I had a little chat with the VP today about the lunch incident a few days ago, and my suspicions that there is a bias against DS were confirmed when the VP said she doesn’t know who the ring leader is since the stories are conflicting. Funny, because Cynthia has left the school 3 times prior according the VP (4 times prior according to my son), which is more than any of the other kids involved, yet he only left 2 times prior according to the VP and DS. Common sense tells me that the person who has left school the most for the same intentions would be the one behind it, right? Then the VP suggested that DS has a crush on this girl. I set the record straight, and told her about the eye shadow and my surprise that the school would allow it in grade 4 (she said they can’t police that type of stuff at school, too much to worry about as is). I also mentioned the repeated phone calls to our house by this girl, and that my DS doesn’t have much time to use the phone since he is involved in so many sports. The VP acknowledged he usually plays sports at lunch and recess. So she agreed that ‘maybe’ the crush was the other way around. In my opinion, it’s not even a ‘maybe’; it IS the other way around. I have seen the way DS is and acts when he has liked a girl in the past… I have not gotten any indications that he likes this one any more than his other peers. And so I ask myself, why was the bias against him? Because he is a boy, and it’s deemed that boys are always the trouble makers, or is it because Cynthia’s mother volunteers endlessly at the school and they are afraid to suggest that her child isn’t perfect? I’d say it’s a bit of both…
So DS spent the first of 2 days eating lunch in the office yesterday. He also told Cynthia that he was grounded from the phone, television, and his electronic devices. DS had a sports game to play and DD had ballet yesterday evening. We didn’t all get home until almost 8:00pm. It was a few minutes after 8:00 when I checked the phone and noticed that Cynthia had called twice while we were out and left a voice message. So I confirmed again that he told her he wasn’t allowed to use the phone and he said yes, and that when he told her, she said she was confined to her bedroom. So I suggested maybe there wasn’t a whole lot of truth to her being confined to her bedroom since she was using the phone. That’s when DS informed me that she has a phone in her bedroom. (He made a brief visit to her house recently at her invitation) Wait, what??? Why does a kid in grade 4 need a phone in her bedroom? And if you do happen to send your child to their room as a punishment, shouldn’t the telephone be one of the items removed? I’m tempted to change our voicemail greeting to say “If you are calling for DS, please hang up, as he is not allowed to receive calls at this time.”
Oh the stress with the pre-teen years! It all started last week when I picked the kiddos up from school. As my DS was walking over to me, 2 girls took his backpack and it became a chasing game for about 10 minutes, until I decided it was time to go home. They gave him back his backpack, and we went our way. A couple of days later, I noticed one of the 2 girls wearing eye shadow which really stood out to me because I feel makeup shouldn’t even be allowed to be worn at school in grade 4, but I guess it is left up to the parent’s discretion.
The girl with the eye shadow, whom I will refer to as Cynthia (not her real name) asked my DS to call her on the phone after school last week. Since he doesn’t normally talk to friends on the phone, I went over some simple rules with him: Wait at least 10 minutes before a second attempt if nobody answers, and you can only call someone’s house a maximum of 2 times in a day, regardless of whether anyone answers or not. DS is an athletic kid and involved in lots of sports, so there isn’t a lot of time for the phone. And then Saturday happened. Cynthia called Saturday morning. DS talked for a bit, and when he had to get off the phone to eat brunch, she told him she would call him back in 3 minutes?!? After getting back from an afternoon out with the family, coming home and going back out to pick up dinner, I went through the phone log and saw that Cynthia had called our house a total of 10 times that day. I think 3 of the calls occurred within 3 minutes. That just doesn’t work for me, as a parent. DH & I decided a phone limit should be in place as well, and we came up with a maximum of 15 minutes per friend, per day. We felt that is fair. So I told DS that he would need to tell Cynthia in a nice way, that she cannot call our house that many times. He was quite surprised she had called a total of 10 times that day. He asked how many times she is allowed to call her friends, and I told him it is up to her parents how many times they feel she can call her friends houses, but that she cannot call our house 10 times. I overheard him tell her when she called Sunday morning, and since then she has kept her phone calls to our phone at one per day. During the week DS is so busy with extra curriculars in addition to homework that he really doesn’t have time for the phone, and he will see her at school the next day, anyways.
Then yesterday afternoon I got a call from the principal, that I’m sure put my hair follicles into grey production mode. DS, along with 2 other girls (as I silently suspected, one of whom is Cynthia) were caught trying to sneak off school property at lunch time. Apparently they had succeeded before. Only twice before for DS, but 4 times before for Cynthia, 3 times for another girl, 2 times for yet another girl, and 1 time for yet another girl who my son doesn’t know very well. Now I’m not saying DS is innocent, as he did go along, but he clearly wasn’t the instigator in something that has been going on without his entire involvement. And, he felt betrayed because the girls told school officials he was taking them to his house since he had a key and his mom wasn’t home. But, I am at home every day (he knows that) and he also does not have a key to the house (since I am home), so even I found it hard to believe he was lying when he said he never told the girls anything about going to his house. DS told me Cynthia never told him where they were going, she just said to follow her and the other girl. Now that being said, DS is not an angel – he is a boy! He left school property, likely has lied about some of the facts about their whereabouts on the occasions they did leave school property, and ultimately this raised a huge concern for me. So, I will be requesting a meeting with school officials to try to figure out a way we can ensure this doesn’t happen again. I think after explaining all the dangers of leaving school property, as well as about making good decisions vs bad decisions, my son won’t do it again, but I can’t say that for the other girls involved, or any other students who come up with such an idea. I also assume I’m not alone in thinking that most parents wouldn’t think that giving their child a key to their house would mean opening up the doors to kids at lunch hour when no parents are home. Apparently the plans for their leaving school property was to go to one of their houses whose parents aren’t home, since one or more of them have a key to their house. That scares the crap out of me. When I send my kids to school, I trust that the school is taking care of them. I also trust that my children are abiding by school rules. So what are fair consequences when that doesn’t occur and that trust is broken? I have revoked the phone privilege, as well as his very recently earned privilege to walk home from school with his friends instead of mom, a couple days a week. I have also revoked television use and the use of electronic devices unless required for homework or studies. I do not believe in telling my children who they can and can’t be friends with. I do believe in reinforcing the importance of making good decisions and considering friends to be those who make good decisions too. How would you handle such a situation? What do you feel is fair punishment? What issues have you encountered with your pre-teen children, and how did you deal with them?
I’m pretty sure in the next 2 weeks a new patch of grey hair will pop up, and unfortunately, I will know exactly why they made their appearance. And, I know there is more stress to come with the pre-teen years, followed by the teens.
Summer isn’t here yet, but I am even more excited for the upcoming hockey season. My DS is on a new team this year and we just had our first parent’s meeting the other night. That first meeting is always so exciting! To add to the excitement I’ve also taken on the role of the Social Committee Chairperson, which I’m really looking forward to. It sounds more intimidating, I think, than it actually is… because I hope to work together with most, if not all of the parents to find fun ways to get the kids together throughout the season, and at tournaments. Your suggestions are appreciated, too!
So what is up with this weather that can’t decide what season we are in? I just hope it all settles into place by the time school lets out for summer. I need to get cracking on figuring out the routine this summer, but my plans will include programs the local library and businesses have to offer, keeping up with their school work via workbooks and reading, a week at a summer (day) camp, and a ‘100 Things to do This Summer’ bucket list – I’ve seen a couple floating around social media sites and I love the ideas. Geocaching will also be a major focus this summer, as will bike riding, and I would like to go on a few hikes, and go camping at least once this summer. How will you keep your kids from saying “I’m bored” everyday?
It’s been a while since I had the vision of starting a blog, and adding a few posts. Things got a bit hectic and I kept meaning to come back but I didn’t want to have to push myself to find something to write about. And lately it’s as though parenting is giving me plenty to write about. When someone suggested I start a blog, I realized it was time for me to get this going again.
Is it just me? Ever since the snow fell about a week ago, it’s as though I’ve been in hibernation mode. I’ve stayed inside to embrace the warmth of my home as much as possible. I’ve slept more and eaten less. I’m starting to feel like a bear. There are only a few days left of the holidays before things get back into full swing. I need to get out of hibernation mode, but how?
I hope you all are off to a great start with 2013. I am, and I’m excited for many things to come out of this year! I’m not one to make a whole lot of resolutions but I would like to get more use out of my slow cooker this year. It is so handy on hockey nights! I am also looking for girl’s hockey clothes. Pinks, purples, long sleeve shirts, pyjamas, sweatshirts, etc. I find it is so hard to find for girls, despite the fact that so many girls play hockey now a days. When will clothing retailers like Children’s Place, Old Navy, Carters, Land’s End, etc.. realize that a lot of girls play hockey and they too, would like hockey themed clothes just like what is available for boys, but in colors like pink and purple too? My DD asked me for hockey pyjamas again, not too long ago, and all I could tell her is I would try to find some. Meanwhile my DS has about 4 sets of hockey pyjamas! Hockey girls want girly hockey things too! So, if any of you know where I can find girls hockey clothing, please leave the info in a comment below. It would be much appreciated! Well, that is all for now… and I wish you all a wonderful 2013!