When we were kids, school lunch was pretty simple. Our parents sent us with a lunch box or a lunch ticket and we ate in the cafeteria together then went back to class. But apparently, back in the 90s, parents started showing up to eat lunch with their little ones at school and the trend has been growing over the years, so much so that it’s headline news that parents in Darien, Connecticut were recently banned from eating with their elementary schoolers.
At a town meeting the policy change was blamed on security and trying to keep things running smoothly during the school day, but one parent said the ban was like being “punched in the stomach.” Moms and dads defend dining with their kiddos and say it’s about being engaged, not being a helicopter parent.
But Julie Lythcott-Haims, author and former dean of freshman and undergraduate advising at Stanford University reminds that elementary school is supposed to be a first step away from home, even lunch. So as much as parents may want to be a part of their son or daughter’s day, sitting down to eat lunch with them at school may not be best for them.
Darien isn’t the only place dealing with frequent parental visits at lunch. At Rogers Middle School in Texas, they’ve split the lunchroom into an area for all kids and one for students with visiting parents. At an elementary school in Beaverton, Oregon, they finally broke parent’s habit of hand-delivering lunches to the cafeteria for their kids and then staying to eat with them.
And in Greenwich, Connecticut, they welcome parents occasionally coming in to eat lunch with their kids. “Parents come in as much as they feel comfortable doing it and it’s not overly disruptive,” explains Kim Eves, Director of communication for Greenwich Public Schools. “It works for the parents and it works for the kids.”
Source: New York Post