That Phone Call About Your Child

27/09/2016
In The Lyons Den shutterstock_216736429 That Phone Call About Your Child yourchildgrowingup theprincipalcalling teachingyourkids teachingyourchildren parenting childstartingschool beingaparent beingamum

The phone rings and you see the school number flashing at you.  It’s that moment, that phone call about your child.  You panic because your first reaction is it’s an emergency and something has happened.  Flashes of broken bones, cut lips, blood goes through your mind.  You prepare the conversation telling husband there has been an accident.

The thought of the school principal ringing you to tell you your child is in trouble is the farthest thing from your mind.  But as you answer and hear their voice you suddenly get that feeling.  Your stomach sinks and you think oh god, what has he done?  My child!  What?

Well, it is your child, they are in trouble and he hadn’t even been at school 100 days.  It’s that phone call about your child.  I was in shock.  My boy isn’t nasty, doesn’t play rough, he isn’t loud but this time, he had done something wrong and the principal who I hadn’t even met yet is calling me.  Day 84 of his first year of school.  Bloody awesome.   So the story goes, there is a new kid on the block that started in term 2 of the school year.  My son thought it would be a brilliant idea to throw the new kids lunch across the playground on this kids’ second day at school and thought it was exceptionally funny too I might add.  I was horrified, it was so out of character and here I was a novice school parent talking to the principal and needing to convince her that my boy really is a good kid.In The Lyons Den shutterstock_59859379-300x200 That Phone Call About Your Child yourchildgrowingup theprincipalcalling teachingyourkids teachingyourchildren parenting childstartingschool beingaparent beingamum

I had never expected to get a phone call like this within the first 6 months of kindergarten.  I know my child and don’t worry I am the first to admit and would admit if he was a bully or had displayed behaviour like that before.

The whole conversation was awkward and I was polite, I listened to what had happened and was interviewed on my child and had he displayed behaviour like this before.  It was quite terrifying really.  Here we were in our first year of school and my child was already duly noted on the black list.  His behaviour would be monitored, he would be watched by the other teachers and it would be noted in his file.  I panicked.  What if he was going to be that little boy?  What if he was changing and school was changing him?  His whole world was changing and he was changing with it.  Maybe I was going to be “that’ parent and he would be “that’ child.  Years rushed forward to me being in the principal’s office in his teenage years for far worse behaviour again.  It was leaving me highly stressed.  It was a monumental moment when I realised I would be having to have that chat with him, the other mother involved and the principal.

I had never done this before, never been in this sort of situation.  I was speaking to the principal and having to on the spot sound mature and responsible.  Shouldn’t I have a five step program mapped out on what the ways are with dealing with a naughty child?  God this parenting gig is so bloody tough!

I knew my son but no one else did and it is hard to try to tell someone it was a one-off, he was showing off, I have no doubt this won’t happen again.  You feel like no one believes you.  I wanted to explain that I felt he was trying to “fit in” with new friends and test the limits and boundaries of school and new friendships.  Maybe you are not 100% sure yourself as he may have been good up until now but that doesn’t guarantee the future of his behaviour.  I was gutted and although I knew it wasn’t like him, I was concerned that this was the future map of my life.  Trips and phone calls to the principals’ office.

In The Lyons Den shutterstock_115841728-300x200 That Phone Call About Your Child yourchildgrowingup theprincipalcalling teachingyourkids teachingyourchildren parenting childstartingschool beingaparent beingamum   In my case, after discussion with the principal his school punishment had been decided by the school.  I discussed with her that we would discuss it at home and appropriate action would be taken.  She felt that the school punishment was enough but I felt that it needed to be made clear to him that this behaviour would not be tolerated.

I asked her if I should speak with the mother.  I felt terrible that this was her child’s first week at school.  He was from another country and all we want is for our children to settle into any kind of new situation and here we were ruining this for them!

We spoke to our son that night about what being a bully was and just plain old being not very nice.  The type of behaviour that isn’t kind and asked him how he would have felt if someone had done that to him.  We spoke to him about being cool with your friends and if someone else does something but we don’t think it is right, we shouldn’t join in.  We spoke about being fair to everyone and how we treat everyone.  It was a big chat for a just turned 6 year old but I felt he already knew most of this.  All I could do was hope that it sunk in.

The next afternoon I waited early for the school afternoon bell and saw the new mum on the block approaching.  I was shaking like a leaf.  This conversation could go so many ways.  I could get yelled at, ignored, laughed at.  I just had to balls up and speak to her.  I introduced myself, apologised and explained.  She listened.  She accepted my apology.  She spoke her side and I listened.  I ensured that my child would be monitored by us and the school to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.  We had a good chat and in my mind, I knew that I had done the right thing.  I needed to tell her I felt dreadful that part of her and her son’s first week at school hadn’t gone as planned due to my son’s unwelcoming behaviour.

Thankfully since this time, we haven’t had another phone call from the school but it was a huge learning curve for me and part of realising as a parent that our children will change and grow and sometimes not in the direction we would like.  But we have to ride it and go with it and do the best we can to teach them the best we can.  The rest is up to them.In The Lyons Den shutterstock_305387591-300x200 That Phone Call About Your Child yourchildgrowingup theprincipalcalling teachingyourkids teachingyourchildren parenting childstartingschool beingaparent beingamum

Oh, and one more thing.  I am not pleased with the way he behaved but in this case ever since that day the boys are fantastic friends and new mum on the block and I are fantastic friends.  All off the back of a sandwich and that phone call about my child.

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply Helen K 02/10/2016 at 4:01 pm

    I think you handled it really well – and if it’s any consolidation, a lot of kids will do something out of character to prove their worth (or so Ivr seen / experienced) / nipping it in the bud is s great idea!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 03/10/2016 at 10:38 am

      That is exactly right! They are learning and seeing what is too far. We definitely felt we needed to nip it in the bud early to let him know we wouldn’t tolerate that sort of behaviour. He is a good kid but it was great for him to learn about how he can affect other people. Thanks for reading xx

  • Reply Mamaguru 02/10/2016 at 4:22 am

    I think you handled it well. Children at this age experiment with behaviors and need to be taught what needs to be shut down, even though they have the basic moral guidelines, they often need to put it in practice. They also have a tremendous ability to grow, learn and change. I’m happy that this ended in friendship.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 03/10/2016 at 10:32 am

      That is exactly right. It is good for them to push the boundaries as that is how they learn and see what is too far. He also had to deal with how his actions made other people feel. I am so pleased it worked out how it did. They are such great friends and a wonderful family so it was good all round. Thanks for reading xx

  • Reply Amber 01/10/2016 at 5:43 am

    Surprisingly, I haven’t had the dreaded phone call… Yet. My son is very opionated! You handled it well and a good lesson for your son to see you communicate with the mom about the situation and resolve the issue. Good job mom!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 03/10/2016 at 10:29 am

      This is a good point! Yes, it is so good for them to see conflict resolution not just from themselves but from us as well. Hopefully there aren’t any more phone calls!! Thanks for reading xx

  • Reply Jen 30/09/2016 at 11:49 pm

    This is a tough situation and you handled it very well! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 03/10/2016 at 10:27 am

      Oh thank you! It was tough and could have gone either way really. Thankfully it all went okay but so stressful! Thanks for reading x

  • Reply Amy 30/09/2016 at 7:09 pm

    What an awesome outcome! Good on you for handling the situation like a pro 🙂 xx

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 03/10/2016 at 10:26 am

      Yes we are all such good friends now which is so great. It was so stressful at the time and made me think about future visits to the principal!! Scary!!

  • Reply Kate 30/09/2016 at 5:20 pm

    Great read, even for me a kidless person, lots to takeaway from this for anyone I think

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 03/10/2016 at 10:24 am

      Thanks! Yes it was definitely a real learning experience for me! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply Claire @ Life on Wallace 28/09/2016 at 9:52 pm

    It sounds like you handled it like a pro! As an aside, I find it amazing that you’d not meet the principal! Why aren’t they more actively involved with the parents, especially new parents?

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 29/09/2016 at 9:28 am

      Thank you! It was such a new experience as a parent! Yes, I do agree. We had seen them in assembly but there had been no proper introductions. It probably would have made it that bit easier, so very good point!

  • Reply Lauren 28/09/2016 at 9:38 pm

    That must have been so hard to deal with. You’re a firm and loving patent and you are leading the perfect example for your son.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 29/09/2016 at 9:31 am

      Thanks so much for your positive comments and support! You do always do the best you can and hope it sinks in with them! School is a whole new ball game!

  • Reply The Year Of The Daffodil 28/09/2016 at 4:00 am

    That is such a huge situation to go through as a parent that you dealt with amazingly. That is such a cool outcome that you are all friends now. Just goes to show, if people are brave and honest like you are, a difficult situation can be turned into something positive.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 29/09/2016 at 9:38 am

      Thank you! It is quite funny because we are all such great friends now off the back of a now I can silly incident. At the time I was terrified my son was going to turn into one of the naughty kids! So far he has stayed out of trouble, but I am sure that can change at any time!!! It also helped that the mother is an amazing person!! 🙂

  • Reply candy 27/09/2016 at 11:09 pm

    You handled this extremely well. Especially by talking with the mother. Hopefully a lesson has been learned and perhaps they can become friends.

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 29/09/2016 at 9:40 am

      We are all great friends now and it was just a silly incident, but you never know that at the time! Thanks for your comments and feedback. 🙂

  • Reply Haidee@Maybe Baby Brothers 27/09/2016 at 8:27 am

    I think you dealt with that situation tremendously, well done for being brave and speaking to the mum as I’m sure it was most appreciated! I’d say most parents will come across this situation at one time or another and it was probably a good lesson for your son to learn young. Mine just started school too so I can completely relate to new environments and how their behaviour can alter while they try to find their place in a new school. Great post! Off to like your FB page 🙂

    • Reply In The Lyons Den 27/09/2016 at 9:15 pm

      Oh thank you so much! Yes being a new parent at the school I was so unsure how to handle the situation, but I do agree I am sure we all have kids at one point or another that misbehave!! Glad you liked it and thanks for reading! 🙂

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