5 Things I Will Never Do as a Parent, as a Result of Being a Teacher

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There’s a TikTok trend making the rounds right now where professionals from all different occupations share what they would or wouldn’t do based on the experiences they have had in their careers. For instance, a dentist lists five unhealthy habits for oral care, an accountant lists five poor ways to manage money, or a veterinarian shares five ways to be a better pet parent. It’s a fun way to pass along useful information specific to each person’s background.

As a former kindergarten teacher, I decided to share a quick video of five things that I will never do now as a parent of school-aged kids. It isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s compiled from what I witnessed as a teacher, and think it could help other parents.

1. I Will Not Feed My Kids Too Much Sugar

When I was a teacher, it wasn’t unusual to watch a kid eat a donut for breakfast, have cookies for snack time, and then guzzle a bottle of juice with their lunch. While a treat here and there is harmless, there’s plenty of evidence that shows how excessive sugar can negatively impact our bodies. For kids, it makes it so much harder to self-regulate which means they’ll have trouble focusing and learning. I advise encouraging a healthy balance of foods, with plenty of water and fresh produce.

2. I Will Not Keep Them Out Late on School Nights

If kids don’t get enough rest, they won’t have the energy to get through the day. Most young children need 10-12 hours of sleep for their minds and bodies to function. I always make sure to schedule our evenings and extracurricular activities so that my kids will have a consistent, reasonable bedtime. This can make a big difference in their behavior and ability to absorb new information at school.

3. I Will Not Let Them Bring Unnecessary Belongings

One of the things I used to do as a teacher was empty my pockets at the end of each day. They were always filled with random toys, gadgets, jewelry, and knick-knacks that students had brought to school. Not only are these things distracting, but sometimes they’re meaningful or expensive and it could be a big issue if they were lost or broken. Check your little one’s pockets and backpack often, and talk to them about why we leave those special items at home.

4. I Will Not Do Everything for Them

One of my goals as a parent is to have self-sufficient children. I want them to have ownership over themselves and their choices and to do this. I’m showing them the difference between my responsibilities as a parent, their responsibilities as students, and their teacher’s responsibilities while they’re at school. I’ll always be available to help, but my kids are already starting to be accountable for their belongings, their schedules, and their behavior.

5. I Will Not Take Teachers for Granted

I understand how much work goes on behind the scenes and I know how much effort it takes to get an entire class of children from the beginning of the day to the end. I always want to make sure that my children’s teachers feel acknowledged and appreciated, so I send in extra supplies, write thank you notes, and make myself available to volunteer or chat about my kids’ progress. It’s important for them to know that parents have their backs. The more supported teachers are, the happier and more effective they’ll be. This ultimately benefits my children as well as all the other kids in the class.

Are you a teacher? What would you add to this list?

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Tasheena is a California native who moved to Columbia in 2018. She married her college sweetheart in 2013 and they’re raising two strong-minded daughters, ages seven and five. Tasheena has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor degree in Child and Family Science. After working as a kindergarten teacher, she transitioned to life as a stay-at-home mom when her second daughter was born. When she isn’t compulsively decluttering and obsessively meal planning, Tasheena enjoys yoga, reading, living room dance parties, and creating content about motherhood on her blog, TheCinnamonMom.com. She is passionate about helping moms spend meaningful time with family, raise empathetic children, and live more mindfully.

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