2017-01-11 / Opinion

Grateful Mother


Interesting to me, are the Doctor’s thoughts on 19th century decorum versus the 21st. In my opinion, in current times, it is critical to teach young childrenboys, girls, humans- the importance of respecting themselves first, as well as each person they encounter throughout their day.

When my son donned his new sports coat and slicked his hair to the side each Tuesday, he saw himself through new eyes. I can tell you that my child held his shoulders straighter, smiled bigger and was thrilled to pose for photos when he was dressed as a gentleman. I thank Mr. Clerkin and Mr. Penberthy for that.

As parents it is our duty to encourage our children to utilize the manners that we began to instill in them as soon as they were able to speak. “Say ‘please!’” “Say ‘thank you!’” It is a natural progression, as the babies turn to older children that they learn to apply those manners when speaking to others in person or on the phone. Since when is it unimportant to identify yourself and ask the person you are speaking to to do the same? Seems pretty standard to me. My son now hurries to answer the phone when it rings so that he can practice his dialogue. I thank Mr. Clerkin and Mr. Penberthy for that.

As our children reach an age that they are asking for independence, freedom in their friendships and decision making, we have to be so careful about who our kids choose to spend time with. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Club created a camaraderie among these boys. They respect each other. They look out for each other. They support each other. They celebrate wins together; they support each other through losses. I am proud to accept any of these boys as friends for my son. I thank Mr. Clerkin and Mr. Penberthy for that.

When I send my boys to elementary school I expect them to learn things. To learn academically, to learn socially, to learn critical thinking skills as well as common sense strategies, to learn respect, accountability, independence and to set goals for their futures. Here is what I do not EVER expect them to learn at elementary school: relationship roles, such as that of a male to a female. In my mind it would be highly inappropriate for a teacher of fourth or fifth grade to counsel a nine or ten-year-old boy about the “rules,” if there are such teachable things, of a male/female relationship.

I am so grateful that my son has been afforded the opportunity to spend time with Mr. Clerkin and Mr. Penberthy and with each of the extraordinary gentlemen, for that is what they are. I will continue to jump at any opportunity presented in which my boys will be in the presence of positive male role models. Thank you, Townsend Elementary School, Mr. Clerkin and Mr. Penberthy.


Return to top