April 28, 2009
Listen Before You Pounce
Listen Before You Pounce

I'm Dr. Laura (a.k.a. "My Kid's Mom") and I'd like to read to you something hilarious. Now the reason I'm reading this to you is not just to entertain you. I am not a stand-up comic, although I do have that edge about me. But it's because I want you parents to realize something, particularly if you jump into way too much defensiveness about your children before you learn more of the facts, like when they get into trouble at school or when there are other issues at school. Your immediate reaction might just be to defend your little kid. Well, you know what? There are times you need to defend them and there are times you need to help them grow up, tell the truth and handle things with honor, character and courage. So here's the humor to remind you of that.

[School Answering Machine, the outgoing message:]

Hello! You have reached the automatic answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his work - Press 2

To complain about what we do - Press 3

To swear at staff members - Press 4

To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several fliers mailed to you - Press 5

If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

To request another teacher, for the third time this year - Press 8

To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

To complain about school lunches - Press 0

If you realize that this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it's not the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort then - Hang up and have a nice day!

Many of you really need to hear that little bit of humor. I understand, because I, myself, am a mommy and the last thing I wanted was my own kidlet's feelings hurt. And I used to immediately go into "mommy bear" mode, because [in a gruff voice] "somebody's upsetting my kid." But you have to realize, if you want your child to grow up to be a decent, functional person, they have to be held accountable for their actions.

They have to be taught to tell the truth, they have to be taught to deal with disappointment and frustration, and even a little bit of fear. And if you can work with the teachers to help your child do that, then I won't have to nag you, will I?

I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Now go do the right thing.

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Posted by Staff at 7:00 AM