My folks are both teachers - Mom teaches home-ec and Dad taught biology. I can't tell you the # of horror stories they can tell about crap headed kids that are horrible students who's parents expect the teachers to bend over backwards for.
In an attempt to keep this post short, I'll cut to the chase. Here's a letter from me to all parents everywhere.
First, I'd like to let you know how important your role as a parent is. Family (parenting) is the glue that holds our society together. The job you do raising your children will define our county in the future. Please do not take this responsibility lightly. I know you're thinking, "I do a great job raising my kids." Maybe you do, but let's not kid ourselves. There is always room for improvement.
Secondly, stop baby-ing your kids. Both you and your children need to start taking responsibly for your child's mistakes, shortcomings, attitude problems, bad grades, apathy, selfishness, carelessness, and inconsiderateness. I say both, because if your kid is a turd, 999,999 times out of a million it's your fault.
If your son is failing biology because he didn't do the homework, didn't study, and didn't come to class then he DOES NOT deserve another chance to make the grade up. Or, if your daughter got kicked off the volleyball team because she got caught drinking alcohol, the coach IS NOT being too hard on her (I don't give a rip if she's the greatest volleyball player in the world). She made that choice.
When (not if) your kid does something stupid - if you fight for your child to get a second chance or you don't force them to lie in the bed they made. You are teaching your child there are no consequences, and no matter what you do someone will bail them out. This formula breeds criminals, freeloaders, and narcissist who believe the world revolves around them.
Which brings me to my third point - the world does not revolve around you or your kid. In fact, in the real world (after he/she graduates from high school) unless you do a good job teaching your child perspective - this world is going to swallow him/her up and spit them out unhappy, cold, and alone.
There is meaning in life, and unless you teach your child to search for that meaning, you are betraying that which is most dear to you.
I believe in this generation of teenagers. Now more than ever they have the world at their fingertips. Teach them to cherish that world, and all the opportunities it will afford them. Contrary to popular belief, we don't deserve this life we've been given. Teach your kids to earn their happiness.
In conclusion, on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being a terrible citizen and 10 being a wonderful contribution to society) we all automatically start at 1. Most people think we all start out at 10. NOPE. It is your job as a parent to help your child climb from a 1 to a 10. You can do it. Now go do it.
PS. I know for a fact that there are wonderful parents all over this country, because I've met some wonderful kids. Lucky for us, they are out there.
PSS. If you are among the great many people who probably think this letter is bull-crap. Please stop reproducing. You're making it harder for the rest of us.
Teachers are diamonds in the rough of our society. We should start treating them as such.