It makes me glad we had all boys!
I hope I don't offend anyone with this post, because I'm really not trying to. I'm also not trying to be sexist. I'm just making an observation, and it's an observation that constantly leaves me befuddled. In any high school, boy-girl relationships are constantly forming and unforming, and we see it happen before our very eyes. Some of those relationships last a week, some months, and some years. I know that, as a teacher, I am supposed to love and see the wonderful potential of every student. I suppose that means that I should never view any student as being any better than any other but I just can't help myself. I'm always amazed at how often I look out into our hallways and find myself thinking, "Why in the world is that girl with that guy?"
Maybe it's just in our high school, but I doubt it. I will have a girl in class who seems to have everything going for her. She's smart, she has great work habits, she's personable, she's attractive, she seems to have solid values, and she really seems to have her head on straight. With her whole future in front of her, it appears that she will be able to go anywhere she wants to go and be anything she wants to be. Then, I will see her walking down the hall, hand in hand, with some boy who is almost the exact opposite of her in character. He might not be among the absolute worst element of our kids, (although sometimes they are!) but he's definitely in the bottom half. He has one or two Fs going in his classes, the effort he makes in the things that he's involved in is never better than mediocre, and he seems to have absolutely no drive.
Being a parent is not easy these days; I know that. It wasn't easy when my own children were young, and it certainly hasn't gotten any easier. We have a culture in our country that does a lot to encourage kids to move in directions that no parent wants them to go. Parents have to worry about the effects of the movies their kids watch, the video games they play, the music they listen to, and some of the lousy "role models" they might be tempted to look up to. They have to worry about who their friends are and what they're doing on Friday and Saturday nights. They have to worry about drugs, alcohol, sex, and the combination of the three.
I can't help but feel great sympathy for girls' parents who have seemingly done a fantastic job of parenting and end up with this situation. They have daughters who any parent would be proud of in every way, and then one day they bring Bozo the Idiot home. I have seen members of our staff go through this, and you could literally see the strain that it caused in their families. What makes it even more frustrating is that sometimes, after the girl finally gets around to dumping the guy who has been an albotross around her life, she will pick another one from the same batch that he came from.
My wife and I have three sons we are very proud of, but we would have also loved to have had a daughter. When I see the choices of boyfriends that some of the best girls in our high school make, it makes me wonder if maybe we weren't lucky that we didn't.
I am going to close with these two questions: Is this as common in other places as it is in my school? Why do I see this so often with our better girls and almost never with our better boys?