Parenting Prep 101

I need to take a little break from talking about this stupid situation with my husband.  I am going to put it on the back burner to pose a couple of questions about parenting…Like, “what would you do” type of scenarios.  Now, I am no one to judge, really, even thought I do and I am.  I only have one child and so far, pretty well behaved.  He has his moments, but he’s not school age yet and doesn’t encounter the type of scenarios below.  So, I need some parenting prep… Can you help?

Scenario 1:

Yesterday, a co-worker came to me and told me her 5 yo son was kicked off the bus for pushing another kid.  Apparently, her kid was pushed first, but the bus driver did not see that, she only saw the end of the tussle.  So of course, he kid was punished.  This is not the first time this has happened.  He has been kicked off before for the same behavior. 

I asked her what she teaches him, “Do you teach him to fight back or do you tell him to tell a grown up?”

Her response, “Hell yeah, I teach him to fight back.  If some kid hurts him or picks on him, I teach him to defend himself.”

I was taken aback.  So I then asked her, “Why don’t you talk to the bus driver and the teachers about the situation?”

“I have and everyone just thinks he is a trouble maker and they don’t believe him.  They always believe the other kid.”

“Do you go to the principal?”

“No, I just teach him to fight back.”

“Do you think that’s going to lead to a life of beating people up?  Maybe one day he will keep fighting until some other kid is beat to a bloody pulp.”

“Well, they deserve it for picking on my kid.”

WOW!  Really?  I was taken aback.  That’s what she wants to teach her kid.  Damn.  But then I told her, “You know if the teachers and principal and bus driver don’t believe you or him, you need to keep fighting for him.  Shouldn’t it be you fighting for your kid, not your kid fighting for himself?  He’s going to have a life or being kicked off the bus, detention and suspensions for that behavior.  Is that what you want for him?”

“No, that’s not going to happen.”

REALLY!?  You have got to be kidding me.  I could not take anymore and told her to go back to her office.

Here’s a little background on this person: To potty train her kid, she and her boyfriend whipped him with a best until he stopped wetting his pants.  I have had her and her kid over to my house a couple of times, and truth be told, the kid was a bully himself.  If my kid did something he didn’t like, he would throw something at him or bully him physically in some other way. I stopped inviting them for dinner.  So my take with the background knowledge is that all he knows is to beat back, fight back instead of using his smarts to overcome something. Oh, a funny side note, he used to hide his parents belts.  Smart for 18 months old.  But can you imagine taking a belt to an 18 month old?  Seriously?  Can’t believe she told me that story and also can’t believe that she thought it was standard parenting.

What would you do if your kid was being bullied? 

Scenario 2:

A young girl that cleans our building where I work is about to complete her 4th month of pregnancy.  She is 18 years old and will graduate high school in a couple of months.  She is the sweetest thing, but a bit misguided.

I told her that I would be out of a job at the end of June.  Her response to that shocked me.  She told me that I should collect unemployment (which in GA, no matter how much you make, you get $330 a week), apply for welfare and food stamps and to supplement, clean a couple of houses.

I told her that was not a solution for me. 

“But everyone does it.  Yesterday, they had a class at school to teach you about the welfare system and how to use it to your advantage.”

“WHAT?  They teach you how to use the social services system instead of how to be a productive citizen of society?  Am I hearing this right?”

Man, that makes me angry.  I went on to tell her that is inappropriate for schools to teach that to students.  It seems that the school system is failing our kids here.  They are setting them up to succeed at the welfare system instead of life.

This girl does plan on pursuing a higher education, as she wants to be a nurse.  But what about those other kids that believe they will be nothing more than leeches sucking off the taxpayer teet?  How does this type of class help those kids believe in themselves; that they can be successful at life in general?  Educator FAIL, I say.

What would you do if you found out your kid was being taught to work the welfare system while still in high school?

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About smommy

I am a single mom, by choice. I decided to separate from my husband and an unhappy marriage over three years ago. My son was two at the time. I am pretty much raising my kid on my own with occasional support of my family when I need it. (I don't like to admit I need it, ever!) My soon to be ex-husband (STBX) is an alcoholic and after we separated and he moved back to San Francisco, he became a drug addict also. Life is a struggle, but a sweet one since I have this awesome boy and we love each other sooooo much! Now, if I could magically be divorced, that would be great...but alas, I cannot force him to sign the documents. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there are moments when it seems so far away and unreachable.
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One Response to Parenting Prep 101

  1. lily2u1 says:

    Taking a belt to an 18-month-old? Yikes, how horrible. I am cringing and wincing. What kind of childhood did those parents have to think such a thing is normal? Ugh.

    As for bullying, my kids are older but I was pretty much on the same page as you when they were growing up. I so wince at violence, can’t watch violent movies, am a pacifist at heart I guess, so I told my kids to more or less ignore when they could and tell an adult if they couldn’t. If it came to fisticuffs, then defend yourself, I said.

    My kids didn’t have a lot of experiences with bullies, but there was one. That kid seemed to just be an overall troublemaker. For instance, I’d heard that the neighbors didn’t play in their front yard because they had to avoid him. My kid was picked on–it was never a physical thing–and ignored it or stepped away from the bully, but it recurred from time to time and was very mean spirited, for little kids. Eventually, after one sick sort of episode, I called the kid’s parents and threatened to call the cops if it happened again. That ended it.

    The sorry thing is that my grown-up child remembers and talks about this now as if it is the blight on an otherwise idyllic childhood, so maybe I should have done more or done something different. Would one karate chop have taken better care of it? I dunno, but I still feel crummy about it. Kind people get stepped on, sometimes. Sometimes life rots. Hopefully age will provide a perspective of resilience, or maybe more good memories will crowd out or contrast with any young unpleasant ones.

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