What We Teach Our Children-#SOL15


Warning: Tonight’s blog piece is a rant. Feel free to pass it by.


I am one of those people who has a hard time saying “no”. As a result, I’ve become the lead parent working with a teacher to take a group of 18 high school students to Guatemala this summer. Our goal as a team was to work together to fundraise to cover costs for the whole group. We’ve been working on this for months now.


This weekend I’ve become frustrated. Just like with so many things, 80% of the people seem to be doing the work 100% of the time. And the most frustrating part? Parents are not encouraging their kids to help with the fundraisers that are helping to pay for the trip and SAVING the parents money. This weekend we have an event. I spent over 4 hours there today. No adult is signed up for the second two hour shift tomorrow. I put a call out telling the parents I really did not want to be there all day again tomorrow and asking that someone else please step up. One parent did. A parent who has already helped with every event and offered resources and additional fundraising opportunities. There are other parent chaperones. Three of them have contributed almost nothing at this point.


With two months left to fundraise, we are seriously short of our goal. Now the lead teacher and I are left to try and figure out whether we back off the team goal and send everyone a bill while trying to figure out how to divide the money already raised fairly. Or do we tell those who have participated they can sit back because those who haven’t need to step up and be ¬†responsible the rest of the way?


What frustrates me the most is what these parents are teaching these kids about being part of a team and about working for something you want. One of the parents is an educator who told me they thought the whole team concept was ridiculous and that is should be every student for themself. After all, that’s why we don’t use cooperative learning in the classroom, because team stuff just doesn’t work. (yeah, don’t even get me started on what my response to this person was!)

In the end, all I can do is make sure my boys work with the team and teach them the importance of hard work to get something you want. Because the power of what we teach our children, carries on and is part of the legacy we leave them.


6 thoughts on “What We Teach Our Children-#SOL15

  1. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I find it so interesting that this is supposed to be a team event, but they aren’t acting as a team. To be honest, I say that those who have fundraised should get to keep that money and put it towards their portion of the trip.

    Anyways, I hope that it all works out!:)

  2. I am in my ninth and last year as the Student Council adviser; we do homecoming and prom. The students that I have now do not have the same work ethic as the students I had years ago. I’m guessing it’s a combination of all the helicopter parenting and the rewarding for just trying. I’d say bill them–it’s a student trip; if they don’t want to fundraise then there’s a logical consequence.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that an amazing educational experience isn’t the learning experience it could be for these kids. Remember the reason the trip is planned in the first place and move forward with that place in mind, no matter what everyone else might do…choosing to do the right thing is usually the hardest choice.

  4. Can’t even tell you how many times I have been in these situations with my sons’ football and basketball team. Everyone wants their kids to have nice gear and travel, but usually about 1/3 of the parents end up doing about 90% of the work. And then the parents who don’t help do all of the complaining! GRRR! I guess, as you suggest, all we can do is to be in charge of our attitudes and to teach our kids how to be team players!

  5. Fundraising complicates life in many ways. For example, you point out how a few do the lion’s share of the work, and ask what that teaches kids. When my kids were in school, fundraising was difficult because we have no extended family where we live, and that other kids did meant they had that advantage; my district prohibits door-to-door solicitations. As a teacher, I’m approached often by students who fundraise, and I support them; however, I can’t help but also ask: “What are we teaching our kids with the message that others will pay for their trips if we get them to buy products and services from us? Very rarely do I need what students sell, but the pressure to buy is there in the silence.

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