Last night I found myself having a very familiar discussion ..."School is responsible for our kids, because they spend more time at school than with us."
So what's the truth about time spent in school?
In the UK children are supposed to attend 190 school days per year. I can hear some people now saying "ah that proves it, because that only leaves 175 days for parents".......No. Slow down.
If I concede that during school a parent has no control, then you must concede that once out of school the tone of the environment surrounding the child is up to the parent. We agreed so far? Good.
You see of those 190 days only 7 hours per day is spent in school and another 2 travelling to and from. So each day we parents remain responsible for at least 15 hours. Lets say 8 of those hours is spent dead asleep, then each school day you are responsible for (LOL) 7 hours.
So you own 7 hours times 190 equals 1330 hours where you are solely responsible for your childs environment. But we've left some thing out. Let's not forget the 175 days when your child is not in-school. Again lets give them 8 hours sleep. That leaves a staggering 16 hours per day during holidays and weekends where you, yes you, are responsible for the environment directly around them.
So lets sum this all up.
In school 1330 hours per year - Schools in charge
In an environment which you are responsible for? 1330 plus 16 times 175. 4130. - Your in-charge
Yes folks, you and I have over three times as much time as schools.
Sure you have to work....but are you saying while you work you are not responsible for your children? Your children are not something you can afford to ignore just because you are at work, down the gym, at your mates or watching TV. YOU are responsible for creating a nurturing environment for them at all times. Yes that's difficult and even more so if you are doing it alone, BUT it is totally doable. How do I know this, just look all around you, Blaming of schools is the last resort of desperate parents when the proverbial has hit the fan. Few parents look inward at how they handled business, after all schools are such a big target
I always knew we held the key, but to be honest even I was a little surprised just how much of the time it's all down to us.
One last thing. You can only reap what you sow. As parents we need to be a little more careful what we sow in those early years 0-5. It's those years combined with school and the environment we surround our children with that really shapes them.
PS No I have not forgotten about the media. When I said we are responsible for their environment out of school, that included the media they are exposed to and how they understand its messages.
Written by Paul Lawrence. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org