kids want parents

Kids Don’t Want Their Teachers, They Want Their Parents

(Inside: Kids want their parents. As a high school teacher, I see this every single day in the classroom. Parents mean the world to their kids.)

I stand in the front of my classroom, a sea of teenage faces looking back at me, and I know that I can’t impact my students the way their home life can.

My high schoolers might like me. Love me, even.

They might find my class useful. Thrive in it, even.

But I’m not who they want.

They want their parents, their grandparents, their families.

No matter how apathetic teens come across, I’ve seen a million times and then some more that they deeply value and are greatly impacted by the messages of their home life.

They don’t care if their family is perfect, they just want people to help them navigate messy life.

Let me explain as I paint with a broad stroke here…

I can say school is important, but if their parents guide them in routines, monitor missing work, and help kids see how their education will make-them-their-millions, that sticks.

I can say they are valued and worthy just because they were born, but if their parents love them, pay attention to them, and teach they were intentionally made by a loving God, they are able to walk around free of labels and overcome rejections because they’ve experienced feeling worthy.

I can say struggling in life is normal and that doesn’t mean they’re doing anything wrong, but when moms and dads lead at home how to overcome the dips of life, they build resilience.

I can say they have the power to lead their own lives, but if their parents model creating a vision for what a healthy, fulfilling life looks like and take the daily steps to meet their goals, they follow.

I can say that their actions matter, and they get to daily choose to make a positive impact, but if parents draw firm boundary lines and hold the line, showing again and again that they believe that their kids are people of integrity and highly capable, they rise.

I can say that my kids are amazing, but if parents choose to invest in their kids and really get to know them, they believe that they are wonderful.

I can say you need your squad, but as parents show them how to be a family, love with their whole heart, walk through excruciatingly hard stuff together, learn to communicate, apologize, forgive, and all the family things, they feel supported.

All of this unfolding with highs and lows and it all clicking, then not, then clicking again of normal life.

I love teaching so much. I want my students to find answers and support in my classroom. I know good teachers make a difference.

But in my classroom, I’ve seen it again and again…

I’m not who my students want.

My voice might do some good, but it will never compare.

Because kids don’t want their teachers.

They want their families. Like lungs long for air.

And that just seems like the way it should be.

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kids want parents