Since Boy 1 started year 6 in September, he’s been walking to school with some friends. No adults. Just the four of them. Alone. None of them have mobile phones. I should be worried, right?
His group of friends are great boys. Friendly and polite, but not in an “it’s always the quiet ones” kind of way. They have a laugh and can be boisterous at times, but generally they are good kids.
So the day one of the mums mentioned they’d been buying a pack of sweets to share on a Friday I wasn’t particularly distressed about it. It was just once a week and they were having to share the little money they had. So whilst it wasn’t great news, it didn’t feel like a reason to stress.
Then one day I spotted them. Wandering to school, chatting and laughing with hands full of sweets and cans of fizzy drinks. Yep at 8 in the morning!
I let them know that I’d seen them and that they were ‘busted’ and left it at that. They could sweat out the rest of the day. But my next reaction was to contact their parents.
This wasn’t to blame or point the finger, but to let them know so they could make their own call on if or how to discipline their child. But I felt a responsibility to do so.
Now, I know there are umpteen worse things they could be doing: smoking, drinking, swearing (ok they are only 10!) At least they were actually going TO school.
But I felt a responsibility to the children and the parents to do my bit. We all agreed between us that they wouldn’t be allowed to go to the shop in the mornings and if they did, they’d be escorted to school by an adult! That would definitely put them off.
Modern life is busy and sadly it’s so much more disconnected. The idea of community is wasting away. So I felt quite relieved that as a group we were able to come to an agreement about our respective offspring. In fact, they even thanked me for raising the issue.
And the boys all knew the adults were in agreement and where they stood on the issue so there were no loopholes they could take advantage of.
I’m not sharing this so get pats on the back coz another mum praised me (although it did feel great). I want more parents feel they can share these things with eachother. That they can work together to resolve issues.
With a son soon starting high school, it’s becoming even more important to instill the ‘rules of the road’.
I want my kids to know that they need to behave well and respectfully wherever they are and that other adults have the right to reprimand them (within reason).
Isn’t this what we need more of in today’s world? That idea that we are all in this together?
It really does take a village to raise a child. Its just a shame that our villages are slowly disappearing.