Hey Rosie!
October 16, 2009
My son is truly frustrated

Hello Rosie,

How are you? Can you please help me with this concern? I try hard to keep setting a good example for my young son. I always say to him that we must live what we preach or teach. However, he is really bothered by his teacher’s double standard. The teacher teaches that cigarette and marijuana smoking is wrong; such practices are dangerous to health; also, that indecent language is not tolerated at school or on the street.{{more}} He even punishes children for using indecent language (flogging). Yet, that teacher is seen by my child and others smoking cigarettes and marijuana. They also see and hear him using indecent language in his village, and in Kingstown as well. My son is truly frustrated and I don’t know exactly what’s best to tell him. I don’t want to make excuses for the teacher for I know that won’t be right. What best can I say to my son in this situation?

Frustrated Father, Simeon

Dear Frustrated Father,

Let me first commend you on a job well done. You are a great example of a father who is in the trenches trying to raise your child, not just financially, but by example as well. You have my full respect. You are a role model for many to follow.

That leads me into the meat of your question; the double standard by which your son’s teacher lives his life. I remember the very high standards our teachers had in and out of school. We always knew that a second pair of eyes was on us. So we had to fly right! In this case, it would appear that this teacher is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Do what I say, not what I do. Pretty sad, especially for a teacher.

Now my answer to you is simple. You are your son’s example. He already knows right from wrong, because of you and I will also hedge, his mother as well. Even though these are mixed signals that are being sent to him by his teacher, he is smart enough to know it is all wrong. In a perfect world, this would not happen, but this is another example of our society leaving its core values behind.

But all is not lost, with more parents like you, we can continue to set a high example for our children to follow. I am continuing to encourage you all to have a “real talk” with your children. Leave the door open, so they may come and ask you those troubling questions that they experience daily. Also, please remember not to be too high and mighty in your responses, just have honest and down to earth answers for them. These are the most invaluable life lessons that your children will take with them.

All the best and to all the other parents in the struggle to keep our children on the straight and narrow, continue to keep those lines of communication open; that is the only way to succeed with our children.



Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or P.O Box 152, Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.