Letting Our Children Learn From Their Mistakes
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.
Read More By Megs?
- The Dangers of the Health Check Symbol
I don't know if everyone knows what the Health Check Symbol (the red check mark on food containers that identifies a healthy product) is, but I am assuming that you do. After all, we are living in such a...
More by this Author
There is nothing that makes my skin crawl more than a letter home from my daughters school announcing the presence of lice in their classrooms. It is almost terrifying to pick up the brush and check around in their hair...