Image: Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We had a situation last week. I may be reading too much into it, but it really irritated me to the bone.
On the way home from school, elder was very quiet and piped up that he had a letter than I had to sign for him to take back into school. I didn’t think that much about it at the time and just thought it would be for “yet” another trip for P7’s.
At home, he sheepishly slipped the letter under my nose and I read it with total disgust. Not in disgust at him I have to say (although I had to show him some displeasure) but in disgust at the contents.
It begins by saying this type of thing:
Dear Mss xxxxx
I am really sorry for stealing sweeties from your desk, and I know it was just too tempting, so please please forgive me and I know you can never ever trust me ever again for lying and nobody likes a thief. I have to say sorry to the whole class and I hope you can forgive me.
Yada Yada Yada you get the idea.
Some of you may be shocked that on this occasion, I didn’t give my boy the third degree, or make him bow and scrape to a pretence of guilt in front of me. Some of you may stop reading right now, make your mind up what kind of person I am, and then you don’t find out my side of the story.
Wind my neck back in for a month and we find a group of “professionals” and I talking about my boy, his future, and his transition to the big school next year. As part of that discussion, I tell them about my sons sugar addiction and cravings. Bear in mind that I am not talking about your average pouty child who just likes a sweetie or two.
I have only recently come to terms with the fact that my son is a sugar addict and that it is part of his condition. I specifically mentioned it at the meeting where his teacher was present as I had only just found out for myself that he was not just an out and out thief from the treat cupboard, but actually has an illness that is a side effect of his condition and compels him to ingest sweet stuff. He is just lucky as can be that his genes keep him as slender as he is with all the stuff he packs away.
It helps me to understand why we cannot have lots of bags of sweets in the house, or lots of packets of biscuits as if he knows they are there, he will get up during the night and clear the cupboards. This behaviour has caused many arguments in the family with extended groundings, removal of privileges, promises of treats to leave them alone etc etc etc and NOTHING worked. I was so in the dark that I thought my boy was just pushing the limits further than is acceptable.
Back to the story. We have the teacher INFORMED that he is a sugar addict and that it is part of his condition. Then the teacher leaves a bowl of sweeties on her desk to give to the children. I can only guess at the reason for the sweeties, but I suspect they are an incentive for good behaviour.
Picture this. An empty room with no adults around, and a group of boys who probably have little opportunity to make the grade for one of these revered sweeties help themselves to one and congratulate themselves on their cleverness at outwitting the adults. One of the boys feels guilty, so dobs the rest of them in and says he didn’t pinch any “so I am told by my boy” . He also tells me that the dobber in got off with it.
At this point, I am fighting the urge not to laugh as in the same situation, if I were a child in their shoes, I suspect that I would have helped myself to one of those sweeties too. I am also irritated with the teacher for putting such temptation in the way of someone who has a sugar addiction and expecting them not to take one. I am even more irritated with myself for expecting the teacher to even to remember that he has a sugar addiction.
I will not be carrying on this issue at home though I cannot tell my boy exactly what I think of it all.
They were warned – and my boy had to take the same punishment as the other boys who took a sweetie, but heaven above – why, why, why would you leave a bowl of sweeties on a desk in front of a class of kids. It is utter madness.
What do you all think?
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