Saturday, March 07, 2009

"Not My Child!!!"

Why do these three words create in me such a full and complete sense of rage?

Let me explain...

I preface this by saying that, on some level, I hope this is a phenomenon that is localized rather than pervasive, and yet see the comfort that would come from knowing that we are not the only school, district, city or state to encounter "this" parent.

When my sons' school calls, the first words out of my mouth generally are "What did he do now?" I adore my boys more than words will ever express and I am so unbelievably proud of them that at times I fear I might burst, but I am also realistic and I know they do things.. things they wish I didn't know they did.. things I'm sure they pray their grandmother never learns of... They are young, they are boys, and they are sometimes foolish. They can, and will, do stupid things from time to time.

I expect that the school will alert me to these goings on, should they occur, and the the school and I will work out how to deal with any consequences for their foolish behavior. I get this; its a partnership. They cannot do their job as teachers if I will not do my job as a parent. And while protecting my children with my very last breath is the first, second and last thing on that "job description", so is giving them a good whack upside the head or on the bottom should they need it. (figurative or otherwise)

So who has been telling parents, perhaps a few years separated from my age, that it is never Ok to see/say/believe that your kid is/can be/was a jerk?

I've seen it more times than I can count. Parents call because Johnny got into trouble at school. They don't call to say, "Opps, sorry - he will know better next time" or "Thanks for letting me know.." or "Crap.. Again??" Nope - they call to say "You have it wrong, because Johnny is an angel and would never ever do what he is being accused of doing and you just don't see his brilliance or his heart and you certainly will not tell me how to raise my kid and your teacher who called him out on the carpet will certainly apologize to him or I will go to the district and make sure that teacher is reprimanded."

And - what is more disheartening than the fact that we have parents (lots of them - this is not isolated) who do this, but we have a school/administration/district that allows them to get away with it.

Want to stop the bullying problem in schools? One first step is to call the bully out for what he is, and to respond when we hear "Well that can't be MY child doing that" with "Oh dear mother, it not only can be your child.. it IS your child."

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