Today started off like any other day, I dropped Ally off at school but just as I was about to leave, her teacher pulled me aside to have a little chat. It turns Ally has been rather rude at school, as I stood there listening to her teacher, I was shocked, embarrassed and disappointed. Actually I should have seen it coming, she has been rather rude to all of us at home lately and especially towards Max.
It is easy to excuse her bad behavior with the changes in her life, new school year, new teachers and a new baby on the way. But that doesn’t condone her bad behavior. Neither Matt nor I tolerate rudeness from the children, especially if they are showing disrespect towards another adult.
As I drove home, I pondered over how I should handle the situation. My gut feel told me not to come down hard on her like I usually would. Ally can be very rebellious and sometimes the soft approach might work a bit better. But I didn’t want her to think that I wasn’t taking the matter seriously as well. Obviously when God gave us Ally, he left out the thick manual that was suppose to come with her, the manual that explained how to deal with situations like these.
When I picked her up after school, I spoke to her gently and calmly during the drive home. I asked her about the incident that her teacher had told me and she admitted that she had indeed been rude. Then I asked her why she reacted the way she did and further explained that when she spoke rudely to others, it would hurt their feelings. She started to cry a little so I said since she did something wrong, she’ll have to bear the consequences. She’ll have to apologise to her teacher tomorrow morning and would have to forgo her TV time today. She agreed that this was a fair punishment and didn’t argue when the TV stayed off.
I don’t know how much of our conversation she absorbed but for now I’m going to leave it as that and monitor her behavior. In the meantime, I would really appreciate if God could send down the forgotten manual.