Opinions fly about your child’s high school years: “the best years of your life;” “launch-pad for college,” “testing ground for talents,” “the toughest years of your life.” While everyone’s high school experience remains unique, how many begin this all-important era with optimism, only to fall flat when faced with the day-to-day challenges. Who’s to blame?
Answer 1: It’s the structure that’s to blame. How many individual shapes fit the round pegs determined by state regulators, local school boards, administrators, and educators? As children develop at individual rates, as brain connections blossom at varied time periods, as talents and challenges appear widely—how can any one size fit all?
Answer 2: It’s the parents who are to blame. If parents only provided more ideal home lives for their children, if only parents were home more, if only parents could let go more easily, if only parents could provide more solid limits, if only parents could show more flexibility—attentive and inattentive parents face critics of all stripes.
Answer 3: It’s the society which is to blame. Look at the moral decay perpetuated by the mediate. Look at the immodest styles of dress fostered by fashion fiends. Look at the statistics on divorce, teen sexuality, pregnancy, STD’s, abortion, drug and alcohol use, socially-deviant behavior. Society has distorted children’s healthy development.
Answer 4: It’s the individual child who is to blame. Good kids come from bad homes; bad kids come from good homes. Successful parents can raise unsuccessful kids; successful kids can emerge from unsuccessful parents. Each individual, young or old, makes choices, for which they are uniquely responsible.
Answer 5: The answers to such questions rarely find a-la-carte answers; instead, the a-little-of-each potluck model proves more satisfying