New York City 1843 225x300 POSITIVE PARENTING   HAPPY JULY 4, 2011

We are again at that time when the school year has come to an end. It seems like yesterday when we as, positive parents, were getting all the school supplies and new clothes ready for our kids to begin a new time of learning. I feel pretty good that both my kids (one is going to the 12th grade, the other one is going to the second grade) had successful years. I know that I have seen a marked improvement in the way they both carry themselves. I am also proud in the way that they solve problems for their age group. I feel that school has as much to do with reading, writing and arithmetic, as it does with a student’s ability to become useful members of society. This job has to be the responsibility of both the teacher and the parent.
Here in NYC there is a movement to restructure the educational system. Some schools have closed only to see those buildings reopen with multiple schools inside. There is a drive to increase the number of charter schools. A charter school is a place where the class size is smaller and there is a specialized curriculum. There are as much as three charter schools inside some of these revamped school buildings.
The other movement involves having the teachers be more accountable to their students. Some want the totally dissolve the teachers’ union. This would have the teachers be only judged by a merit system that would not take their seniority into account. As a union member myself, I’m not in agreement with taking away hard, fought for work environment protections. I do feel that due to the ever changing work environment, both management and union must work closer together to protect the businesses that they represent.
Despite what goes on, we as positive parents have had to find more inventive ways to keep our kids motivated. On this July 4th, it has become very important to define for our kids what the American Dream is. There was a time when that dream included having a home, a car and a chicken in every pot. Since then, I believe that dream has redefined itself.
When I was a kid civil rights was important. There was no way for me to reach the American Dream if the playing field was uneven. Since this has been somewhat achieved the focus is now on the quality of our lives. Being happy is just as important as being successful. Where I work there are many people who are completely miserable with what they are doing. I on the other hand love what I do. I have made it my mission to cultivate the creativity that is within each of my kids. I feel that one’s level of happiness also has an effect on health and relationship issues.
Since I didn’t make it as a professional athlete, it’s not fair to push those dreams on my kids unless that is part of their dream. It is important for them to follow their own hearts and it is important for us as positive parents to encourage them. Life is too short to be miserable.
On this July 4th, I want everyone to know how proud I am to be an American. I feel that despite all the things that need to be corrected in this country, this is still the best place to be where the potential to have my dreams fulfilled can be realized.
I LOVE BEING A DAD!!

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