Getting Rid of Harmful Inclinations, for Parents of Teens and Teens

After my private preschool closed, I started to work in the public school district and with a corporate child care placement agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. What I learned was astonishing.

I was assigned to After School programs in the wealth suburbs in Danville, Ca. (Black Hawk) where every home in the neighborhood was selling for over one million, long before the down turn in the economy.

The children were bright and extremely caution about new comers into their After School program. Some of the pre-teens were placed there because their parents didn't trust them to be alone after school. It was a safer for the children to stay in a controlled environment, rather than to be unsupervised in the afternoon.

These young pre-teens were extremely territorial and questioned authority in very discrete ways. Their reaction to me was no different. Little did they know, or maybe they did, I had also worked in Oakland, California, where territorial issues could land you in the hospital, or worst. I knew how to stay out of the way and be respectful of unseen territorial lines.

I can't prove it, however, I am sure one or two of the parents took down my auto license plate and ran a make on me. (Over heard, a conversation) These parents were Vice-Presidents, CFO, and top level management in large corporations, in San Francisco. At any rate, I was allowed to come back. But please know, being sanctioned by the parents, didn't mean the kids were going to let me in.

What I kept seeing over and over was a closed society, where no one but the kids were allowed in, and adults who they trusted completely. Parents were never, under any circumstances, allowed into the After School secret society.

I spent a lot of time watching and reviewing what I saw. There was an actual path in which the older children had created, or it had been created for them, that was in alignment with the elementary school and their parents, but separate.

I might add, parents didn't have a clue, or maybe they did know, and just wanted to respect the kid's privacy.

These kids were sharp and had no problems with thinking things through, or pre-planning. Of course when their parents showed up to pick them up, they turned into perfect little dumb angles and asked to go to McDonalds!

Another action which occurred often was, when their parents showed up, the kids would completely ignore me. They would act as if I wasn't there. At first this hurt my feelings a little, then I realized, I had been allowed into the society, but had no rights.

The last thing I want to do, is to violate the trust that these children placed with me. (Including children on the San Francisco Peninsula and in Contra Costa County) After being away from the children for over four years, I realize something which concerns me.

You know the old saying you can't see the forest for the trees? This statement applies to my work with children. I could not see where the kids were headed, until after I was out of the industry.

To my students who graduated from my preschools and to those children whom I meet while working as a substitute teacher I say, "Be aware of your every thought." If you get a strong inclination to take or experiment with illegal substances, talk to your parents, determine where the thoughts are coming from and eliminate the source.

Please forgive me if you feel I have betrayed your trust in anyway. You know, I care about you and you know I'm concerned about what you might do to Social Security, once you start voting.