Good parenting — it might lead to more tradespeople!

Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand

Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand argues that good parenting could be the key to solving the shortage of tradespeople in New Zealand!

I was chatting to this world-famous magazine editor a couple of weeks ago, and we discussed, in depth, schools.

The reason the subject came up was we both had kids floating around doing nothing because the teachers were on strike.

Now, before we get too far into this, I know some, maybe many, may not agree that’s cool — I think somebody called it journalism once.

First up, strikes. I don’t like them, simply because I grew up in London in the 1970s when it seemed the whole population were either on strike, couldn’t go to work because of a strike, their life was on hold because something was on strike, and it dominated the news to the point that some geezer called Arthur Scargill got famous — and probably rich.

That does not mean I don’t agree with the reason behind a strike — some of them anyway.

So our chat didn’t get off to the best start as we weren’t happy about having kids at home and my rant about strike action.

I want to say right here, teachers, we’re right behind you, honestly we are.

My daughter’s a teacher, and I chair a school board, so I do know what you’re all about — and you’re worth double what you get now. I wouldn’t do it for triple.

Let’s get to the point here. We ended up moving the discussion on to how schools are different today than they were in our day. It would be nice to say there was only a 10-year difference but, damn, where has the last 40 odd years gone?

Are schools really that different? No, they still have classrooms, teachers, and PE in the rain.

But they are so different in their outcomes, and by that I mean how the kids come out at the end.

It has been said too many times — “kids are different these days”. And they talk like it’s the kids’ fault for all that’s wrong with that generation, and their issues with schools and unemployment, and why they walk around bathed in black clothes with a hood covering their eyes and their shoulders sloping towards the ground, and arthritis in their thumbs by the age of 19.

That’s not the kids’ fault — we can blame the last bit on Apple or Samsung, take your pick.

Here’s my take on it, and it was backed up on TV the other day by an ex-teacher. It’s not the kids’ fault or Apple’s or Samsung’s — it’s the parents’.

They have changed; they don’t parent the same way any more for dozens of reasons — both parents work full-time, there’s not enough time left to spend with their kids, the world’s gone too PC, the world’s gone too soft, entertaining the kid is now done by a screen and not a communal board game blah blah blah.

The list really can go on for pages, but here’s the kicker — when did parents lose the art of discipline or become scared of discipline, and when did this responsibility pass over to teachers?

So we were still talking about all this after three cups of tea and not enough muffins, thinking we were changing the world.

We ended up referring back to my Building Today March 2019 article when I praised a fantastic BCITO TV ad about getting a trade instead of going to university.

Why do those parents want to send their son to university? Because it’s easy for them.

Go away for four years, look after yourself, pay for it by getting millions of dollars into debt and then you’re on your own, bye. Oh, don’t forget to call when the first grandkid comes along.

The world has to change people, and it has to change at home. Start parenting and giving the kids a real future.

And you never know — we might even fix the lack of tradespeople in 20 years’ time!

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