Friday, May 22, 2009

Observations of a Registrar

As you may or may not know, I am a Registrar at a Secondary (grades 7-12) School. Because of my job, I spend 10 hours a day, 5 days a week with teenagers ranging from 12 to 19 years old.

As you may or may not (also) know, I am the Activity's Day leader in my ward. This means that I spend 2 hours a month with 8-11 year old girls.

Sometimes when I come home from work I am discouraged. I feel like there is no hope for kids these days. Like they are all out there hardly wearing any clothes, piercing everything, using words I had never heard of till I started working here, making out in front of people and doing heaven only knows what else behind closed doors, making crude remarks, disrespecting teachers, their parents and their peers, getting in fights, shoplifting, doing drugs and drinking and just making bad choices.................

That is not to say that all of the kids here are like that, but a lot of them are involved in one or all of these things and that is cause for concern.

I am concerned because I don't want my future children to get wrapped up in all of the craziness of adolescents, but I am not entirely sure how to prevent it. It sometimes seems like a hopeless cause.

But then I go to Activity's Day or a church function and I feel so much better! I mean, here I have 12 year olds who still act like 12 year olds! They are still innocent and naive and happy and seemingly untouched by the world. There are 15 year olds who don't go to prom because they aren't going to date until they are 16 and there are 16 year olds who don't go on single dates because they aren't 18.

These kids get good grades, they wear stylish, modest clothes. They have friends, they have morals, they don't get in trouble. They smile and laugh and have fun hanging out. These are good, happy kids.

This group includes my sister and brother and Jon's younger siblings - heck all of us kids - we were all good, modest and extremely happy children.

So what is the difference between the delinquents at my school and these "normal" kids? I think I have it figured out and the answer may already be extremely obvious to you - it's the family.

Now, your "typical Mormon family" has regular family home evening, scripture study, they pray together, uplift each other, they get to know each other's friends and they encourage each other in worthy activities.

It's not just Mormon families who participate in this kind of behavior - we just have names for things like "family home evening" so it is easier to explain.....

Basically good families are involved in each other's lives, even borderline nosey, and that naturally creates normal, well-balanced adolescents.

I am not a mom, I'm not an expert, I am just a Registrar and an Activity's day leader, and this is just an observation.........


Shellee said...

It's a veyr good observation. I think the key difference between "those" kids and "the good ones" isn't that we are LDS. It's that there are so many parents that think that giving birth to "those" kids are all that they have to do. They think that it's important to work so much to provide the kid's wants, rather than their needs. Some don't even work, they mooch off the gov't and so some of "those" kids are lacking good examples and discipline. I have explained to my kids that our home is different from some of their friends and so I would prefer to have their friends come to our house to play under a watchful mother's eye rather than going to someone's home where there no supervision.
Granted, we don't have FHE all the time, and scripture study is something that's just not in our habits (we are working on it)... but my children know that it's not okay to use improper language, be immodest, be rude and disrespectful, and be immoral.

Plain and simple, parents need to be parents. The world can tell what's happening in your home by looking at your child.

Corinne said...

You are so cute. I often worry about the world my boys will grow up in, especially during those (as I call them) weird years when they're trying to figure out who they are. I really worry about it a lot. I love that you put this all so simpley. It makes me feel like I can give my kids a chance in this world by doing the small stuff. Thanks so much for your observation. You rock!

Jim and Brooke said...

I think this is what us parents rely on. FAITH that what we work so hard to do in bringing our family together, and persistance in teaching our children strong values when they are young enough to listen, so that when they are old they will do the right things and still be happy and true to themselves! Keep the faith malorie!

Rob and Kimmie said...

I majored in Family Studies at ASU, and they had 100 different hypothesis on what made succesful adolescents, and they were always missing it by a long shot! No theory on parenting can replace, love, faith and being active in the Gospel and your children's lives! You may not be a mom yet, but when you are, you will be a really GREAT one! I know it!