Learning The Hard Way

Debra J. Kennedy, Superintendent QPA                                     


When most of us hear the word discipline, we think of being punished, but guess what; the word discipline has its roots in a word that means "to learn". And it's true that some of us learn only when we have to pay a consequence for a bad choice. That is called "learning the hard way".

The attitude of the parent is also crucial to student behavior and achievement.  If a parent has a positive attitude toward the school, and towards learning in general, the child will tend to have the same positive outlook.  If any parent has concerns about the school or a specific staff member, it is recommended that the parent be very careful how those concerns are voiced in the child's presence.  If a child picks up a negative attitude and adopts that attitude as his or her own, it can have consequences for all those involved.  Negative attitudes or apathetic attitudes are at the root of a large portion of discipline problems at home and school.

Research also tells of the importance of parents giving education a high priority.  It is easy for children to become involved in too many outside activities that detract from the educational mission of the school.  Even positive experiences such as those provided by sports, scouting, or music lessons can sometimes harm academics if the child's time is spread too thin.  It is up to the parent to be consistent and firm when establishing education as a priority, and to guard against a child having so many irons in the fire that it harms academic performance.

I want to challenge your family to talk to your children about choices.  We can help our children be self-disciplined by talking about good and bad choices in life.  Children can learn by simply listening to the good advice of those who care about them and want them to be their best.  


Together we can build a better tomorrow by helping your children be balanced citizens that others want to have around.