Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Mommy Halo

I recently read this article and it caused me to do some thinking.

I adore my kids. I'm in awe of them most days - their intellectual and emotional intelligence, their humour, even their rebellion (sometimes). But I am under no delusion that they are angels. Sometimes, sure, but always? Definitely not.

So to consider storming into schools and teams and employers, ready to throw down and defend them at all costs, negotiate better grades, force teachers into allowing abysmal behaviour from them is just not a possibility for me. I just could not do that. I would not.

Here's an example. B1 is 4 and a half years old. He goes full time to a large daycare centre. Sometimes he comes home and tells me that some kid or another hit him, or pushed him, or kicked him, or whatever. I was hearing this a lot for a few weeks, and I finally asked him what he was doing right before this happened. Turns out my little angel had more than a little demon in him. "Well, I was bugging him about his pink snow pants, then he pushed me," or "I was just practicing my kung fu moves, and then he hit me," or "Me and S told her she couldn't play with us, and she came and bit us." Uhhhh huh. Well, that is a very different story, my friend. And it's a story for which I have exactly ZERO sympathy. If you want to act like a jerk, don't come to me looking for an attorney.

If my kids are ever legitimately being bullied by someone, damn straight I will come and work to fix that. But in those kids-will-be-kids situations where they are dishing it out as much as they're taking it, I will only coach them that they need to look at their own behaviour before they can complain about someone else's.

And that's why I rarely take what my kids report at face value. I have asked before about certain conflicts, but I trust that the teachers/ECEs/caregivers know way more about it than I do, since they're, you know, THERE.

To the parents out there who defend first and ask questions later, or never, shame on you! You are not helping your children grow into well adjusted humans who make smart choices at all. You're just making things easy for them and teaching them they don't have to try.

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