Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Way Out

We all say that we want to know if our child is misbehaving. We ask our friends to please let us know if our kid does something naughty. But it really is hard to call a friend and tell them their kid is going off the deep end. So, because I'm feeling chicken-hearted I'm just going to write the mother a letter, here on my blog. Maybe she'll see it, maybe it'll help. (doubt it)

Dear Somewhat-Distant-Friend and Parent-of-Naughty-8th-Grader:

I thought you'd like to know that your child has been rather naughty lately. My son, and a few of his friends, have brought home a continual string of stories regarding your child. I know that if it were my son, I'd want to know. So, I am writing you this letter, hoping you'll see it and intuitively guess it's your child I'm writing about.

Primarily I am noticing a swearing trend at school. I understand the 8th graders penchant for trying out new vocabulary, but the standard use of the F-Bomb is over the top. In addition to the F-Bomb your child has created an ingenious hand shake. My own son thinks the initial start of the shake is creative and cool, but the ending flipping of the bird is perhaps inappropriate.

Finally, I know that as a parent I would want to make sure I knew if my 13 year old child had a Facebook account. Also, I'd want to know that my child was smart enough to know how to cheat the Jr. High's system of flex time. Basically your child is the equivalent of a street seller with goods stocked up in his overcoat pockets.

I'm sure the rest of what I'm hearing is just rumor and perhaps what I've heard already is just rumor. Maybe the unfathomable thought that your kid is struggling and that my child could be the next to struggle keeps me from telling you directly. Perhaps it's also that maybe you already know, and that like the rest of us - you'd have no way to control what a 13 year old is doing 24 hours a day. And that by telling you, maybe I'd be breaking your already crumbling heart.

Wishing I knew what to do,


P.S. Any suggestions?


Shauna said...

It's MY kid, isn't it? You just called her a "he" in the letter so it would be so obvious, right? I'm such a horrible mother! You are right that I want to kow what she/he is doing that is naughty. Especially if the other kids are bringing home stories about him/her.

You really CAN tell me if she/he is being naughty. I wrote about this in my blog today too. I wish more parents would fink on the kids they know/see and that the actual parents would see the advantage they have in teaching/punishing-within-an-inch-of-the-life-of their child.

Thanks for letting me know. ;)

Jeff said...

That is always an uncomfortable situation. But, since you would want to know if your kid was doing things he shouldn't, then it is safe to assume other parents who are serious about parenting would want to know also. What happens after that is in the hands of the parents.

We know that some parents refuse believe or act on the information they are given. In the book "The Anatomy of Peace" it talks about the concept of "self-betrayal", i.e., knowing the right thing to do and not doing it.

If it feels like the right thing, then mention it to the parents. If you want, I will do it. Shauna, do you have a minute? LOL...Just kidding!!

tammy said...

I just still can't get past the fact that young children are saying the word "fart" **spoken in a whisper** in our jr. high schools. I am sooo not O.K. with this.....

Please, can tell me if it is my kid. I would so totally want to know! And if I had to be the one to tell the parent, I would do it! Anonymously, of course...

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Oh, so funny! But maybe because it is a real-to-life dilemna. Yeah, honestly, how do you tell a parent that their kid is nasty? If it were my kid, I'd be really embarrassed if another parent tattles, but I think I would have an idea. I hope I would anyway.

Sherry said...

LOVE the new blog layout. Sure glad I don't have an 8th grader BUT will be worried when you write about a 5th grader, 3rd grader, kindergartener, preschooler, and although he's not talking yet....a pre-preschooler. p.s. your primary kids sounded good on Sunday

HappyHourSue said...

OMG I would so want to know if it was my child - can you mail it anonymously?