2015_Day 20: Is too much information a bad thing?

The Internet has meant a lot of access for parents to information about their children's day-to-day classroom activities. But is this a good thing?

The Internet has meant a lot of access for parents to information about their children’s day-to-day classroom activities. But is this a good thing?

I think it’s great how much information parents have access to via a computer or smartphone these days. Gone are the days when you have to rely on your kid to tell you he or she is getting/got a bad grade on an assignment or exam. Or be surprised at parent-teacher conferences with the news.

These days, all you have to do is create and sign into an account with the school district on its website. And, voila, at your fingertips, you have access to your student’s grades, their unexcused absences or tardies, meal account balance, etc.

You can even set up alerts so the school notifies you if your student has missing assignments or his/her performance on assignments is below a level you deem unacceptable.

I do this for my daughter, although I have to admit, lately I’ve been wondering if it’s worth the stress it can create between me and said daughter. Or more often, just stress on myself because I usually get the email when daughter isn’t around, so I stew until I can ask her about it. How would she be doing, I fume, if I didn’t get the emails and therefore can alert her to a missing assignment or tell her she’s going to have to study harder to make up for a bad grade? Doesn’t she know how important it is to do well in school?

The answer, of course, is that she would continue to get mostly A’s, because she is well aware of school’s importance.

I gave myself a reality check the other night after receiving another email about missing assignments. As usual, daughter wasn’t home and I sat there for a few moments, thinking what I would say to her when she came through the front door. Then I took a breath and tried to think back to my high school days. And you know what I realized? My parents didn’t have this kind of immediate access to my classroom information and I still pretty much got straight A’s in school. In fact, I don’t really remember them ever quizzing me about homework/tests other than to simply ask me whether it was done. I went on to graduate near the top of my class, went on to college, and have been able to hold good jobs that I like. And I’d like to think daughter will do the same — probably better.

So why do I feel this innate need to keep track of her classroom activities so closely? She plays sports, so she knows she has get good grades if she wants to suit up. She also knows that getting her driver’s license and then actually being allowed to drive the car also depends on doing well in the classroom. She’s generally a trustworthy young lady and has nice, caring, dependable friends. There really isn’t a need for me to get so worked up about it. (And by the way, daughter did have reasonable explanation for the missing assignments. So in the end it was undue stress I caused myself!)

You know, I think I’ve just found a new, slightly late New Year’s resolution: to try not to get too worked up about missing grades/assignments before I know the facts. And to give daughter a little more credit that she’s got it all under control. Because she usually does. Now, it’s my turn.

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One thought on “2015_Day 20: Is too much information a bad thing?

  1. Shannon

    I also like to “stay out” of my kids’ planning and schedule. If they need to get a zero on an assignment, then so be it! When that overall grade plummets because of it, it’s usually enough to light the fire. I agree that — in order to help create strong, responsible adults — it’s necessary to not react to all the (flood) of information about them that comes in.

    I’m not the fan of everything at my fingertips, but again, I kinda like having it (when I want it). A two-edged sword.

    Liked by 1 person

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