Thursday, May 15, 2008

Something doesn't add up

In Slate, Emily Bazelon describes her attempts to keep her 5 year old son calm while teaching him self-reliance. Each Friday, after school, for logistical reasons, her son was not picked up but played a little soccer. He expected and was given a snack (Veggie Sticks) but repeatedly couldn't retrieve them from his own bag and became uncontrollably upset.

Now we have all seen over-reactions in young kids. Out of frustration they panic. But it is usually a once-off. For Bazelon it was repeated and, indeed, she had not resolved it by the time she came to write the article.

I was left with the impression that we only had half the story. First of all, it may be that other children were getting 'better' snacks. Would it really be the case that he would have so much trouble finding a snack if it were a treat rather than Veggie Sticks? If it was my kids, put a treat in their bag and it would likely never make it to the end of school.

Second, what were the supervising parents doing? It seems strange that each week they couldn't resolve the situation.

Finally, if my kids are anything to go by, by the end of the week they are quite ratty and tired. The last thing they would want is a lesson in self-reliance.

My thought is: it's Friday, lay off the life lessons and if you have to be late, put a treat or something special in his bag.