Thursday, 12 January 2012

The parenting dilema

Since becoming a parent I've discovered that my, at times idealistic, view of how the world should operate has been brought into question.

There are the simple dilemmas of parenting such as 'is it wrong to bribe a child into compliancy with chocolate?'  Pre-parenthood - yes, a parent should develop a more sophisticated approach.  Post-parenthood - a bit of chocolate doesn't hurt to smooth the path, afterall, we all need a sweetner sometimes. 

I find it harder to reconsile my ideals with the often harsher reality when it comes to more serious issues.  For example, I found I surprised myself by selecting a Primary Church School for The Eight Year Old to attend despite us having no faith.  Put simply, the school was the best that we visited before making our choice.  It just felt like the right place for my son to be.  And so, regardless of my previous thoughts about where he would begin his formal education, he now happily attends a Catholic School.

More recently, The Eight Year Old, has been upset this week about a boy at school who doesn't seem to know how to behave well towards other children in the class.  I wouldn't go so far as to suggest we have a case of bullying on our hands but the child in question is doing some unnecessary shoving and pushing around of The Eight Year Old as well as some of the other children in the same class.

It is known, amongst the gaggle of parents at the school gate, that the child who is misbehaving has a relatively tough life.  There are many reasons behind the child's bad behaviour and the school have put measures in place in an attempt to manage the situation.  The better part of me is sympathetic with the plight of the child and the school.  However, as The Eight Year Old's Mum, I find myself wanting to march up to school and pin the child in question against the wall until he realises that he can't go around upsetting my son.  I am, in effect, completely furious. 

I will, of course, remain calm in my discussions about this topic with the school but I will not settle until things improve.  I don't, for one minute, think that suspension or expulsion is the answer, as where does that leave a child?  But when it is yoiur own child being negatively affected it is very hard to stand by these ideals.  The internal debate continues...


  1. I had a similar problem with my 8 y/o when he was 6. However, I had the oppertunity to be one to one with the boy, who was a couple of years older, and I told him in firm no uncertain terms that his behaviour was unaccepatble. It worked. He jus needed to put straight. Its a really tough one though, good luck :) x

    1. Thank you, I'm you were able to sort things out. My instinct is to do the very same things but I'm trying to hold back for now. I'm going to keep a close eye on things over the next few weeks and if it continues I don't think I'll be able to stop myself from approaching the boy... Jx

  2. Interesting that you chose a catholic school, despite having 'no faith'. Were there any good secular schools available? I find the ever-increasing take-over of English schools by church organisations absolutely abhorrent. As The Husband will be able to confirm, we take our atheism and secularism very seriously. Ann and I would be very uncomfortable sending our child to a religious school, but may have little choice in the end. I would be interested to hear about your experiences in this area.

  3. Hi Ash, I have too much to say in response to your comment to write it here as a reply and so instead I will write another post. Jx