Sticks and Stones

I am always hearing about Hockey or Soccer or (insert some other sport/activity here) parent who feels that their son or daughter is not being treated fairly by their coach or referee. This is fine, and the parents who talk reasonably to the coach/referee about whatever issue they feel they have is great. I have no problem with that at all. It is the parents that feel that they need to go and rage at the coach/referee that make me crazy. The reason I bring this up? The Parent Bloggers Network asked “How far would you go for your kids?” Have your ethics changed since having a child? I think for the most part none of my ethics have changed. I don’t see myself yelling uncontrollably at a coach who isn’t playing my child enough. I don’t think I would ever come to blows with an umpire or referee. I really can’t see myself arguing with another parent and nearly or actually hitting them because I feel they are in the wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my son and I would do almost anything for him. I will make sure that he is well adjusted and fairly treated. I will be a growly Mama if I have to, but I will (hope to god) keep my temper. Ok well maybe I will get angry, but I will never use violence to solve a problem. Hmm, well I guess I won’t say that entirely either. If I or my family was in danger I would do anything I had to to keep us alive and well. I am not talking about that in this instance though.

I am an elementary teacher by trade and I have come across a lot of parents who are great and do so much for their kids and actually have a good idea of what their children are capable of. They are the parents that actually take a look at what their kids are doing in school and how they interact with other kids and adults. I have also come across a number of parents who thought the sun shone right out of their child’s butt and nothing I said about their child’s behaviour or work made any sense to them even when confronted with the evidence.

When I was teaching a few years ago I had one such parent. Her son was a personable boy, but had a tendency to be a little lazy about the work he actually did. His philosophy was do as little as he possibly could of any work at all. His mother thought that he was a very smart and wonderful boy and though he hadn’t done most of the work he deserved to get all A’s. Even when confronted with all the evidence, the work he had done, samples of A and B students work for comparison, a list of all his marks, the percentages they were worth, a copy of all the notes sent home for her to supervise what he was supposed to be doing (which she had signed) she got very angry. Now I will say that at the best of times she was an intimidating woman, when she was angry she was a very intimidating woman. When she decided (even with everything I had shown her) that her boy deserved better marks she got very close and started yelling at me. She got closer and this ended with me saying very firmly that the parent-teacher interview was over and that she could talk to my principal if she felt the need. She didn’t back off and got even closer. This interview ended with me opening the door and walking very quickly out of my classroom calling out that that it was enough and she needed to stay away. I felt physically threatened.

I am sure that while I will want to make sure that my child is treated fairly, I will never make a teacher feel the way that parent made me feel. I will not be so physically intimidating that I make a teacher or another parent feel unsafe. That is way further than I would go. So I guess you have no need to worry about me bumping off the figure skater who took my darling child off the podium, or intimidating a teacher to give my son A’s. I will be a fierce Mama bear if I have to but I prefer you see my child’s potential on your own.


Want to be part of the fun? The Parent Bloggers Network is having a blog blast today on ethics in parenting. You could win a visa check card with some beer and popcorn money. 🙂

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