Parenting Guide: Taking Responsibility for Your Child’s Education

By Greg Baer M.D.

January 29, 2024

In the state of Missouri, a significant decline in school attendance rates has been observed, resulting in a worrying drop in math and reading scores.

On June 15, 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court made a groundbreaking ruling that parents could potentially face jail time if their children missed a substantial amount of school.

This decision has sparked a critical conversation about accountability and responsibility.

In this article, we'll explore this issue and shed light on the importance of parental involvement, all while staying true to the principles of Real Love®.

Who is Responsible for Your Child's Education?

It's not uncommon in today's society to witness a blame game when it comes to problems in education. Often, we point fingers at schools, teachers, society, the government, and a myriad of other factors instead of taking a closer look at our own responsibilities as parents.

The victim mentality has taken hold, and it's negatively impacting our children. Real Love® encourages us to shift our perspective and take ownership of our role as parents.

One striking aspect of the current situation is that parents are being metaphorically "fired" from their roles. While it's understandable that politicians and teachers may face scrutiny, parents are also being held accountable.

Schools have taken it upon themselves to teach subjects such as gender, social skills, gender identification, and sexual orientation to our children without obtaining parental consent. This has led to parents feeling marginalized and disconnected from their children's education.

Furthermore, the introduction of social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, which focus on developing self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills, has become widespread in schools. Approximately 76% of principals have implemented SEL programs without seeking parental input. This raises concerns about the influence these programs have on our children's values and beliefs.

The influence of the outside world can EASILY infiltrate our homes through the internet, posing a menacing threat. We need to be aware of this hidden conduit and take action to protect our children from the insidious distractions that the digital age brings. It's not about instilling fear but about being consciously aware.

The Missouri Supreme Court case that brought this issue to the forefront focused on two mothers who were sentenced to jail after their elementary school-aged children missed more days of school than allowed. These parents were well aware of the school's attendance rules, yet their children continued to miss classes. Education experts suggest that when children miss more than 18 days in a 180-day school year, it disrupts learning for both the absent students and their peers.

Absenteeism—Parent's Taking Responsibility for their Child's Education

We often hear that teachers are responsible for engaging students in learning. However, it is ultimately the parents' role to instill a love for learning in their children. When children are raised in a loving and nurturing environment, they are more likely to be eager and excited about attending school. Parents should take the lead in creating a supportive atmosphere at home.

It's essential to examine the root causes of absenteeism rather than placing blame solely on schools, parents or students. Some experts argue that bullying and academic disengagement may contribute to students missing school.

However, Real Love® challenges us to dig deeper and consider that the real problem lies in how we LoveandTeach and guide our children.

It's not just about transportation or external factors; it's about instilling responsibility and a love for learning in our children. When children are emotionally secure and loved unconditionally, they are more motivated to attend school regularly.

Children who feel loved and supported by their parents are less likely to miss school. Period. Parenting is about nurturing within children a profound sense of responsibility for their decisions, both emotional and physical.

When our children bask in emotional security and in unconditional love, something wonderful happens. They naturally develop a sense of fearlessness and an insatiable curiosity for the world and how they want to fit into it.

It's about guiding them on a journey to discover their happiest selves, recognizing that attending school is a crucial step on that path.

While some argue that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to address truancy, we propose a different perspective. The solution lies in what Real Love® terms "LoveandTeach." It is the act of loving our children unconditionally while also teaching them responsibility and values. Fear may motivate short-term change, but only love can drive long-lasting transformation.

The issue of school attendance in Missouri serves as a reminder of the importance of parental involvement and accountability. Real Love® encourages us to shift our perspective from blame to responsibility and to embrace the concept of LovingandTeaching. By loving our children unconditionally and teaching them responsibility, we can empower them to thrive in school and in life.

It's time to take action and be the guiding force in our children's education.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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