Monday, September 13, 2010

Abusing the trust?

"Mamma, do you know, Bharat kissed Muskan today", my second-grader informed me.
I had no idea how to react. "Really? And what did Muskan do?"
"She said, 'ooohhh' and smiled", he said.
"Why did Bharat kiss her?", I probed gently.
"Because he loves her. And she loves him too, but her friends tease her, so she doesn't talk to him."
"Does your teacher know?"
"No. And you don't tell her, okay."

I am stuck. I think the teacher needs to know what is going on. But how do I do it without abusing the trust my kid placed in me?

drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Jan Morrison said...

hmmm...I want to know more! Why should the teacher know, for instance? And why do Muskan's friends tease her about Bharat?
tantalizing. And all in the 2nd grade. wow!
Jan Morrison

Clarissa Draper said...

Yeah, I don't know what to do in this situation. It's hard.


Karen Walker said...

Ooh, tough one, Rayna. Perhaps you could talk more to your second grader about what's going on and determine if, indeed, the teacher does need to know. And if you feel they do, talk to your son about why it is important to tell.
Good luck.

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - What an elegant way to bring up such a difficult challenge. My first instinct is to do whatever it takes to ensure that your son continues to trust him. If I were in that situation, I don't know exactly what I would do. But I would like to think that I would start by promising not tell the teacher behind his back, so to speak. But then, I would ask more questions about the kiss, and if you believe that one or both children has acted inappropriately, I would explain that the teacher needs to know because both children need to be kept safe, just as the teacher would need to know if a window was broken, a student was very sick, or something else urgent. I would like to think I'd work hard to make my son understand the importance of telling the teacher (if it is necessary), and wait until you get his agreement, however reluctant. It might take a bit more time, but hopefully, you could alert the teacher while still showing your son that you will not tell his confidences behind his back.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I guess because I'm not a parent, I wouldn't be inclined to say anything.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jan- you would be surprised how much (and how little) those kids know about such things. And they love whispering about such things.

@ Clarissa- it is tough, isn't it?

@ Karen- I guess that is what I should do. Why is parenting so difficult?

@ Margot- thank you so much. That is exactly the right way to proceed. A couple of days delay would not matter, but it makes sense to get him to understand why it is important for the teacher to know.

@ Diane- maybe I am over-reacting a bit, but I do think the teacher should know what direction her kids' thoughts go.

LTM said...

Awww!!! that is so sweet! :o)

BUT! I know. My babies are this age, and they are NOT supposed to be kissing OR falling in love... I'm friends w/most of the moms in our age group and we always tell each other when little romances like this appear. Can you do that & keep it secret btw the moms?

I'm sure it's just sweet little puppy love~ :o)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not fair - no girl ever kissed me in second grade!

Trudy said...

My, that is a tough one for sure. It does look like you've received some excellent advice though.

I hope it all works out well in the end for you!

God's blessings!

Jules said...

Well Alex, no boy me kissed me either :)

Sorry Rayna my dogs either like you or they don't. They are SO much easier than children.

I'd be concerned with the teasing though.

Good luck, my friend
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Tina said...

You've gotten some good advice here, I agree. As a former teacher, my first question is, "Where is the teacher when this kissing is happening? Shouldn't they be in her sight at all times? Secondly, it's way too young to be kissing...harmless puppy love or not. As to the teasing, that's another issue. Teased kids react in different ways, depending on how they perceive it. Some teasing is fun, attention, etc. Cruel teasing leaves scars that sometimes don't ever heal. And just one more slightly scary thing to say, and then I'll stop. I've worked with children who've been sexually abused, and their behavior includes age-inappropriate sexual contact. Not accusing anyone of anything...but since that IS a possibility, however remote, sadly, it's another reason the teacher needs to know. But in all of this, the trust your son has placed in you is of utmost importance. What Margot said about how to get him to agree is very good.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

My mother was half-Lakota (the guys in warpaint who won at the Little Big Horn) and half-Irish.

To her family was everything. Family, sadly, being just me and her.

I knew I could trust her with anything. It was a security that meant more than words can convey to know I could trust her with any secret, any fear, and it would be safe from listening ears.

Protect you child's faith and trust in you. Puppy love is real to the puppy. But it is also short-lived. Patience will see the situation through safely for everyone involved. Keep your fingers on the pulse of the situation and observe through the eyes of your child.

If things get out of hand, it will be noticed at school without you having to shatter your child's trust. Roland

Anonymous said...

Elegant - but I don't see it as a problem. My daughter assures me that most people in the second grade have a girl/boyfriend, but as they are only 8 yrs old, it's more like a game than anything to worry about.

Hart Johnson said...

Natasha-Oh this is such a sweet little problem. I think, unless your son sounds like either party is DISTRESSED, that the teacher doesn't need to know. The trust is more important, unless one of the kids is feeling cornered or picked upon. I suspect though, with the assessment "she loves him too" that it is normal playground stuff and getting the school involved makes a lot more of it than it is.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Leigh- I could tell the mother, but something tells me she will only think I am over-reacting. Puppy love it may be, but isn't seven a little too young even for that?

@ Alex- you should have taken the initiative, the way Bharat did.

@ Trudy- it is a tough one, isn't it? Thanks!

@ Jules- dogs are easier than boys, I am sure!
The teasing bit I can understand- they are at a stage when they deny the existence of the other sex.

@ Tina- according to the kid, it was during the recess. And I too think seven is way too young. And the other thing you bring up may well be true too- the kid does come from a slightly dysfunctional family. Maybe I should take it more seriously than before.
Thank you.

@ Roland- you give very good advice. Yes, the trust my kid placed in me is really important to me, and I don't want to jeopardise it. Thank you.

@ Fiona - my younger one had a girlfriend when he was a month short of his third birthday, and that was a game. I do hope this is too. But then your daughter would know.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Tami - we cross posted. I was a late bloomer, so I guess I tend to see things from my viewpoint. If it is playground fun, I guess it is okay, but I am going to keep my finger on the pulse for a bit. Don't want to take chances with my kid, or someone else's.

Patricia Stoltey said...

What an interesting dilemma. 2nd grade boys in the U.S. are probably more interested in tormenting girls than kissing them. Sounds like a pretty precocious pair. I suspect the teacher, if she's any good at her job, is already aware.


Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Patricia - maybe the kissing was a part of the tormenting? The boy concerned is a bit of a bully, and I am not sure it was pure innocent (puppy) love that motivated him.


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