Didn't Know He Noticed

I suppose (apparently incorrectly) that most of the time my everyday actions fly below my husband's radar. Then, every so often, he'll stun me with an observation. For reasons too complicated to explain, I ended up in the nursery AGAIN on Sunday morning. Which means that my husband went to SundaySchool by himself.

There they talked about parenting children that are arguing with each other. Everyone else agreed that they tried to let the children work it out for themselves. My husband volunteer that he tended to do that too but that "my wife gets the two children together, figures out what happened, and nails the culprit". (1) I am shocked and thrilled that he noticed, much less mentioned it in class. (2) I am shocked and dismayed that everyone else seems to think that letting them resolve it themselves is the answer.

I'm all for children learning to interact with each other, getting along peacefully, playing well with others, being civilized. BUT lets think about the lessons they REALLY learn from working it out themselves. They learn that Might Makes Right, that the stronger child or stronger mob-of-children are "right" because they have the advantage of "might".

Right and Wrong should not be functions of strength. Whats right is right, whats wrong is wrong. My children learn that Right gets support from others that are interested in justice, that Wrong leads to unpleasent consequences, that Right and Wrong are realities not just abstract value-judgements, that standing up for Right is a good idea simply because its right.

(This comes to mind especailly strongly today because of a picture my husband took at the Easter-egg hunt yesterday. Ron, who is seven, was in full fury explaining to Matt why he better not hit Ron in the head with the ball again. The relevant part is that Matt is about 30 and 6'6" tall, more than twice Ron's size. Ron had a firm grasp of his conviction that throwing the ball into a group of children age seven and smaller was wrong, and that as such was to be opposed agressively immediately. He never hesitates to call a spade a spade, out of fear or self-interest. Afterall, he really honestly believes that right is right, and wrong is wrong. I doubt Matt will be forgetting its wrong to throw balls at people that aren't looking!)

Would it be easier for me to just "let them work it out"? Sure. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Would it be better for them? No. Absolutely not. No doubt. And so I suck it up and sort through endless drival about "he touched my shelf, because he blew air on me, but he looked at me, she growled, he used the b-word (baby)"

And so they also learn that Mama will listen. Which leads to children laying on the floor in the hallway, yelling at me under the bathroom door with the latest saga. I'm hoping they'll grow out of that.



Lucy | 03/24/2005 - 01:39 AM
Make Waves

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