Poor Maternal Character Will Create Future Victims in the Classroom

Aah! Motherhood at its “finest,” courtesy of the TV show, “Wife Swap.”
I just watched one of the most hideous people alive declare that she could “care less” about what her husband and children were doing as she partied with friends at a club after spending hours prepping for the outing. According to this lady, such a day was normal.
The self-proclaimed princess boasted about her plastic surgeries, spending $20,000 a year on the wardrobes of her two children; and shopping at malls “for a living. She also thought nothing of disrespecting her real husband—a willow of a chap who defended much of his wife’s lifestyle--publicly at show’s end.
During the hour, she also called her hosts “poor losers” who lived in a “dirty crap hole.” She called her host husband a “hairy, stinky, Sequatchie”; declared that she would “definitely” look down upon” her host family; and said her TV husband “was beneath” her. Ms. Personality told the host husband that when she saw his house, “I wanted to spit on you.” She declined, of course, because “I have too much class for that.”
And in her warped mind after being asked to stay in a hotel during the last part of her stay,” she proclaimed victory, crowing, “I always get my way, I always win.”
I will admit her host family, a Little House on the Prairie foursome from Virginia, was quite extreme. They lived without such modern amenities as electricity, computers and appliances. They even shared bath water, which at the very least seemed unhealthy. Their lifestyle put the S-P-A-R-T-A-and the N in Spartan living. But they were kind people devoted to environmental concerns. They seemed to possess the kind of reverence for man, family, animals and nature that corporate greed, self-indulgence and family breakdowns have made disappear in too many of us.
I can write another 500 words about this most despicable woman, but this is an essay about education. You see, I will go to school Monday and within that 7-hour day attempt to model and teach character education. The theme of such a lesson could include respect, kindness, cultural appreciation, acceptance, tolerance, love, self-esteem and self-discipline. Name calling, foul language, intolerance, entitlement and meanness are unacceptable, no matter how we feel about a person, a place, a lifestyle or an issue.
In the aforementioned “Little House on the Prairie” days, Golden Rule values were mostly taught at home. School was a place to model and reinforce character values. This was the case when I was in Grade 2 in 1965. Most teachers will tell you that this is no longer the case, which is unfair and unfortunate.
I believe most educators do a fine job in trying to instill sound character values in their students, but we’re fighting through too many levels of opposition. They include the prevalence of absentee fathers; substance abuse; anything-goes television shows, movies and songs; and “experts” who have brainwashed society into making ‘tough” parenting a crime. And don’t you know, children know that and though they can’t count to twenty, some do know the 10 numbers to call social services
Whether or not they saw tonight’s “Wife Swap” episode, there are too many children, teens and young adults displaying the behavior and beliefs shown by the offensive mother. Heck, remember, she is a mother of two young children. I hope her beliefs come back to bite her in her in her plastic rear when her kids get to middle school. It would be sweet watching her deal with the normal “tween” mixture of raging hormones, selfishness, self-entitlement, foul language and feeling that no rule is for them.
But there will be collateral damage: an educator who will be blamed for failing to create a masterpiece with minds forged by finger paint, or in this case, plastic.