Paid to Parent

I find it utterly ridiculous that a parent would be offered, and subsequently accept, payment to properly parent his or her child. Being a part of your child’s education is not arbitrary and is certainly not something you should expect or accept compensation for.

While I realize many families struggle with single parenting, too little time from too many jobs, or too little money from no job at all, it is simply no excuse to be absent from your child’s education. We are the adults and enough is enough. Enough of this coddling grown people and offering incentives to do what we are supposed to be doing as parents.

What are the most common reasons given by an invisible parent? I’ve heard lack of transportation, employment hours, or they don’t understand the homework and therefore opt to go into ignore mode (hoping the child will miraculously successfully complete third grade without their assistance).

As a PTA president, I see firsthand the result of the lack of parental involvement. In past years I’ve offered gifts to parents if they would join a committee — vases and candles and such. I’ve offered to pay their PTA dues if they would only join. Every parent cannot do every thing and I realize and fully understand that. However, if upon the offer of money you magically find yourself able to make it to the school, the ability to do so was always within you.

I am by no means suggesting that parents that accept money as an incentive to be more active in their child’s education are lazy or uncaring. Quite the contrary. I believe most parents, if able, would be more involved. However, what message is it sending to the children if you were unable to attend the field trips up until now, but now that you’re being paid to spend time with them you’re available? I don’t know about you, but my children are kinda sharp in the put-stuff-together department.

Why not offer instead courses on resume building or interviewing, or being a tolerant, patient parent, because aren’t these the things most parents purport to have limited access to? What about computer skills or even cooking classes? What about relearning fractions in order to better help your child in math? Pay you? I don’t think so. Every other alternative is available to you to be a part of your child’s education. I’ll be damned if you’re going to get paid to parent — at least not at my kids’ school if I have anything to say about it.

I have a full time job. I go to school part time. I am tired. I am frustrated. I don’t make enough money. But I am at the school. I make it a point to be there. I put on the “I got it” mask and keep it moving. Oh, when I get home I’m damn near passed out, but you won’t know it at that school or in front of them (not all the time, at least; I think it’s important they know mommies get tired too). But really…I can’t say it any nicer — parent up.

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