Tuesday, October 17, 2006

He declared, "Give me liberty and privacy!"

I helped in my son's class today. I was leading a reading group of five that happened to include him. With all the experience I've had with leading kids reading, it was fun.

Beforehand, the teacher pulled me aside. She said that yesterday's class assignment was to write about their family. My son refused. He didn't not want to write about his family, so she allowed him to work on another writing project.

A little alarmed, the teacher asked me this morning if there is anything she should know. I was baffled, saying things have been fine in both homes. I said that, although it seems rampant, often times he's the only kid of divorce in his class or on his team. Perhaps he feels different, but I didn't think it was an "issues at home" thing.

After I led the reading group, the teacher asked if I would help proof the kid's writings about their families from the day before. I think she asked me so I could prod him. J refused to get his, saying he didn't write anything. When I asked him why he didn't write anything, he replied strongly, "My family is private. I do not want to write about it here."

Ahh, third grade and already a Libertarian.

Perhaps it comes from the lectures he gets.

Dad: brfffffrt
Son: I can't wait to tell my mom about that one.
Dad: I will tell you again. What happens with your family stays at home. You do not need to tell anyone that Dad farted.
Son: Dad farted.
Mom: You know you should not be telling me this.
Son: But I tell him when you fart, too.

See, it's not a product of divorce thing. It is an appropriateness of a point thing. Maybe it's sinking in and the pendulum has gone a little too far.


Kellie said...

I think it's ok that he didn't write anything - family *is* private. Does he have a journal? My kids always had jounals even though most of the time the most they wrote in it was a tally of who farted - Maybe sitting him down and explaining that the teacher was just looking for basic info rather than *detailed* info and that would also be a good time to explain how therapeautic it can be to write in a journal about the big stuff.

Anonymous said...

That. Is. Awesome.

Family is private and I totally dig that he stood up for himself on principle.

Klynn said...

Oh, man. I hate it when they pull out that "logic" thing. You know, when a kid takes something you've taught them, and uses it for something that was not the original intended purpose. The kid's smart, you gotta give 'em that. I wonder if he didn't want to write about it, because he knew there was a chance you'd see and read it. Is he old enough to think that Mom's no longer cool?

Cricket said...

For a kid who is generally shy and usually plays along, it has been a watershed moment to me, at least. Watershed to where or about what, I'm not completely sure.

Since he's been home from school, I tried to talk to him, but he won't talk back. Typically, I have to do something one on one with him for him to volunteer info - like after walking for a hour or after 30 quiet minutes in the car. I guess he qualifies for Taxi Cab Confessions. It takes quality non-prodding for him to speak up. Similar happened last night when he finally opened up about something going on in the neighborhood, something significant that he should have come to me directly.

I don't think he's to the point of being ashamed of his family. He revels when he can sleep with me and he does the same with ex. He loves me to volunteer at school and was very disappointed when I didn't stay for lunch today.

DD said...

I think this shows great morals, and an unwillingness to follow the general crowd. I'm glad the teacher didn't bully him into it.

Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing he won't be blogging under his real name?
Very cool kid.