How long is a piece of string?
There are good and bad parents, there are good and bad shools, there are good and bad teachers, dare I say different types of children.
I have said on many occasions the word 'Grammar' does not mean good behaviour.
Children going up to 'big' school suddenly have a sense of freedom, the majority arriving to school by bus, or being dropped off outside the school gates [no more mums congregating on the playground, chatting in order to save the world] Major groups are formed, from different walks of life, no parental eyes watching them to tell them how to behave.
Good and bad teachers, of course there are bad teachers and yes some are in our grammars and independents and comprehensives. My worst kind of teacher, those who cannot control a class of 6 foot year 10 boys or a class of year10 girls, who have the look of young women but the minds of a teenager. Those teachers that threaten discipline but never carry it through, my goodness those teens will take well and truly advantage of the situation. Lets get the deputy in or a senior teacher and of course the teens are sweetness and light, they KNOW who they need to respect and those they just ignore. As adults we KNOW how to react to people depending on their personalities, so do our children.
Of course the majority of teachers are dedicated but there ARE a number who should not be in the profession [and yes they are in your grammars and independents. ] Not one school is perfect.
As parents we need to keep control, without our darlings knowing it, my dad used to call it Kidology. Get to know their friends, they will be from different backgrounds/wealth status/land area. Invite them round [dreaded sleepovers, I loved them really] Become a taxi, do not sit there like a lemon just because a teen is scared you might embarrass them. Talk to them, listen to them. I am very proud to say [yes I am boasting] I have a very good relationship with my teens and their friends, they all know me as the mad Tutor who plays Deep Purple and Il Divo, they all treat me respect, they even acknowledge me while out shopping and even queing for Reading Festival, [thats them attending not me]
You will more than likely not get to know the parents of your childrens friends as much as those from your junior schools. Get involved in the school [PTA, any social events, governors] get to know the school, parents and teachers, keep your ear to the ground.
So yes some of our children will get in with the wrong crowd, many will swear [not in front of you though] some will have non effective teachers, some will have parents that have not kept in touch with what is actually going on in their childrens lives. The answer to that ? How long was that piece of string?
As parents we must get involved [without them knowing or realising]