they excel at something (and not just do the bare minimum), encourage a sense of pride in all challenges they tackle whether it be putting on their school uniform, finishing their homework or washing the dishes. Love them enough to discipline them when needed and be consistent in this. Show them how to love by respecting others.