Friday, October 22, 2010

Grown up Tattle Tails

If anything bugs me more than anything, it is tattling. Back in my teaching days, I could sense by their intonation when a tattler was about the unleash a long tail of how another kiddo did something and blah blah blah. It drove me nuts. It got so bad that I eventually had a pow wow with my 1st graders about what truly constituted a conversation with me about wrong doings. You may think I'm insensitive, but with a class of 20 littles, they have a lot of wrong doings to report. Before they could even start, I'd remind them, "Is this big enough to tell me or small enough for you to resolve on your own?" Kids need to learn problem solving. Yes, even in 1st grade.

And let me tell you, if kid tattling drives me nutty, there is only one thing that drives me even more tattling.

We were at mega indoor play structure a few days ago. I had 4 (yes, 4) boys with me. 2 other boys were on this bouncy net and a little girl was waiting to get on. The little boys refused to let her have a turn. Luke was up there, too, but was not on the net with the boys. Well, the little girl (around 5 or so) became weepy and went to her mother to tell on the boys. The mother then went to the supervisor and told on the boys and also said that Luke was one of the boys. I'm all for disciplining my kids when they deserve it, but he clearly did not.

After the supervisor began shouting at an oblivious Luke to "Come down here right now!," I approached her to clarify the situation. I was not so much irritated with her, as I was with the mom of the weepy girl.

Maybe it is just me, but when you take your kids to such a place you better be prepared for pumped up kids, hurt feelings, and a few bumps and bruises. Maybe it is just being a mom of 3 boys, but I felt like saying to the mom, "Suck it up, Lady. Life is full of upsets, teach your little to take wrong doings in stride. Redirect her to another area, teach her to come back to the bouncy net when the boys are gone, or to go back up and tell the boys that she wants a turn again." I do that with my kids all the time. That's real life. I'm not going to be there to defend them whenever they get their feelings hurt when they are adults.

Please know that I'm not speaking about bullying or more serious infractions.

This also brings me to another point. Boys are made differently. They think differently. They play differently. They learn differently. I'm growing frustrated with the femanization of our boys. Back in the day, they were allowed to play cops and robbers. Now we get letters home from school saying that such games are forbidden. Boys will be boys. Sorry.

To illustrate this, my friend's son climbed in the car after making a cross at preschool, aimed it and began to shoot it like a gun. Yep, boys will be boys.

Who was getting in trouble that day at the mega play structure? The active boys. Who gets in trouble at school the majority of the time? The active boys. Who are the naughty ones in the neighborhood? The active boys. I say, we let boys be boys. It doesn't mean that we let them run around like wild cave men, but that we stop expecting them to behave like girls.

And let me just say, after teaching and being a young girl who wasn't always kind, girls may not be as wild and rambunctious, but they can play a mean social game. The snide words are just as hurtful as bonks and bruises, but the wounds are on the inside.

So just a little food for thought, my friends.

Have a good weekend.


1 comment:

Mommy of three said...

If there is any place boys should be able to run around freely it's a jumpy place, right?
Love this, Katie!
Love from,