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January 18, 2019

posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:53 AM by Christine Roman
Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you but this has been a long week. Are you ready for the upcoming snowstorm? I can’t believe they are talking a possible foot and a half to two feet. Yikes!

In my professional reading this week I came across this statement: “Everyone should have a banner of innocence over them in their childhood.” This was said by Tashira Halyard, a senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy led by the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare. Her statement got me thinking about all the images, social pressures, and technology information our students see on a daily basis. I pondered if these external influences are the reason for the increase in children's anxiety. I believe children should be free from:

 Knowing the specific financial situations of a family
o Growing up in my family of 6 on my dad’s teaching salary, we were not wealthy. We were in the lower middle-class category. As a kid, we never knew the specifics of my parents paying the dentist and eye doctor each month, so we could get our annual check-ups. We didn’t know that my mom had a shoe account at Alec’s which they contributed to with each paycheck so we would get our back to school sneakers. I remember seeing my mom sitting at the kitchen table planning our weeks’ worth of meals with the Demoulas circulars. I didn’t realize that we had hot dogs and beans every Saturday night and “breakfast for dinner” because those were cheaper meals. I knew I didn’t get the “cool” clothes or sneakers but I had what I needed. We didn’t go out to fancy restaurants or stop at McDonald’s like my friends, but having dinnertime with my family is one of my most treasured memories of growing up. As children we never worried about money or bills. At times we would ask our parents why we were not able to go out or get things. They would answer in general statements such as, “It was too expensive”, “We have food at home” and “If you really want it, there were extra jobs around the house that you could do.”
 Watching the news
o Have you noticed what our different newscasts cover for stories now? There are a lot about political nastiness, disastrous storms that are thousands of miles away, robbery, murder and violence at schools, shopping malls and places of work.
o Should our children ages 5-12 really need to know about these events? Could parents watch the 11:00 news before bed or use a feature on their phone to get the latest news?

I understand that we can’t shelter our children from the realities of the world. I understand that people and families will have a different viewpoint than mine. But I thought I would start the conversation. Mary Cholmondeley wrote, “A happy childhood is one of the best gifts that parents have in their power to bestow.”

Have a great long weekend and GO PATS!
-Ann
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