I’m a mom of a two-year-old. He is great. He is hilarious. He is chatty. I work full-time and have him enrolled in a local daycare/pre-school that I LOVE.
And then about two weeks into the school year, I looked in his folder for his artwork and the teacher let me know that all the artwork would be kept in a binder … till the end of the year!
I was initially just slightly annoyed, then I found out that it was because the school went from being independent to being associated with the Department of Education. I asked the teacher what that meant exactly, and she explained it was more paperwork/administrative changes than anything else. Still annoyed about the artwork, but no red flags.
THEN we were handed a questionnaire about two months in. This questionnaire would be included in my son’s binder along with his artwork. This “About My Child” page had quite a few innocuous questions such as “circle the adjectives that describe your child” “does your child like to do crafts?” “does your child like to play outside?” Then it got to be a bit more personal… “What is your child’s bed time?” and “Do you reward your child for good behavior? How?”
AND THEN … “Do you discipline your child? And how?” That stopped me in my tracks, and I immediately felt un-easy. This made me nervous for multiple reasons.
First: Discipline is a part of parenting as a whole. It is not one thing that happens independent of education, instruction, guidance, and care. To ask me to reply to how I discipline my child in one line feels very shallow.
Second: I spank. I spank on the hand. I only do this during persistent disobedience. Then I follow it up with kissing his hand and explaining “I spanked you because you have been disobedient. Mommy has rules and needs you to obey so you are safe.” Typically I pray with him and ask that Jesus would help him obey, then I reinforce HOW much I love him. But to just say “I spank” on the very small space provided, again, feels shallow.
Third: I’m a solo parent. This might not sound like a reason to you, but if I do spank and there is ever a time that my parenting is brought into question, there is no other adult in the house to back me up.
So what would YOU do? Would you write a much longer explanation of your parenting philosophy to attach to the questionnaire? Would you talk to the school administrator? Would you start researching new schools? I’ll be honest, I have lost some sleep over this one.
I expected to have a good number of school-based decisions in my future, but did NOT expect them yet!