I was going to title this blog “There should be a fine” until I realized that there already is one.  A fine for what,  you might ask?  Well I’ll tell you.  The fine I speak of is one parents levy on themselves and their children by not strictly enforcing good study habits in the home.  You might also ask: What fine, I never heard of any such fine?  I’ll tell you what the fine is.  The fine is having your children reach adulthood lacking the knowledge and skills that would make them competitive, productive members of society — beyond possibly being able to land a position as a table-wiper at McDonald’s or remote control operator — on your couch.  If  these educationally challenged offspring continue to live at home until they approach middle-age and beyond, this self imposed fine is likely to continue and it even more likely will expand over time.

I am sick to death of hearing the blame for the poor academic performance being placed on the teachers of this country.  The function of teachers is to present information to our children.  Of course, teachers often motivate students , but  it would not be possible for teachers to  meet the task of providing motivation to all of their students  — even if they worked 24/7.   It is the parents who not only should, but who are the only ones that really have the legal authority to take on the task.  It’s YOUR job parents.  If you just enforce the simple rule that your kids do not get to:

  • play video games
  • social network
  • text
  • use their cell phones as actual phones or for any other reason
  • watch TV
  • be involved in any other extra-curricular activities including sports
  • use the computer only as required by homework

until they demonstrate good grades  and even after they do, all of the above listed items and activities should be considered to be privileges, not rights.

Trust Me, their grades will start to improve right away.  Will this process be easy?  When you suddenly decide to take all the electronic crap away from your child until better grades are demonstrated will the child say “thanks dad that was a great idea”?  Unlikely.    They will much more likely complain like heck and maybe even act up a little or a a lot, but in the end they will appreciate the structure it is YOUR OBLIGATION AS A PARENT to provide.  Just try to remember — you are the adults.

It all boils down to this:  Getting good grades in school depends mostly on one thing — hard work.  The brain is like a muscle.  It needs hard work to grow.  Watching of TV, texterbating, twittering, social nitwitting all are basically well — no brainers .  Brain scans of children reading or solving problems show much activity in many parts of the brain.  Brain scans of people who are watching TV show very little activity,  in fact about the same amount as when subjects were measured while staring at a blank wall.  I don’t know about twittering or text messaging, but I suspect that things are rather quiet in the old noggin during these activities.

Not having to use their brains to think is turning our youth into morons.  Each year alarming numbers of kids are graduating from high school and starting college unable to write a simple sentence, let alone a paragraph.  Come on parents do your job!

However,  if you don’t live up to your  responsibilities  as parents voluntarily, perhaps the law should step in.  Perhaps you deserve actual fines — say $50.00 for each F on your kid’s report card? $25.00 for D’s?  My bet is the grades would improve real fast after a few of those letters in the mail.  In the same way lives were saved when we were forced to wear seat belts, could such laws offset the incredible trend to make our kids stupid?  And the money derived from the fines could be used to boost our incredibly strapped education system that nobody wants to pay for.

  1. […] religions that dominate the world today — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.    In” There is a fine“,  I talk about why parents — not teachers — are the ones who are really the […]

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