Where have the responsible adults gone?

Posted Thursday, December 15th, 2011. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

My bestfriend was over yesterday before she left for her winter vacation. We were talking and she said she received a call to attend an open-forum discussion that was happening the next night to discuss “specialty” schools with specific focuses like arts and sports. Her friend had called her because she was considering the sports school, Bill Crothers Secondary School, for her son plays high level tennis and she wants a school that will accommodate his schedule. She is not here but he told her what was going on.

These schools I am talking about are publicly funded and part of the York Region schools. Baythorn Junior school (up to grade 8) which has an arts program-based school physically runs out of Baythorn Junior school, the regular public school. If you live in the area you attend the regular public school and for the arts program-based school you have to audition. Not everyone gets in. This is true for the sports school, Bill Crothers Secondary School. There are two streams, the regular high school program and the sports program.

It appears that some adults have come together because they are upset their children did not get into these programs and they do not feel it is fair. They also feel that the school is exclusive and does not include the other kids from the regular program. Let’s say this is not entirely the whole case for these parents of the kids that did not get in to their desired schools. There may be more to this. What concerns me is that they want to close down these “specialty” schools. I am astonished. I feel for the parent whose child did not get into a program however what are we teaching our children by shutting down the school where other kids benefit, learn and grow. Perhaps there needs to be a review of the entrance process or some changes to the system. Why close down the whole school?

Part of the problem for me, is that we have forgotten the benefit of failure – it’s almost taboo in our society. We don’t want to let our children fall, fail or get hurt. Why???? Failure is the only option to learning and growing. Why does failure have to be a bad thing. If you want something bad enough and perhaps you do not have what it takes to get into an exclusive program, is it not better to support our children by guiding them and teaching them how to look at their failure, what worked and what didn’t, and to make changes that will alter the outcome. Then encourage them to TRY AGAIN.

I know a man who wrote his LSAT 8 times because he desperately wanted to be a lawyer. His parents didn’t try and close all of the law schools across the country. Instead they encouraged him to go back and do his best until he got what he wanted.

After my friend relayed this information I turned to her and said, the irony is that it is these same baby boomer parents that complain that the young kids today are so entitled, lazy and don’t want to work hard for anything and expect everything. HUM, are these adults not part of the problem if not the whole problem?!

My son has failed to make certain teams that he wanted to play on and I hugged him and said next year if you want to try again we can make some changes in what you are doing and you can go for it again. Like a baby learning to walk, I will be the parent who stands beside him and when he falls I will help him up and encourage him to take those next few steps. If he decides to quit trying that will be his choice however I will remind him that not everything we want comes to us first try or in the way we desire. We need to stay open to the possibilities.

My son wants to go on scholarship for football to LSU, in the US. I don’t want to tell him that there are very few if at all, scholarships for Canadians to play football in the US. What I did tell him is that I will help him create a vision board and so he can lay his dream down on paper for him to see. I will also ask him to stay open to possibilities.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. We all love our children and want the best for them. Rather than trying to fix everything let your child explore, learn, fall, fail and grow. There is nothing wrong with supporting them along the way.

Enjoy your weekend.

All my love,


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