Letting Our Children Learn From Their Mistakes

'Who, me?'
'Who, me?'

Learning From an Insult

My daughters had just come in from off the bus.  As usual, I asked them the standard question… :how was your morning?’  and got the standard answer…’good!’
But this time, I noticed that only one voice had responded.

Turning around, I looked at my 5 year old daughter and saw an angry little face staring back at me.  Her arms were crossed over her chest, brows knitted, hooding her violet-blue eyes, and her lips were stuck out in a defiant pout.  The overall look of outrage was almost comical on such a tiny little body.

Curious, I ask her what the matter is.  Frowning  a little more, Dani starts to tell me a story.

As I listen to her however, I can hardly keep a straight face.  I know I shouldn’t laugh because what has happened to her she takes extremely seriously and she is horribly insulted.  I struggle to maintain my composure as I act incredulous at her words;

‘Your friend said WHAT to you?’  I ask.

‘She told me that I ‘ramasse comme une tortue (clean as slow as a turtle)’

Holding back a giggle, I say ‘WOW!  That friend sure says it like it is!’

I feel a pang of guilt as my Dani turns accusing eyes on me and brands me, probably for the first time in her life, a traitor.

I wonder fleetingly if I should have taken a different approach and acted indignant and insulted, just as she was.  But that fleeting thought took flight almost immediately as I realized how close to the truth that little girl had come.  Even though the insult was hard for Dani to hear, Dani was no better for being lazy and always letting her peers clean up the biggest part of the mess.

 Dani’s pout is getting larger by the second, so I sit down beside her and give her a cuddle.  I’m not so old that I can’t remember how much it stings to be in Kindergarten.

Gently explaining that she should learn from what that girl said and using the lesson to talk about respect, I felt Dani relax as she began to see her friend’s point of view.

I’m not sure what she took from that whole fiasco, but what I do know is that I feel better about it.  I didn’t placate her like I wanted to, and I didn’t defame her friend, which is what Dani wanted, and I hope that Dani starts showing more respect now by cleaning up efficiently and not leaving others to do the bulk of it.

Who knows if she’ll learn that lesson, but in the end, at least I tried to teach instead of letting her believe that she had been unjustly accused.

It has been my experience that todays children and teenagers have their parents completely brainwashed, and I do not want to be THAT parent.  If a teacher tells me my children are acting up, I will be inclined to believe the teacher, not the big, round ‘WHO ME?, eyes that my children may try on me.

We don’t need to go back to the 40’s to employ the ‘seen and not heard’ law to get our children back on the right track, but we could use a good dose of common sense and learn to instill accountability and respect back into the collective conscience of this generation.

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Comments 11 comments

Allyson 7 years ago

Good for you Megs! When our kids hurt we hurt so it's hard to be objective in these types of situations. Absolutely agree with you about the big eyes and the much to innocent "who me?" Ashlee is a pro at playing innocent but I've learnt that not all teachers can be picking on my poor baby, lol. She is a good kid - don't get many complaints but that could also stem from the fact that teachers are sick of talking to parents who side with their angelic children every time.

Good story Megs :)

stéphanie 7 years ago

Hey Meg i tottaly agree with you. And i think your right when you say that some parents can be completly brainwashed... The thing is that sometimes some parents react with their emotion and by letting their common sense away, they are pushing their children on the " wrong track" i agree with the fact that we should try to teach them instead of acting with "surprotection"

Nice intervention! :)

Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

It is strange when your child goes to school and comes back with injuries and reports the teacher did nothing and the parent can't do anything either. I understand the need to teach our kids but simultaneously, their safety and well being must be considered. Good Hub! :)

chicamom85 profile image

chicamom85 7 years ago

Very nice story and good point.

megs78 profile image

megs78 7 years ago from quebec Author

Thanks ally and steph for the comments! I always love to hear your point of view. It makes me feel like I am not crazy after all in this insane parenting world:)

Dame Scribe, I would never let strange bumps and bruises go unnoticed and would definitely investigate a situation like that. I'm talking only about little instances where a teacher sends a note home and parents tend to believe their childrens version of the story. I am not naive enough to think that terrible things can't happen in school, but thankfully, I haven't had to deal with anything like that yet. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it!

Thanks Chicamom for your encouragement!

mom 7 years ago

Did you learn this from me, Megs? Because if you did, I'm complimented. If you came to it on your own, I'm right. You are one smart cookie. I am enjoying the ethics that you are displaying on your hubs and the intelligence (you certainly didn't get that from me). Also, the writing is so interesting! Your style catches me. I'm impressed. Love you.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Sounds as if you dealt with it really well.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Well put Megs. I agree you handled that situation just the way it needed to be handled.

great hub

regards Zsuzsy

GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Good answer! I think you responded beautifully.

theawwwbutmum 6 years ago

I'm with the great comments above. The coolest part was that you both seemed to have learnt a lesson. Any parent that can find an opportunity to teach and grow is growing in success. Really lovely post - I look forward to reading more.

megs78 profile image

megs78 6 years ago from quebec Author

Thanks so much Zsuzsy Bee, London Girl, Goji, and theawwwbutmom for all your comments. I really appreciate them. Its nice to know that I'm not alone in all these little adventures and that maybe sometimes I'm actually getting things right. Thanks again!


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