Monday, March 28, 2011

Telling the Truth

Today was a tough day for Kayleigh and one that really tore at my heart.  I was getting Kayleigh ready for school and noticed some little blocks in her backpack.  I asked her where she got the blocks and she told me that her teacher had handed them out to the kids.  I knew that she was lying and was able to eventually get her to tell me the truth, that she had taken them from her class.  I told her that we would put them in her note tote with a note saying that she had taken them and was sorry (she was going to sign her name).  She went hysterical once she realized that she had to tell her teacher that she had taken them.  She was crying and hyperventilating saying that she was scared.  I remember being her age and taking a paper clip from my kindergarten class.  The guilt over taking that paper clip ate away at me, so much that one day while out playing I heard a police siren and was convinced the police were coming for me.  I told my mom about it after that.  I tried to share my story with Kayleigh to show her that all kids do this, that we make mistakes and then say sorry and tell the truth.  She was still so upset and so scared.  I have to admit part of me wanted to just make it better, to take the easy route and tell her that she didn't have to tell her teacher.  I knew I wasn't going to get her out the door in the next 10 min to get to school without a big fight.  I was at a loss as to what to do.  I prayed for God to help me.  I called my mom (yes I still need my mom)  My mom told me that I should go with her to tell her teacher.   So I hung up the phone thinking that was the plan. I explained to Kayleigh that I would go with her.  She was still upset and getting more and more hysterical.  I know my daughter and if I tried to get her out of the house and to school she would have thrown up in the car she was that upset. At this point I thought the best thing to do was to keep her home, calm her down, and talk about it more.  I called my mom back because I needed reassurance that I was doing the right thing.  We had grandma tell Kayleigh that she loved her and was proud of her for telling the truth.  I told Kayleigh that I was proud of her for telling the truth, and that she made a mistake and learned her lesson.  When Daddy came home tonight she told him what happened with big tears in her eyes, and he too told her that he was proud of her for telling the truth.  We had a big talk, mostly led by Kayleigh about why the truth is so important at dinner.  Tonight while putting her to bed she said she was so sorry and wished she hadn't done it and was still scared about telling her teacher.  I told her that her teacher would be proud of her too.  I emailed her teacher earlier today to tell her what happened and I will take Kayleigh in tomorrow so she doesn't have to do it by herself.  I really really hope it goes ok. I have no doubt that once we are at the school gate and she tells her teacher all will be better.  I bet she will feel very relieved.  I am just worried that we will have another hysterical fit to get her there, then again she may just surprise me.  Today was the first of what is likely to be many tough lessons for both daughter and mother.  This parenting stuff is tough.


Mellisa said...

First of all, I think you are 100% doing the right thing by going in with Kayleigh. It sends so many messages than a note. It tells the teacher that she has your support and you are willing to work with her (vastly important). It also shows that you acknowledge your child's wrong doings and are making her accountable for it. You have NO CLUE how often we catch kids doing things red handed and the parents jump to their defence. No. It's never THEIR child. The angel? Impossible. Most importantly, it shows Kayleigh that you are by her side and support her and love her unconditionally. As for the teacher ... I know that they teacher will appreciate her honesty. I know that the teacher will be thankful but will remind Kayleigh that she hopes it never happens again. I know the teacher will be proud for her honesty. I am.

This was literally a conversation in the staffroom on Friday. It happens ALL THE TIME. It's when the parents dont make their child accountable that worries me. You are one hundred percent doing the right thing. Yay Mommy.

Kataroo said...

Thank-you Mell, I think I may have a bit of anxiety tomorrow too, but reading what you said is making me feel better.

Sonya said...

awe, bless her little heart and even more so yours. It's tough being a parent, especially when we have issues like this. With ashley being 15 and the boys 13... i've had my share of woes and worries and if i was doing the right thing. I've made my children write apology letters and admit their wrong doings as well... teachers are always so sweet and understanding. You have to remember, it's not just your child. Every child has done something at one point or another. It's a tough lesson for them to learn, but that's just it exactly how they learn and become better people in this world. Through our love and guidance. You my friend did the right thing, she will always remember the love and guidance you shared... and how you held her hand when she was scared the most. <3

Good luck tomorrow... xoxo.

Aaron said...

Ah darlin' - a hard day and a hard lesson for sure. Growth sometimes means pain, so both you and your daughter grew a great deal today, and you grew together. I am sure she will remember this for the rest of her life - and you will too when she calls you 20 or so years from now for advice...

You are doing awesome!

PS I need my mother too...=)

Barb said...

You handled it perfectly, Katie. <3
Big hugs from the mama of an 8 year-old who still struggles to tell the truth, because lying sometimes helps perpetuate the illusion of perfection. Dang that perfectionistic tendency my child inherited from me!

(Notice that perfectionism is no longer a problem for me! lol)

Peggy Collins said...

This is great Katie, you did the right thing for sure. HUGS.

Rachel said...

Well my friend we spoke of this yesterday .. and you know what I think .. it is very much along the lines of what everyone said here! I am really proud of you hun ... I am really proud of Kay for starting her steps at being a big girl .. I think you are a wonderful mom who is learning a lesson herself and taking the right steps in raising a sweet young lady!

Luvs ya

Rosa said...

Ahh Katie..this one sure is a tough one. I haven't had to go thru this issue with school stuff but have had to return items to retail stores. Imagine, the kids of a police officer being caught stealing! I totally agree with Melissa. Too many parents put halos over their kids heads and then of course, how is the child supposed to know the difference between right and wrong. You did awesome Katie!