In light of some recent letters to The Roanoke Times in which the writers have denounced the ideology of syndicated columnist/parenting guru John Rosemond, I was particularly amused by Dr. Rosemond's column of November 4 ('"Portal' lures parents into micromanaging school work"), in which he makes several statements that undoubtedly caused a number of his detractors to recoil and/or gasp with indignation.
And for that I say, "Bravo, Dr. Rosemond."
The good doctor often addresses parenting issues with which I have very little first-hand knowledge, so it would be difficult for me to blindly endorse what he proposes. But his assessment of web-based access to student information (grades, test scores, assignments, attendance, teacher comments, etc.) is completely in line with my own experiences during my 30-plus years teaching in public schools. Perhaps Rosemond's tone has more bite than his message (which is often the case in his columns), but he is justified in calling out parents who regard themselves as champions for their children but are too often little more than misguided moms or dads grasping for anything that might validate their flawed notion of what effective parenting looks like. To be fair, Rosemond routinely acknowledges the shortcomings of parents in the past several decades are a result of the onslaught of psycho-babble they have absorbed from "scientists" who have promoted an array of parenting strategies that defy common sense, let alone real science.
Rosemond is right -- as usual -- in stating "micromanagement NEVER improves the performance of the person being micromanaged. It ALWAYS produces stress, an unwillingness to communicate, and various manifestations of pushback."
Parents should do themselves and their children a huge favor and drastically limit the use of school portals as a means to monitor progress. But if you are sincerely curious about what your child is doing in school, it wouldn't hurt to attend a conference day, no matter how "old school" it might seem.