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    #234218 - 10/07/16 09:17 AM lessons on respect - what to do?
    Pinecroft Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/19/11
    Posts: 99
    My kids have been pushing the envelope in general with disrespectful behavior, but I just found out that last night my DS11 emailed DD9's 4th grade teacher to point out an incorrectly titled region on a map she was studying. He does not know this teacher at all.

    Now, I don't think questioning the map is disrespectful or wrong, but it should have a) been DD to do so (with a polite question along the lines of 'my brother noticed my map last night, and said it was incorrect... I said this is what the teacher said, but then he looked it up online and couldn't find anything labeled the way my map is... can you explain?) and b) in person NOT via email from a 6th grader to a teacher he doesn't even know!

    I do not want to lecture them forever, but I really think we need a discussion of respect. Anyone have thoughts on this? Clearly I point out how I think the situation could have been handled better, and how I feel about it (and how DD's teacher likely feels about it). Anyone have a resource online or good book that really hits this topic? Anyone else find their kids needed a refresher on respect vs. disrespect and have success getting the message through?

    Thanks in advance!

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    #234224 - 10/07/16 11:48 AM Re: lessons on respect - what to do? [Re: Pinecroft]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    This makes me smile, although I understand your concerns. Let's just say a strong desire for accuracy runs strong in our household...

    I'm not sure I would start with a book. I think I might sit down (or walk with) him and ask some open ended questions. Such as "You went out of your way to find the email for your sister's teacher and contacted her. What were you thinking you might accomplish by doing that?" (Listen) Depending on the answer, more questions.

    For example, "I can't stand that she is telling them the wrong info." "Okay, I know you like things being accurate, but how might a teacher feel if someone she/he didn't know sent them a message telling them they had told their class something wrong?" Then let that go into a teachable moment, explain that we need to consider how someone receives communication, not just our need/desire to send it. Have him think of other ways to address a situation like that, etc. etc.

    I personally wouldn't jump to this being respect vs. disrespect. Those imply intent. It's possible that this is more about how one's actions are perceived and taking the recipient's point of view (and emotions, status as a teacher, etc.) into account before acting.

    It might also be a time to explain "chain of command" or "not going over someone's head" (in this case, his sister, who is the teacher's student and should have been the one to talk to about it first).

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    #234238 - 10/08/16 06:24 AM Re: lessons on respect - what to do? [Re: ConnectingDots]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Originally Posted By: ConnectingDots
    This makes me smile, although I understand your concerns. Let's just say a strong desire for accuracy runs strong in our household...

    I'm not sure I would start with a book. I think I might sit down (or walk with) him and ask some open ended questions. Such as "You went out of your way to find the email for your sister's teacher and contacted her. What were you thinking you might accomplish by doing that?" (Listen) Depending on the answer, more questions.

    For example, "I can't stand that she is telling them the wrong info." "Okay, I know you like things being accurate, but how might a teacher feel if someone she/he didn't know sent them a message telling them they had told their class something wrong?" Then let that go into a teachable moment, explain that we need to consider how someone receives communication, not just our need/desire to send it. Have him think of other ways to address a situation like that, etc. etc.

    I personally wouldn't jump to this being respect vs. disrespect. Those imply intent. It's possible that this is more about how one's actions are perceived and taking the recipient's point of view (and emotions, status as a teacher, etc.) into account before acting.

    It might also be a time to explain "chain of command" or "not going over someone's head" (in this case, his sister, who is the teacher's student and should have been the one to talk to about it first).
    Agreed! smile

    Well said.

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    #234239 - 10/08/16 06:41 AM Re: lessons on respect - what to do? [Re: Pinecroft]
    Pinecroft Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/19/11
    Posts: 99
    Thanks ConnectingDots and Indigo.

    I actually had a similar realization as I wrote the message I posted here (this board is good for so many things LOL).

    We had a nice chat about it when the kids got home from school. He said he realized right away, after he hit send, that it wasn't such a good idea. Which had the added benefit of a low-impact, but real life, lesson on dangers of the digital era too :-)

    We chatted about the fact that questioning facts/what is being taught isn't wrong (its often really good!), but the way he went about it left something to be desired. And talked about all the possible 'ifs' involved (maybe they are teaching something different on purpose, maybe the teacher made a mistake). How she might have felt receiving that email. Also, we agreed it was really his sister's discussion to have, anyway, given that it was *her* teacher and *her* assignment.

    My jump to respect vs. disrespect stems from a pattern I've seen lately. Not just questioning authority, but bucking it. Taking the 'why do adults have more power than we have' line a little too far. I encourage my kids to think about what people are asking and saying - adults or no. And question when appropriate. Respect has to do with how the questions are asked, and why you have to give others some credit for what they say and ask, and sometimes listen without uttering the questions that may run through your head. (Also the more domestic aspect of it, and respecting my desire for a clean-ish home!! And why they have to pitch in!)

    So - sort of two separate issues! With DS, the conversation was wonderful - he was a dream about it. And we agreed that we'd come back to some short lessons/conversations about respect over the next few weeks.

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    #234240 - 10/08/16 08:02 AM Re: lessons on respect - what to do? [Re: Pinecroft]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    That sounds like a great conversation. smile This may be a good time to also discuss strategies and approaches for successful self-advocacy with both kiddos?

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