Should we Bully our Children into Conforming?

I have to say this somewhere so I’m going to say it here.

I have tried to change who I am, thinking there is something wrong with me, for my entire life and then I had my son.  He taught me the most important lesson of my life.  That I was born who I am, and there will be no changing the fact that I am sensitive, emotional, thoughtful, a worrier, a perfectionist, an overachiever, pensive, and often too kind, to the point of sacrificing myself.  (I’m actually still working on some of these as I feel they are a bit destructive, but I’m not trying to change them just tweak them so it’s not harmful.)

Can I also say that I am disappointed in people lately as they do not get some very important aspects of others.  One being that we are sometimes unable to help who we are.  Traits are deeply ingrained in our DNA.  There will be no changing those.  I must get this off my chest as it persists to nag at the, “Hey that isn’t right!” part of me.

My son recently couldn’t wrap his head around why he received what he perceived as a BAD mark against his behavior in the classroom.  “What did I do wrong?” “Why doesn’t she like me?” was all that was going through his little mind.  Then he took it a step further and began telling himself that it would get worse and eventually he wouldn’t be included on the coveted end of the year field trip.  Eventually, he couldn’t get out of bed, he couldn’t force himself to go to school. How sad that his little mind took him this far (Shame on me for not noticing sooner what was going on with my child, ah but there’s that human piece alive and well in me).  This is the ego hard at work, creating grief, but honestly, if you listen then you can understand.  But we don’t listen, we react, we retort, we lament.  Thankfully, I am here (and aware, better late than never mom!) for him and called to inquire about this BAD mark.  Turns out he earned it quit fairly for NOT TALKING. Apparently, according to the rubric talking and sharing during collaborative group work is expected and encouraged.  (Even, mind you ,if it’s a natural character trait to not speak, whether it be shyness, or just lack of that ability, we don’t know.)  Regardless, I’m disappointed that my child is being criticized and told that who he is–this trait that he has inherited (his grandfather-very intelligent man is the same way) is somehow BAD and deserves 2 marks lower than excellent behavior.  I’m wondering what kind of a world we are living in, when teachers fail to understand that they are teaching people (not robots that can be manipulated).  Her words were that she was trying to scare him into talking by giving him a low mark. It didn’t do that to him.  He’s way too smart to give into fear.  And shame on her in the first place for trying to scare anybody’s child in an attempt to make them conform. And when she said he’s too quiet didn’t she understand that this child may not be able to speak?  Shouldn’t she reach out to the parent who already told her that he is sensitive and ask if he’s okay?  Nah, just bully him into conforming-now that feels right! Hey what happened to not bullying others.  Is this a teacher bullying a student? Is this something that you want happening to you or your child? I’ll let you be the judge of that.


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