Feb 012013
School desk

(School desk Photo credit: net_efekt)


Here’s something from my inbox.  A friend sent it.  I have not tracked down the original source… mostly because I really do not want to believe that it is true.  I haven’t been able to throw it away.  There’s part of me that’s not surprised – after all,  some Moms will do anything for their kids!

A young teen gets into enough trouble at school to earn a detention.  When Mom learns about it, she offers to serve her child’s detention as she feels that this would be less damaging to her child than it would be for the child to miss any after school activities.

OK, aside from undermining the school’s disciplinary structure, what is wrong with this picture?

I believe that this Mom has absolutely the best of intentions on behalf of her child.  Clearly, she wants her child to have a variety of enriching extra-curricular experiences.  Unfortunately, Mom may be teaching some lessons that nobody should be learning:

  • Rules do not apply to me, but….
  • If I DO get in trouble, someone else will pay the price.
  • Dessert (extra curricular) is more valuable than dinner.

No parent wants a child to suffer, but it is still hard for me to understand the rationale behind this type of decision.  The sad thing is that lots of parents don’t stop and ask which hurts more – missing some afterschool activities or failing to learn that actions have consequences?  Perhaps even worse, teaching our kids to expect that they live in an impenetrable bubble where nothing ‘bad’ or ‘sad’ will ever touch hem.  Which is more damaging?  You tell me.



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Jan 042013

Great post from Annie Fox’s blog.

We haven’t ‘talked’ about bullying here for a bit  – but when I found this post it was too good to pass up.

I left her a long comment (probably TOO long) but what I like about this post is that it starts to shift responsibility for solving the problem.  I have long been concerned that many of the actions we ask bullying victims to take (tell an adult, walk with friends, stand your ground, ignore them, etc) sets these kids up for additional injury.  After all, aren’t kids sometimes targeted precisely BECAUSE they don’t have an adequate support system?

Anyway… “Brava, Annie Fox.”

My child? A bully?!! Part 1.

Jan 042013

Student teacher in China teaching children Eng...

Picture this. Your child comes home with a special assignment from school. He’s very excited about it and puts in a lot of time to perfect it. He’s thrilled with the result and can’t wait to take it to school.

A few days later, he comes through the door, picks a fight with a younger sibling and bursts into tears. Finally, he manages to tell you that the project he was so proud of was ‘unacceptable,’ that the teacher wants him to do it over.

What’s your first reaction?

a) Protective – “I’ll straighten this out.”
b) Embarrassed – “MY son always gets good grades.”
c) Angry – “That teacher is picking on my son!”
d) Worried – “This could be damaging to his self esteem.”
e) Grateful- “He’s got someone who’s really going to push him to reach his potential this year.”

I think that lots of parents want to believe that ‘e’ is the right answer…. I just remember wishing that it wasn’t so difficult to stifle all of the other reactions on my way to that answer! Sometimes the urge to protect goes a bit too far.

As parents, it’s not our job to see that our children never experience sadness, disappointment or frustration. As much as most of us would like to, we’re probably not going to be able to keep those things out of their lives — now OR when they become adults. But, we can do the next best thing.

We can invest the time that it takes to prepare them to face life’s struggles.

Instead of trying to shield our kids from ‘negativity’ let’s help them embrace tough situations. Why not use the bumps provided by the classroom or the playground to build the strengths they’ll need when applying for a job or surviving an unhappy supervisor?

Isn’t that real learning?