A Catholic school in Arkansas recently posted a sign, both on its front door and Facebook page, and it has parents waging war on each other.
The sign at Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas reads: “If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”
“The policy is one of the many policies that we have, hoping to help build self-reliance and self-advocacy in our kids,” principal Steve Straessle tells the Washington Post.
It’s one policy that many parents can agree with – just like this commenter on The Stir’s post about this sign. “It’s called teaching kids to be self responsible and their own person and not have mommy wiping their nose. Grow up kids cause the real world is coming,” commenter Terry Boswell says.
People sticking by the school believe that teens are too entitled and have to learn the hard way sometimes.
Other parents, however, think this rule is too harsh.
“Yeah, because allowing your kid to go without a lunch because of a simple slip of the mind amongst the chaos of trying to get to school by 7 in the morning is great parenting. Bravo,” says commenter Hannah Santina Mitchell.
“Kids won’t learn on an empty stomach. If a parent is willing to bring their child materials or food and pay you a hefty chunk of tuition change, stop talking,” comments Kennedy Lee Jenkins on the Facebook photo.
Parents have been going back and forth on “helicopter parenting” for a while now, and this falls on the line. I do agree that if a child consistently forgets something, and it becomes a problem, then that matter can be addressed, but every situation is different.
Sometimes kids forget things they really need, especially at high school age because there is a lot of stress in their lives. They might forget food, medication or other equally important things.
I think it should be up to the parent to decide if they will bring their child whatever they forgot. After all, the child is their responsibility.
There is no harm in calling to ask for help sometimes, especially if you can’t fix the problem by yourself, teens have to learn that lesson too.
Some alumni from the school were quick to jump to the school’s defense, saying that back when they were in school, they were called down to the office over the speakers because “mommy brought someone lunch” as a lesson. If they couldn’t remember their lunch, classmates would mock them – and if there was a note, it was read to the whole school.
Compared to that policy, I like the newer one better.
But it should still not be thought of as bad, shameful or wrong to call for help. Sometimes that is how we problem solve, even into adulthood.