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May 07, 2012


kathy b

headmaster sounds very Zen like. Glad daughter didn't need a CT scan!@


I had a colleague who had two teenage daughters. My colleague used to get up some 2-3 hours before she needed to because the girls hogged the bathroom to do their hair and makeup and whatnot. I asked her why she didn't have them shower and then move their preening to their own rooms. She informed me that she felt they'd learn those lessons when they went off to college and that it wasn't her place to enforce things like that.

I really do not understand this idea that kids will magically understand what they need to know through some outside force. I was under the impression that parents and teachers were helping to shape children's behavior so they'll be prepared for the ever increasing expectations society will have for them. I dunno, it just seems far easier to build good values and judgements slowly over time instead of expecting them to just magically manifest.

Maybe that's just my foolish not-a-parent view of the world.


Unfortunately some adults don't seem to always "get it" and rely on some granola notion of which I haven't a clue. Let's just say Girlfriend didn't go back to that preschool after that encounter.

Cambria Washington

I'm a psych major specializing in child development and applied behavior analysis. I have two kids with impulse-control/behavior disorders. If I've learned nothing else from my training (and personal experiences), I've learned that children learn how to behave in society from watching and interacting with others, and from receiving reinforcement for those interactions (both good and bad consequence). My youngest is the kind of kid that would get upset and hit one of his peers, and I'm the kind of parent that will make him apologize, take the toy away, and spend the day coaching him on how to correctly respond in that type of situation...because that's the only way he'll learn. These children often lack the ability to pick up on "unspoken" social rules that others just 'get', and need to be trained in them, so hoping that The Bonker would just learn from socializing with well-adjusted children just doesn't cut it. He'll learn, but not enough and not fast enough to keep his peers from rejecting him, which opens up a whole different can of worms.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, you did a wonderful thing by trying to speak to the headmaster, and asking them to keep a closer eye on things, and they did not do that child any favors by ignoring that request.


I am definitely of the school where a child will never know something is not OK if they are not punished/told that it's wrong! How crazy.


Sounds like at that school little classmates exist mainly as "learning tools" for each other. What a silly and potentially dangerous idea. In other news, your new book came yesterday and I love it.

donna lee

The idea that kids learn by osmosis. Yep. that works.

I'd have done what you did. I would have gone and asked for more supervision and then taken my kid out. If Girlfriend is supposed to "balance" this kid, what would she have gotten out of it?

sharon lee

Grrr. When I was in grade school, my 6th grade teacher thought that sitting me (quiet shy glasses protected dweeb chubby) between the two young men at risk going bad would help them. All that happened was that I learned a lot of new words I knew better than to share with my mom and dad.
When my oldest was in pre-school, we tried a highly recommended school that let children choose the rules like that. they went so far as to tell me they would not tell a sick child to blow his nose - he can decide when it's uncomfortable. can I tell you how gross this is with a boy? how many times my son was sick while there?


OMG!!! We homeschool, and the headmistress sounds just like one or two of the peace and balance loving mommies that the rest of the mommies avoid! I am a strong Alpha female type, one of only two in the whole group of 50 plus families we hang out with, and the other mommies know that while my children are much more passive and less Alpha like than I am, if my kids came to me with that story, I would tell my kids to punch the boy right back. Some of those peace and balance loving mammas know that when it comes to my kids, a stronger intervention on thier part is completely necessary if they do not want their kid to get a black eye.

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