Yesterday I got a message that a parent had called very angry about something that had happened to her child on the bus. I did not know the specifics of the event so I called the child into my office to find out what had happened. I braced myself because I knew the child was young and I knew the parent had called the school quite upset.
When the little girl got to my office I asked her to tell me what had happened. I was prepared to hear the worst. She proceeded to tell me that some girls on the bus were being mean to her. They were calling her things like “meanie” and “ugly”. Typical little girl arsenal. At first I breathed a sigh of relief because I had expected something worse.
And then it hit me.
This is exactly the type of discussion I have with my eight year old daughter each night before we go to bed. She tells me about her day and she asks me what I think she should do about this girl saying this or that girl saying that.
It always breaks my heart because her friends and their words and their time together mean the world to her. And when the world is not as she thinks it should be, she is sad. And when she is sad, I am sad.
Okay, I can not make this up.
In the middle of typing this post, at 6 AM, my daughter comes downstairs, sits next to me, and asks if we can talk. It’s 6 AM and I am the only one up. At least that is what I thought!
She says, “Daddy, is it okay if I have three friends at lunch, three friends at recess and five friends during class?” She was concerned that she might be hurting someone’s feelings by playing with different people at different times of the day. We went on to have a wonderful pre-dawn conversation. The kind that you see on Hallmark commercials.
These are the types of things that are on our students’ minds. These are types of things that are on our children’s minds. These are types of things that were on my daughter’s mind, at 6 AM this morning.
I know we all aspire to treat our students as if they were our own children. We often do, but sometimes life has a way of reminding us just how important this mindset really is.