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Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to School

Have you had anything like this happen? Last year I got a call from a school social worker because apparently, I had been depriving my child of food as a discipline. Yep. My sweetie went to school and told her teacher that she wasn’t allowed to eat lunch that day because she hadn’t done the dishes the night before. Well, that was kind of, a little bit, maybe a teeny amount, based on an actual story. What had happened was that, because my sweetie had refused to help clean up after dinner, we said that instead of buying school lunch (which said sweet-one enjoys), she/he would have to take a "peanut butter and nothing sandwich" and an apple. Somehow that lunch never made it to school, but the story did.

Then there was the year when my darling went to school on a Monday. When the teacher asked about her weekend, my darling said, “Well, my dad was in jail and my mom wanted to watch tv, so I spent the weekend taking care of the kids.” Ok, no truth in that one at all, just for the record.

What’s a mother to do? In both of my situations, I was spared incarceration because I had a good relationship with the teacher and they asked me before calling the authorities. But sometimes that’s not so easy to do, especially in the higher grades or in situations where the child is endearing and convincing. So here’s my dilemma- should I tell the teacher up front that my child has issues and tells lies? Won’t that prejudice the teacher against my sweet one from the start, labeling him/her as a “bad kid”? And how much should I tell about personal stories and RAD problems? Am I violating my child’s trust? I remember one IEP where I went to great lengths to print out information about attachment and my child’s particular issues, along with suggested strategies, only to have the entire team completely ignore it. Then what?

Any ideas?

1 comment:

Sue Nachor said...

Ah, yes...the infamous...poor me syndrome, loosely related to the Stockholm syndrome. Ours does the food thing something AWFUL!!! and was last year constantly playing the teachers and front office for additional food. Now, OUR daughter has a really, really severe eating disorder. Miraculously, she is thin as a stick, but left to her own, would eat 24/7. At school, they think it's cute and funny. We have had to fill them in on some things, to try and convince them that for her own health's sake, they cannot let her eat 2-3 lunches a day..this has fallen on deaf ears. She's not allowed to have money at school...they see her with money and say nothing, cuz hey, she's just buying food out of the vending machines..no harm done..argh.

I do think you sometimes have to fill some of them in, so that they understand you A-know your child B are trying your best to do a good thing, and sometimes use some form of consistency and discipline and last but not least C CYA..yes, our children say some absolutely atrocious things sometimes and if our teachers know that our kids have the tendency to stray from the truth..then they are more apt to call first when the child comes up with these kinds of stories..and let's face it..if the teachers DON'T know us and the kid...they WOULD be calling CYFD