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Author Topic: help me out, rasing kids (teens) is difficult
bootjes
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I feel bad. I just picked a fight with my sons school. (he is 17, next year is his final year before studies).

He had a barbeque at school. Some of his fellow pupils were in school and messed the place up. Broke things stole things etc. I got a letter which stated that my son was one of the pupils that did outrageous things. He was to be punished at school. The letter ended that next year he had all the chances to let school see a better side of him.

I spoke to my son. He admitted he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. They weren't supposed to be IN the school at all. But he didn’t do anything of the breaking, steeling etc.

I believe him. He is not the type that does these things. He certainly is not a liar. The times he did do things that weren’t exactly within limits, he was not shy to tell about.

So I thought the letter from school was out of place. The language: outrage and “chance to prove himself” seemed to strong for what he did. Okay he shouldn’t have been there. If that was the only thing in the letter, okay. Even the punishment is oaky with me. (staying one saturday in school)

I called school and told them this. Then the rector said that he was busy all week with all this, and that the letter was justified because pupils misused the trust of school. Then I raised my voice saying that even then, the letter was too strong for what my son did. The rector said that, maybe the word outrage was too strong for my son, but that the rest of the letter stood. I eventually ended up excusing me for raising my voice and making it even more difficult for him.

I just hung up. I don’t feel good about this telephone call.

I am being too protective of my son?
Is it my ego that is mad that the term “outrages act” is connected with my son?
have I become the kind of parent that says: "my son wouldn't do that?"
Have I made a fool out of myself? (and therefore made it more difficult for my son at school?)

I just feel bad about all this, feel I’m failing as a parent here.

(one thing I did good though, I didn’t jump on my son with the letter. I had a good talk with him, asking what he had done, and explaining why he was a fool to be there where he shouldn’t have been.)

Don’t know what to do with this. Feels unsatisfied.

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bootjes
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afterthought.

I just acted stupidly, and it bothers me because interpersonal communication is my job.

Nothing to do but to admit that where personal matters are concerned I sometimes screw things up.

Not so easy to do
(admitting that is, the screwing up is easy as cake evidently)

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Occasional
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My suggestion is not going to be supportive of your son or yourself. Probably not what you were expecting.

When your son says, "He admitted he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," I assume he was in the school. That means to me that he was either aware of what was going on or was involved in the acts. It must have been pretty bad for letters to be sent. Surprised there hasn't been any legal actions taken, other than that might cost the school more in costs. He is automatically guilty of "outrages acts" and needs to "prove himself," especially if the school was broken into. Teenagers should be treated as if you trust them, but you should never trust them. Even the good kids.

Parents who believe their kids are the good kids are simply enablers. In return, the teenagers learn how to manipulate the parents. If your kid has told you the bad things they have done, what haven't they told you?

I know this from experience. I was a teenager, the good kind. Never did anything illegal or worthy of getting in trouble by the school. That doesn't mean I never did anything wrong and certainly I knew of all the wrong things other "good kids" did. I love that you trust your son. I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probaby know him better.

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Scott R
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quote:
I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probaby know him better.
If this is true (and there's very little chance Occasional knows what he's talking about) it is immensely sad.
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Toretha
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quote:
If your kid has told you the bad things they have done, what haven't they told you?
Oh! the good things, right? darn those kids who admit to the bad things they've done!
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Trent Destian
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If your kid has told you the bad things they have done, what haven't they told you?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh! the good things, right? darn those kids who admit to the bad things they've done!

I see what Occasional trying to say here. With a good lie you need to make it believeable. When you've done something real bad and your parents are suspecting you, tell them somehting bad, something mild. To cover up the big stuff sprinkle people with the lesser evils to keep them off your back. "I'm sorry I broke the vase while you were gone" instead of saying "I threw a bitchin party like you told me not to and one of my drunk friends punted your favorite vase". Admit the small thing without any prompting, lay bare your transgression and no one will doubt. Standard operating procedure.
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Belle
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quote:
I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probaby know him better.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If this is true (and there's very little chance Occasional knows what he's talking about) it is immensely sad.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I think is appropriate to say is that the administrators probably know more about how he behaves at school than his parent does.

I think that is probably quite true. I can't say for sure if the admin was out of line because I haven't seen the exact letter, but it doesn't sound too over the top to me - the kid has abused the trust of the school, and next year will be an opportunity for him to earn it back.

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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probaby know him better.
If this is true (and there's very little chance Occasional knows what he's talking about) it is immensely sad.
The administrators say, that the only thing they know for fact is that my son is seen in school. School wasn't broken into. The doors weren't locked. The kids weren't alowed in the school.
I also know that other kids who did break and steal things have gotten more severe punishments. So they say that the only thing my son did wrong was not trying to stop the kids or/and not calling out for a teacher.
I'm not saying my kid is an angel. I think that the letter was a little harsh. He has been 5 years in this school and never was out of line before. (though there were opportunities).

PS Occasional (and others), thanks for you reaction(s) : I didn't post here just to hear what I wanted to hear. So I am glad that you told what you think.

[ July 07, 2008, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: bootjes ]

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Lostinspace
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I will just bring in two little comments here. Your son was in the wrong and you admit that! He was told not to be in the school and was in the school. He was with people who commited crimes, in a legal aspest then he is accountable for those crimes also. This is a lesson that will be good for him to learn now rather than later. Secondly, your son is 17 years old, it is time to back off a little and leave him to fight some of these non-issue items. Support him and help him see what could happen with the actions he takes, but you need to let him lead himself into adulthood and not always have to run back to his parents to bail him out of his problems.
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hansenj
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quote:
I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probably know him better.
When I was in high school I had little to no interactions with the administrators on a daily basis. They most certainly didn't know me at all. Your point that kids spend more time of the day at school than at home doesn't mean the administrators have any idea what kind of kid he is unless he's getting in trouble frequently or he volunteers in the office. I would say that most kids are like I was, and they rarely have significant experiences with the administrators.
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by Lostinspace:
I will just bring in two little comments here. Your son was in the wrong and you admit that! He was told not to be in the school and was in the school. He was with people who commited crimes, in a legal aspest then he is accountable for those crimes also. This is a lesson that will be good for him to learn now rather than later. Secondly, your son is 17 years old, it is time to back off a little and leave him to fight some of these non-issue items. Support him and help him see what could happen with the actions he takes, but you need to let him lead himself into adulthood and not always have to run back to his parents to bail him out of his problems.

you're right, thanks
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Lostinspace
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quote:
Originally posted by bootjes:
quote:
Originally posted by Lostinspace:
I will just bring in two little comments here. Your son was in the wrong and you admit that! He was told not to be in the school and was in the school. He was with people who commited crimes, in a legal aspest then he is accountable for those crimes also. This is a lesson that will be good for him to learn now rather than later. Secondly, your son is 17 years old, it is time to back off a little and leave him to fight some of these non-issue items. Support him and help him see what could happen with the actions he takes, but you need to let him lead himself into adulthood and not always have to run back to his parents to bail him out of his problems.

you're right, thanks
thank you also! I was a little afraid after posting this I would get torn down for making such comments! So thank you for taking the information so well. I wish all parents were able to deal with schools in this manner!
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Teshi
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I agree with Lostinspace in the respect that bootjes probably shouldn't be defending her son in breaking the rules. I disagree with the idea that bad behavior outside the home is a sign a parent is being too overbearing. The parent of a teen is ultimately in charge. If your child is off wandering around with crowds of rowdy teenagers and you don't know, it's not solely the school's responsibility to act.

That said, talking to your teen about what was going on is a good way of saying 'I'm paying attention.'

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Lostinspace
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
I agree with Lostinspace in the respect that bootjes probably shouldn't be defending her son in breaking the rules. I disagree with the idea that bad behavior outside the home is a sign a parent is being too overbearing. The parent of a teen is ultimately in charge. If your child is off wandering around with crowds of rowdy teenagers and you don't know, it's not solely the school's responsibility to act.

That said, talking to your teen about what was going on is a good way of saying 'I'm paying attention.'

I wasn't saying that they were being an overbearing parent. I was saying this situation is a good one to allow a teenager to handle themselves. There is a huge issue happening in society today where parents are not allowing their children to grow up. So all I was saying is that this seemed like an issue that a 17 year old should be able to handle on his own. I never reguarded it to his behavior was caused by an overbearing parent!
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rollainm
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quote:
I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probaby know him better.
I don't mean to contribute to an all out attack on you here, but on what planet do (edit: public) schools with that kind of administration exist?

Really, except for the 5% of students who are either constantly sucking up or constantly calling attention to themselves by doing what they shouldn't, no administrator is going to know a thing about how a particular student typically acts, in the school or out of it. In fact, I'll even go so far to say that if the administrators are doing their jobs, they shouldn't know that much about the tendencies of most individual students.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
I don't like that you don't trust the administrators. They deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week and probaby know him better.
If this is true (and there's very little chance Occasional knows what he's talking about) it is immensely sad.
Scott perhaps he does on occasion?
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by Lostinspace:
I wasn't saying that they were being an overbearing parent. I was saying this situation is a good one to allow a teenager to handle themselves. There is a huge issue happening in society today where parents are not allowing their children to grow up. So all I was saying is that this seemed like an issue that a 17 year old should be able to handle on his own. I never reguarded it to his behavior was caused by an overbearing parent!

I read that as such.

(pssst. Teshi. . . . I am a he . . .)

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Dr Strangelove
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Not that I have much to add (I'm only 19 myself), but some kids "broke into" their small highschool last year in my hometown as a senior prank and did some damage, and the school's retaliation was to deny graduation to every student involved. Sooo ... while yes, I agree, it sounds like the phrasing in the letter was a little strong, it could have been much, much worse. [Smile]

Also, from my perspective as a young'un, if my parent did that for me, regardless of whether or not it was a good reaction to the situation or not, it would almost definitely strengthen our relationship in the future.

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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by Lostinspace:
He was with people who commited crimes, in a legal aspest then he is accountable for those crimes also. This is a lesson that will be good for him to learn now rather than later.

That's not neccesarily true. Our neighbor had two friends over- one brought a bb gun and the other one shot it into our house. I wanted all three boys charged (the one who shot wouldn't have had a bb gun to shoot without his friend providing it and it wouldn't have been our yard if not for our neighbor inviting people over). The police told us that they could only charge the shooter and the other two were doing nothing wrong legally.
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Icarus
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I agree with Belle. I can't tell you how many times in fifteen years of teaching a parent has said that their son or daughter would not have cheated, would not have been having sex in the bathroom, would not have sold or possessed drugs, would not have threatened the teacher, despite not having any evidence for this certainty, based on the fact that they just knew their kids were too good. I've had parents that asserted I had to be mistaken about things I had seen, or actively lying, rather than acknowledge the things their kids had done.
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:
I've had parents that asserted I had to be mistaken about things I had seen, or actively lying, rather than acknowledge the things their kids had done.

Well, in this case the story I got from the school doesn't differ from the story my son told me.
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scholarette
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Icarus, I agree with you on the teacher knowing more, but an administrator, probably not.
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T:man
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No teacher or administrator knows anything about me. They all know my name, but they also think I'm an emo who wants to kill myself.
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manji
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I don't know about that. My headmaster knew my name, my recent accomplishments, which colleges I was applying to, et cetera, all without me ever having spoken to the man before. It was pretty freaky.

And lest you think this was a mere fluke, he was pretty much able to do this with anyone. Of course, my school was a small one, with only about 70 students in my year. Still.

I wasn't one of the "bad" kids or even one of the "good" kids. I was merely average. Of course, I did have the bad habit of falling asleep in every single one of my classes.

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by manji:
I don't know about that. My headmaster knew my name, my recent accomplishments, which colleges I was applying to, et cetera, all without me ever having spoken to the man before. It was pretty freaky.

And lest you think this was a mere fluke, he was pretty much able to do this with anyone. Of course, my school was a small one, with only about 70 students in my year. Still.

I wasn't one of the "bad" kids or even one of the "good" kids. I was merely average. Of course, I did have the bad habit of falling asleep in every single one of my classes.

*nods* That's when they activated the mind-reading implant.
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T:man
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Theres about 1500 kids in my school.
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Tresopax
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I would have to think the parents know their child the best, the teachers significantly less, and the administrators even less than that. But I also think it is pretty important to note that each of the three probably sees a different side of the child - a child may act in the hallways differently than he or she acts in the classroom which may be different from the way he or she acts at home.

As a result, I'd think it would be best if all three groups worked together, rather than against eachother. Combined they can paint a more accurate picture of the student.

In this particular case, it doesn't sound like that happened. What I'd wonder is why was he there in the school while this was going on?

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Scott R
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This is what I object to:

quote:
[School officials] deal with your son tons more than you do on any given week
Parents should interact with their children TONS more than teachers interact with their students.

quote:
[School officals] probaby know [your son] better.
Just. Sad. Do I need to elaborate on why a parent should know their child better than a teacher?

Now Belle softened Occasional's criticism with some qualifications; even still. I think it inherent in parenthood to know your child better than anyone. The better to know when he's trying to snow you, at the very least.

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Tresopax
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quote:
No teacher or administrator knows anything about me.
I don't think this is true. They probably know you much better than you think they do. In fact, some probably understand things about you that you don't know about yourself. But, again, they still only know a small part of you - the part they can observe while you are in school.
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
I would have to think the parents know their child the best, the teachers significantly less, and the administrators even less than that. But I also think it is pretty important to note that each of the three probably sees a different side of the child - a child may act in the hallways differently than he or she acts in the classroom which may be different from the way he or she acts at home.

As a result, I'd think it would be best if all three groups worked together, rather than against eachother. Combined they can paint a more accurate picture of the student.

In this particular case, it doesn't sound like that happened. What I'd wonder is why was he there in the school while this was going on?

He was there because he is a teenager and was curiuos about what was going on. He found an ID card of one of his classmates and went in school to give it back. That being of course the ideal excuse for him to see what was going on. Not much after that he left the scene an bumped into a teacher while leaving. This is exactly what the school has confirmed.

Normally I am at very good terms with this school. We have good contact with most of the teachers. We do stand side by side with the teachers for our kids. I do take the teachers serious. At parents nights we are not auomatically invited because all is well. We ask for a meeting anyhow, because we want te know what the teachers think of our kid. They see a different part of our kids and we want to see it too. My son got "compliments of all his teachers" written next to his grades. His mentor told us that it was not only about the grades themselves but also because of his attitide in class.


For my 12 year old daughter we have been in close contact with elementary school, because her brain is somewhat slow in changing from one subject to another. We will be in contact with this school for her also.

(I have four kids son 17, daughters 15, 11, and 9)

In this particular case it was just the frasing in the letter that freaked me out, and I acted too fast. I was feeling bad about that, so I wrote here.

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Icarus
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I'm not arguing with you, bootjes. I have no way of knowing any specifics about your situation, and I have no reason to doubt you.

I was just weighing in on the related issue being discussed by Occasional, Scott R, and Belle--how well each group of adults knows the kids in their lives. And I'm reflecting on the worst that I've seen, not on the best. In my experience the parents of the most disrespectful kids very often seem to not know them very well. Of course, that's hyperbolic. I'm sure they know them quite well, but it feels to me, sometimes, like they're describing kids who don't seem to exist. Those examples I listed above correspond to real kids. Kids who have done things only to have their parents say they were certain they had not, because they knew their kids and their kids would never do this or that. (I even had one father threaten to beat me up over the malicious lies I was telling about his daughter!)

I have also rarely seen any parents who say anything approaching "I don't support the school and the teachers. I take my kids' side in all things." On the other hand, I have had tons of parents talk to me about how much they value education, and how much they support teachers. Often they say this as a preface to an occasion where they are not going to be supportive, explaining that they usually support the school/teachers, just not this time, because this time the school/teachers are wrong, because their child would never do whatever it is s/he has been accused of, because the parent knows the child too well to accept this possibility.

(Incidentally, whenever this happens, we never, as a school, get into disputes with parents over what their kids would or would not do. When a parent says "My daughter did not cheat, because she told me she did not and she would not lie to me," our response tends to be, "Okay, then. In any case, she showed poor judgment when she had her friend's test on top of her desk, because it makes the coincidental fact that all of her answers were the same as her friends look so suspicious. The consequence she will suffer is for that lapse in judgment, not for cheating, since, as you say, she would not have done that." "Your son showed poor judgment when he picked up that joint in the bathroom that did not belong to him and which he had not been smoking. You can certainly see how many people would jump to the obviously erroneous conclusion that he was actually smoking the marijuana himself, and not merely examining the unusual sight of a joint. It's a shame, we agree, that he should be suspended just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hopefully next time he sees a joint that does not belong to him abandoned in the boys room, he'll leave it alone and find an adult to tell about it." Very often for us, "wrong place at the wrong time" is code for "we know s/he did it, but you refuse to acknowledge it and no good can come from arguing with you, so we're dropping the question of actual guilt.")

Again, I'm not saying this about you, but I'm addressing Scott R's assertion that parents *should* know their children better than teachers and administrators and not be easily snowed. It certainly should be that way, but in my experience it's quite often not. And the parents for whom that's not true are never aware. They're willfully complicit in their own snowing.

(I promise, I'm not intentionally being backhanded or passive-aggressive. Just talking about some realities I've seen unrelated to the reality of your situation, though indirectly inspired by your post.)

As for the situation you describe, I'll admit I don't really have a grasp for what the incident was at all. You have alluded to details in passing without giving a clear account, for which I don't blame you. I'd be reticent to share a lot of details with internet strangers as well.

That being said, and given my very incomplete understanding of the situation, a strongly worded letter of reprimand does not strike me as an inappropriate consequence. I'm failing to grasp why you find it so objectionable.

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Icarus
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FWIW, I have kids and have been on the wrong side of conferences with the school myself. Raising kids is difficult. More challenging than I ever imagined. I wish you all the best.
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:
FWIW, I have kids and have been on the wrong side of conferences with the school myself. Raising kids is difficult. More challenging than I ever imagined. I wish you all the best.

thanks
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Lostinspace
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:
I'm not arguing with you, bootjes. I have no way of knowing any specifics about your situation, and I have no reason to doubt you.

I was just weighing in on the related issue being discussed by Occasional, Scott R, and Belle--how well each group of adults knows the kids in their lives. And I'm reflecting on the worst that I've seen, not on the best. In my experience the parents of the most disrespectful kids very often seem to not know them very well. Of course, that's hyperbolic. I'm sure they know them quite well, but it feels to me, sometimes, like they're describing kids who don't seem to exist. Those examples I listed above correspond to real kids. Kids who have done things only to have their parents say they were certain they had not, because they knew their kids and their kids would never do this or that. (I even had one father threaten to beat me up over the malicious lies I was telling about his daughter!)

I have also rarely seen any parents who say anything approaching "I don't support the school and the teachers. I take my kids' side in all things." On the other hand, I have had tons of parents talk to me about how much they value education, and how much they support teachers. Often they say this as a preface to an occasion where they are not going to be supportive, explaining that they usually support the school/teachers, just not this time, because this time the school/teachers are wrong, because their child would never do whatever it is s/he has been accused of, because the parent knows the child too well to accept this possibility.

(Incidentally, whenever this happens, we never, as a school, get into disputes with parents over what their kids would or would not do. When a parent says "My daughter did not cheat, because she told me she did not and she would not lie to me," our response tends to be, "Okay, then. In any case, she showed poor judgment when she had her friend's test on top of her desk, because it makes the coincidental fact that all of her answers were the same as her friends look so suspicious. The consequence she will suffer is for that lapse in judgment, not for cheating, since, as you say, she would not have done that." "Your son showed poor judgment when he picked up that joint in the bathroom that did not belong to him and which he had not been smoking. You can certainly see how many people would jump to the obviously erroneous conclusion that he was actually smoking the marijuana himself, and not merely examining the unusual sight of a joint. It's a shame, we agree, that he should be suspended just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hopefully next time he sees a joint that does not belong to him abandoned in the boys room, he'll leave it alone and find an adult to tell about it." Very often for us, "wrong place at the wrong time" is code for "we know s/he did it, but you refuse to acknowledge it and no good can come from arguing with you, so we're dropping the question of actual guilt.")

Again, I'm not saying this about you, but I'm addressing Scott R's assertion that parents *should* know their children better than teachers and administrators and not be easily snowed. It certainly should be that way, but in my experience it's quite often not. And the parents for whom that's not true are never aware. They're willfully complicit in their own snowing.

(I promise, I'm not intentionally being backhanded or passive-aggressive. Just talking about some realities I've seen unrelated to the reality of your situation, though indirectly inspired by your post.)

As for the situation you describe, I'll admit I don't really have a grasp for what the incident was at all. You have alluded to details in passing without giving a clear account, for which I don't blame you. I'd be reticent to share a lot of details with internet strangers as well.

That being said, and given my very incomplete understanding of the situation, a strongly worded letter of reprimand does not strike me as an inappropriate consequence. I'm failing to grasp why you find it so objectionable.

Icarus, this is very well worded. I have to remember the wrong place wrong time scenario incase I need to use it. I have seen many a situation where a parent says this is not how my child acts. But honsestly when parents say they know them better, I wonder in the society that exists today if they really do. Kids come home and run to their rooms where they have their own computers, tv and stereos. They may come out and eat a meal with their family. It is sad that society has come to that place. But asfar as punishment goes, I always head back to when I was in 8th grade and I got a detention for something I did not do. I went home and complained to my mom about it and she sent me to my room to make a list of everything I ever did wrong in my life that I got away with, wow was that ever eye opening. And I love my mom for it, because I have never said something was not fair after that point. Life is not fair from both sides of the coin!
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Icarus
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quote:
. . . I was in 8th grade and I got a detention for something I did not do. I went home and complained to my mom about it and she sent me to my room to make a list of everything I ever did wrong in my life that I got away with, wow was that ever eye opening. And I love my mom for it, because I have never said something was not fair after that point.
Brilliant! I'll have to remember that!
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rivka
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Oh, that is awesome.
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ketchupqueen
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*makes note*
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Starsnuffer
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
Teenagers should be treated as if you trust them, but you should never trust them. Even the good kids.

Parents who believe their kids are the good kids are simply enablers. In return, the teenagers learn how to manipulate the parents. If your kid has told you the bad things they have done, what haven't they told you?

I am 18, and as of now live with my parents.

I love my parents for their trust, and I respect that trust which I have earned and I behave in ways that allow me to keep that trust. I don't manipulate my parents. Your statement is too cruel and broad. I feel my parents' trust is well founded. I can't think of much to say without speculating about other people's families and the proper courses of action for parents. I just count myself as a good kid, and I have a healthy respect for my parents esteem for me, and I know that if I ruin that esteem, that respect for who I am, what I do, and the things surrounding my life, that that will follow me through life... I might do some things my parents would disagree with (probably not what you are thinking right now) but I believe in my own sense of judging what things I should do or not do well enough to not feel absoLUTELY restrained by what my parents would say.

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Teshi
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I'm not sure, but I think my parents believe I'm far worse/more incompetent than I actually am

But I too have things that I've got away with. Mostly they took place years ago, though. Should I really accept a lesser view of me because of things I did as a child that nobody ever knew about?

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Scott R
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quote:
Teenagers should be treated as if you trust them, but you should never trust them. Even the good kids.

Wow. I missed this somehow.

No. No. No.

I cannot disagree enough. It's vital to the parent-child relationship that both parties can trust one another. I'd even go so far as to say that the health of the relationship-- its strength, its depth, its effectiveness-- is directly related to the trust shown and felt by those involved.

This doesn't mean you blindly trust your kids. It means that you know them well enough that you can discern when they're telling the truth, and when they aren't. Children are bound to stretch your trust; some may even break it. An adult, though, is someone who can take steps to mend the break, repair the errant behavior (because while YOUR trust is broken, the child's faith in you should never be misplaced), and strengthen the relationship.

That's what a parent DOES.

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scifibum
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Scott, do you have any teenagers? I'm wondering how well your ideas translate into reality. Specifically, do you really think you can tell when your kids are lying? How would you know, if you generally trust them as long as you don't "discern" a lie?
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Scott R
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quote:
How would you know, if you generally trust them as long as you don't "discern" a lie?
Generally, I can tell when my kids are lying.

I don't know if this will carry over into when they become teenagers. I *do* know it's an ideal that I need to shoot for.

I'm convinced that a trust-fault is a large factor in poor parent-child relationships.

Will my teenager lie to me? Probably, and I'll be hurt. I'm an adult though-- I know how to get over emotional pain, and work to make things better and stronger.

NOT trusting my children doesn't enter into the equation.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Scott, do you have any teenagers?

He doesn't -- yet.

I'm looking forward to hearing him discuss this subject again in a few years. [Razz]

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Scott R
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You seem skeptical, rivka.

I'm surprised.

And not pleasantly.

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scifibum
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Scott, I sincerely admire your ideals and the evident amount of effort you put into parenting. It's not condescending or rude though, IMO, to expect that you're in for some surprises when you have older kids. I know lots of great parents whose kids completely snowed them and/or managed to defeat all their efforts to guide their behavior.

This probably doesn't contradict anything you've said, but I suspect it may color the idealism of your viewpoint after it happens (if it happens).

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
You seem skeptical, rivka.

I'm surprised.

And not pleasantly.

Sorry, Scott.

I'm trying to figure out a way to explain that I trust my teen and almost-teen . . . and yet, I don't. Not entirely.

I certainly don't delude myself into thinking I can always tell when they are telling the truth. And I think it is incredibly naive to think that if you "really know your kids" that you will be able to either.

OTOH, I do trust them in many ways. My oldest just left the house with a bus pass and a cell phone. I trust her to go to her volunteer job (a job she got by herself and because she wanted it) at the library, and to pick up her younger sibs from camp after that.

OTOOH, I ask her to show me her homework when it's done. [Wink] And I check in with her (that's why the cellphone) throughout the day.

Teenagers are under huge amounts of stress -- biological, academic, parental, social/peer. Expecting that to not express itself in unexpected and potentially dangerous or harmful ways is naive.

Also, what scifibum said. Exactly!

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T:man
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kay kay kay hey I speak very bluntly and don't often lie so my mom knows immediatly when I'm lying.
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scifibum
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Practice makes perfect. The important thing is to keep trying. Builds character.
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Icarus
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Scott, if I were your child's teacher, and we ended up in a "my word against yours" situation, like say I said I watched your child walk into the lunch line, grab a food item, and quickly walk back out, bypassing the line for the cash register, and your child said it never happened, would your faith in your child extend to the point of believing I must be lying or mistaken when I say very plainly that I saw this happen and that there were no mitigating or obfuscating circumstances?

I think I need to know to what extremes trusting your children goes before I can determine how I feel about your post.

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Icarus
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I had a parent once say to me, when her son was painting an actively dishonest portrayal of what went on in my classroom (actively as in it wasn't about interpretation, but he was claiming I said and did things that I never said and did), "Look, I know my child is not perfect. He has his version, you have your version, and I'm sure the truth is somewhere in the middle." Um, no. This Mean Value of Truth Theorem is asinine on the face of it.
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