Friday, November 12, 2004

Respecting authority

When Lillianna came home from school on Wednesday, we talked about her phone call to me to bring her library books to school. She said that she had asked her teacher, Dr.N, if she could call me to bring her books up. Dr.N said she was sorry but,no,because then everyone would want to call home. A few minutes later Lillianna said she had a headache and asked if she could go to the nurse.

When she got there she said how upset she was about not being able to call me. Mrs. A, the school nurse, said that was probably why Lillianna had the headache. Mrs. A then called Dr.N on the school phone and asked if Lillianna could call home. Dr. N gave Lillianna permission to call home.

After hearing this story I asked my very cunning daughter,
Did you defy Dr. N? She told you no but you got Mrs. A to get Dr. N to let you do it anyway?

Ya, but it was ok,Mom.

Well, I will ask Dr.N at parent-teacher conferences tonight and I will get back to you.

The conference went well as I knew it would. Lillianna got a glowing report. She is an excellent reader,follows directions well, she's polite and gets along well with others. I asked Dr. N about the library book incident. Before she could answer I asked,

Did she defy you?

Yes, she did. (Dr. N seemed rather uneasy with my question)

I thought as much. From what Lillianna told me, you said she couldn't call but then she suddenly got a headache and went to see Mrs. A and then she allowed her to call me.

Yes. I felt bad that Lillianna forgot her books but if I let her call home, I have 27 other children that will ask to do the same. Then she started to cry and I felt really bad. A few minutes later she said she had a headache and I let her go to the nurse. Then I got the phone call asking if she could call home so I just let her but that call interrupted my lesson with the class.

That's what I figured.

It's funny that you picked up on that.

Ya, well, she has pulled this trick before on my husband. If I say no she asks him and he says yes without knowing I already said no! I will have a talk with her about this. I don't want this to ever happen again.

After the conference I picked Lillianna up at my friend's house and had a chat with my child. I told her what Dr. N had told me.

If your teacher says no then the answer is no! You can not keep asking people for what you want until finally someone gives you the answer you want. You know that when you ask me something, if the answer is no it's for a reason. If there wasn't a good reason I would just say yes, right? So it's the same with Dr. N. You have to respect her decision, even if you don't agree with it. No more sneaking around to find someone to let you do what you want.

Ok, Mommy. I understand.

Today she went to class and apologized to Dr.N for not listening to her on Wednesday.

At first I wasn't going to do it, Mommy, because I felt embarrassed but then I got my courage and I told her I was sorry.

I was so very proud of her. I know that must have been hard for her but I couldn't let that incident go without a discussion about it and an apology to her teacher.Lillianna is a wonderful child and very normal to want to test the boundaries a bit but she has to know how to be respectful,even about rules she doesn't like.

What would you have done?

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