The other night we had friends over and we were of course talking about our kids. Hockey, soccer, sibling rivalry, behaviour – you name, we talked about it and had a fantastic night to boot.
After a bit of wine… and a bit more wine… talk turned to school. And the issues we’re having with school.
Let me put it this way. I met with my kids’ principal not too long ago and she said that elementary school is not made for boys. Girls excel in school and it just isn’t a great fit for boys.
So? What’s the solution? What did she propose?
Nothing. Let’s just keep going as it is and let the boys fall behind, get bored, fidget, get in trouble for fidgeting, start acting up and get sent to the principal’s office.
And of course me, being the numbskull who never thinks of anything good to say at the time, just nodded and smiled, praying all the time that my child wouldn’t get sent to the principal’s office anytime soon.
And this school of ours is a pretty structured school. Big on academics, which is fantastic. And when my oldest entered kindergarten at this school, we were impressed with the idea of a bit-stricter school. I don’t really think that’s a word. Maybe I could have used a ‘bit-stricter’ school!
But seriously, home-time is relax time. We have rules at home, but the kids can run and play and wrestle or veg and take it easy. School is school. Home is home. Two very different worlds, so what’s wrong with a bit of structure? Especially when we always hear about schools where teachers have no control, students run wild, parents are not on board with the school administration…
So bring on the structure and the work and learning! Woo hoo!
But now that my oldest is in grade three, and the middle child is in grade one, we’re wondering about this whole set up.
And not just our school. After talking with our friends the other day, their school seems to take some things and blow them out of proportion. I cleared this with them and I’m going to talk about them and their son and this situation that occurred last week at his school.
Now keep in mind we had had quite a bit of wine by this point. So I’ll tell it the best I can. I’m sure I’m leaving out bits and probably embellishing where it isn’t necessary (who, me?), but you’ll get the jist I’m sure.
And if you aren’t following me, maybe grab a glass o’ red and my rant will make more sense to you…
My friend, who we’ll call FriendMomma, received a phone call from the school. Her son was on the phone, really upset. She asked what was wrong and he said something happened at school. He peed.
First thought from FriendMomma?
Doh – he wet his pants.
No no. That’s not the case at all.
He continued on, “It was recess. I had to go to the bathroom and I peed in the bushes in the school field.”
Then the teacher took the phone away from FriendMomma’s son and proceeded to fill her in on the situation.
He was with a few friends. They peed in the bushes.
Someone told on them.
And this is news? This is something that merits a phone call home? Seriously?
Here, I’ve got one for you!
A few weeks ago my oldest came home and said he was sent to the principal’s office for scratching someone, which he says he didn’t do. Being a typical mom, I figured he was in self-preservation-mode and trying to sooth me so I wouldn’t snap at him for acting up in class and being sent to the principal’s office.
I was in school the next day and cornered the assistant principal, who he ended up talking with. Turns out that this girl who told on him lied. She didn’t have a clue who scratched the ‘scratchee’. But she blamed my oldest and he was sent to the office. The ‘scratchee’ was also there. She didn’t have a clue who scratched her and supported my son’s story 100%.
So…. what does this tell you? Tattle-tailing is okay. Because the tattler didn’t have a thing happen to her.
Actually, I have story that tells me tattling isn’t okay.
During our last parent-teacher interviews, my middle son’s grade one teacher told me about an incident where he had lied to her and tried tattling on a little girl in his class. He claimed this little girl took a candy from the teacher’s desk everyday after math. She sat him down and asked him if he was sure about this. He said yes. She called the little girl into the class and the three of them sat down together. My son realized instantly that he was in the wrong and back-peddled big time. When the teacher heard that he had lied, she called in the principal and she proceeded to have a big talk with my son.
So why does he get a lecture and not this girl in grade three, who should know better? I’m glad my son was called on this though. He needs to know that this isn’t okay so that when he’s in grade three, he isn’t letting loose with tattling and getting away with it!
I don’t know if tattling is the issue, but after a while I start to wonder if the boys are the issue. Doesn’t seem fair to me. What do you think?
And what about my friend and the pee incident? What is the tattler learning from this? Besides the fact that he just made a couple of enemies on the playground and he’d better watch his step because they’ll be on him, waiting for him to mess up and do something silly so they can tell on him.
So is this an issue I have with school or with tattling?
Hmmm…. maybe I’m changing my mind mid-post here. Maybe this is more about tattling.
I was just talking to hubby and filling him in on my idea I’m working on here and he said to mention that one thing guys do is just let things slide off their back. Like my oldest being told on. He doesn’t hold a grudge. Like my friend’s son. I’m sure he even talks to his tattler.
My middle one on the other hand… not sure what that whole lying and tattling thing was about with the kid and the candy. But to redeem him in your eyes, I just want to let you know that today during gym a friend accidentally kicked him in the face. Did he freak out? Did he scream and cry? Did he tell on him? No. I can name a bunch of kids off the top of my head who would have run to the teacher, bawling their eyes out, screaming for retribution; for justice!
Then again, maybe my middle guy doesn’t have any nerve endings. After all, this is the dare-devil child who broke his arm on the last day of kindergarten and all our family & friends were shocked it hadn’t happened sooner. Me too. Seriously. He’s six and that’s the first time I had to take him to hospital for an injury? Surprising to say the least.
Okay okay, back to tattling issues…
We have Happy Hour some Fridays. I capitalize it because it is important!
You should really pop by if you’re ever in the neighbourhood and wanting a drinky-poo – but call first so I can throw my crap into a closet and make my house presentable…
Back on track. Okay, yes. Happy Hour. We all get together. The kids have pizza and play downstairs. The adults have drinks and appies and hang out in my kitchen. Fun times.
Inevitably, there is always some strife and someone isn’t getting along with someone because they won’t share and then they looked at someone wrong and someone breathed on someone and someone isn’t talking to someone and someone is talking too much and someone isn’t taking turns with video games and someone is hogging the cats and someone isn’t dancing and someone is dancing too much and someone won’t turn up the TV while someone can’t hear the TV and… and…
And you wanna know who it is that is doing the majority of the tattling? The girls. Surprised?
Is it because I have all boys and they usually deal with things differently? Is it because we try to get these guys to solve things on their own? Seriously – if no one is hurt, no one is in danger of getting hurt, and my house items are not getting wrecked, is it something I need to know?
But… but… so and so won’t let me share his toy. So and so won’t do what I want to do. So and so isn’t playing what I want to play or watching what I want to watch or going where I want to go…
It just makes me want to drink more.
Anyway. I don’t know what the solution is. And from this stream-of-conscious-rant of mine, I don’t even know what the question was.
But I feel better. I feel like I got some stuff off my chest.
So why do I suddenly think a glass of red wine is an excellent idea right about now?