Friday night was the annual Halloween Bash at school. There were approximate 120 Children aged 4 to 8 in attendance and only about 10 parents paying attention to their children! Why when parents attend a school event they do not "supervise" their children or is it that these parents never supervise their children? I haven't figured it out yet.
There were a variety of rules broken that night most of them general and known to all: no running, no hitting and be kind to your neighbor. I think one of the most important rules the school had for the party was no weapons. But as soon as the doors opened I spot "Officer McNulty" chasing other Ghost and Goblins around the auditorium with his GUN! There were a variety of other weapons on hand but all night I saw McNulty and his orange gun running amok. I must have broken up 3 wrestling matches that night and forget the 3rd grade boys running and sliding into the exit doors like it was home plate!! Since I was "working " at the party I felt the need to maintain some order. At one point I spotted from across the room our poor blow up skeleton getting beaten on but a group of kids... and where were their parents? How can people let their children get so out of hand? Yes it was a party and we want the children to have fun but there we plenty of games and activities to keep these kids occupied. Are parents afraid to discipline their kids or afraid of being embarrassed if a full fledged meltdown ensues? I'm not sure, but I would take the latter any day! I try very hard to keep my kids in check. To me it is about respect, respect for themselves, respect for me as a parent and when at school; respect to their school and teachers.
After I ushered a group of 2nd grade girls off the stage and away from the DJ there was a lonely 2 year old Dinosaur climbing up the stairs to the stage. I tried to coax the kid down but he wasn't having it! Since I didn't know whose child he was I didn't want to pick him up, so I loudly asked "where is your mother?" I even asked a few people close to the stage "is this your kid?" No one knew who the Dinosaur belonged to so I made a decision: hes not my kid and its not my problem. I walked away. Why do I feel the need to police these kids? and attempt to keep them in control if their own parents cannot?
I saw the Dinosaur a few more times that night once he was rummaging through the arts and crafts box unattended and I said "please don't touch that" this time his father heard me and walked over to get him. He had a deer and headlights look about him. The Dinosaur and I met again when he was reaching up to stick his dirty little finger in the chocolate frosting of a cupcake, this time I gave his father the "death stare" while I was smiling and he quickly took the cupcake. Here, I finally got a look at his Mum she was the one who I saw taking dessert, despite the fact there was a GIANT sign that said PLEASE DO NOT OPEN YET and I realized if the parents can't follow the rules how can I expect their children too?
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Sunday, October 23, 2011
Fashi found her voice... today as a matter of fact. It was in the parking lot of a Shopping Center in the Burbs! imagine that? Right after we left a Birthday party where fun was had by all.
She asked me for the 17th time if she could have the same toy that Captain Jack had and I said no... there is often a balancing act when you have more than one child. Fashi "won" a toy at the party so I used all the video game coupons to "buy" Captain Jack a little teeny tiny toy, and of course Fashi wanted the same thing. She didn't like that I said no, so she did what every reasonable child does when they want something she screamed.
She didnt just scream, she SCREAMED at ME and I think there was some feet stomping too.
I did not hear what she said because I was so dumbfounded... she has never yelled at me before, of course she has yelled, just not AT ME! As I escorted her to the car she continued to yell, this time I heard her, she screamed "GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!" three times, at least. Oh and did I mention there was a group of people with us? good times
We had a long talk in the car, basically it went a little something like this "don't you ever, ever, ever...."
Now that she has found her voice I just hope she can use it when she is being picked on, just maybe leave out the stomping...
Thursday, October 20, 2011
So today I read a post on an Australian mommy site about a 7 year old girl being the only girl not invited to a classmates birthday party.. and it got me thinking. My Girl (she is a Fashionista and will be referred to as "the Girl" or "Fashi" in this Blog) is in the 1st grade and has been having problems with a new girl in school. Basically the new girl seems to have a mean streak and excludes Fashi. Fashi waited after a few incidents to tell me and was pretty upset when she did. I want to be clear I don't think she is an angel but I was quite surprised by this because last year her teacher constantly told me that she is "kind" (her word not mine) to everyone in the class and she got the "best friend" award at the end of the year. However, I was heartbroken when she revealed that she was essentially being bullied and of course the guilt set in. How could I not know that something was wrong? and why did she wait so long to tell me?
As much as I wanted to go to the school and discuss the issue with the new girl myself I had restraint! Although Fashi has a pretty big voice when telling her younger brother ("the Boy" or "Captain Jack") what to do around the house, shes pretty shy in a crowd. One of my biggest fears is that Fashi will be bullied because she is more of a follower in school. I discussed with Fashi that she should stand up for herself and say something like..."your not being nice" and then tell the teacher. I also told Fashi talk to her teacher about the problem (which she did) and I followed up the next day. The teacher was aware of some issues with the new girl and all three of them had a talk and everything was great! until art class this week when the new girl said to her in art class "you think your pretty but your not!" HELLLOO what is she watching? the Real Housewives of New Jersey?
Again I had a talk with Fashi about kindness; that you cant be best friends with everyone, but should be friendly with all the kids in your class; that you should stand up for yourself not but mean but say whats on your mind and USE YOUR VOICE.. I know she has one! and OF COURSE I asked her what if anything she did to instigate any of the incidents?
Honestly, it has taken all my strength not to call this child's mother or confront the girl myself! but I know I cannot fight my children's battles (always). I just cant stand to see Fashi excluded. She needs to make friends, grow and learn in school and most importantly find her own voice. I also know that she need to do this process on her own but I wish I could protect her more and give her my voice just for a day because its a big one.
Ok well #3 is up from his nap until next time...