Getting sent to the principal’s office. Everybody remembers when the secretary would come over the loudspeaker in the classroom and ask the teacher to send a certain person down there. You prayed it wasn’t you. You prayed especially hard if you had done something punishment-worthy.
But did you ever stop to think about how many infractions your parents were responsible for influencing? Probably not. And if you really think about it now, there are likely a thousand ways we parents influence our own little beasts’ behavior at school.
Here are the top 10 parent-influenced reasons kids get sent to the principal’s office.
1. Saying bad words. We know we shouldn’t swear in front of our kids, but goshdarnitall if it isn’t hard sometimes! Especially when we stub a toe or drop that freshly prepared dinner we spent hours making all over the crumb-and-pet-hair-covered floor.
2. Playing kissy face with classmates. It’s good for kids to see their parents showing affection for one another once in a while. But sometimes they get curious, and you know what that leads to? Kissy cat on the playground – a clear violation of the “hands to yourself” rule.
3. Responding with, “Maybe. We’ll see,” after the teacher asks them to do something. We may or may not have offered the same response to our children with no intention of actually doing whatever it is they asked of us. On multiple occasions.
4. Tailgating classmates during scooter time in PE. It’s possible our kids may be observing our driving habits a bit too closely. Well, I suppose the good news is little Johnny or Susie will stay in their own lanes next time.
5. Singing “I’m Sexy and I Know It” in the lunch line. Worse if they add the requisite wiggle into the mix. Hey, that song is catchy, all right?
6. Hoarding piles of chocolates in their desk drawers and eating them behind the bookshelves when they’re supposed to be doing arts and crafts. I’m not saying we sometimes sneak away and lock ourselves in the bathroom to indulge in our secret stash, but … OK, fine. We definitely do that.
7. Picking bits of food out of classmates’ lunch boxes in the cafeteria. When you’re a mom, sometimes the only meal you get is one created by scavenging your kids’ plates. We see now how that might not set the best example.
8. Bringing Mom’s homemade birth video in for show and tell. It’s a cherished memory at home. Apparently strangers don’t appreciate it quite as much. Can’t imagine why.
9. Telling white lies. Maybe our kids have caught us telling them that we’re out of ice cream sandwiches when we’re not or that it’s bed time when it’s really an hour earlier than the usual lights out. So what? Nobody ever died of an ice cream deficiency and an extra hour of sleep. Is that a crime?
10. Calling friends inappropriate pet names. I don’t know where they heard Poopy McFarterson. I swear on it.
So parents, the next time your little ones get sent to the principal’s office, just remember: you’re partly to blame. And you know what? I think that means you deserve a timeout. (You’re welcome!)
My partner for this post is Ziploc® brand, who’s “been there, done that” when it comes to back-to-school chaos…