Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rules - They Were Made to be Broken, Right???

Yesterday I had lunch with my 1st grade daughter. I used to have lunch with her a lot since I volunteer at the school on Tuesday mornings helping out the teacher with various things such as making copies, stapling books, etc. Usually when I bring lunch for her, I will also bring lunch for my niece who is also in 1st grade. I always have permission from my sister to bring her lunch as we usually plan it a day or two in advance so she doesn't bring lunch on that day or plan to eat the lunchroom food.

We received a memo from the principal addressing some issues that they were having with parents coming to the school and eating with their children. New rules were implemented and yesterday was the first day I had been since the induction of said rules. You are not allowed to bring food for any child other than your own child. They must sit with their class, not at the back tables which are used for children who are misbehaving, if need be. You must sit with them and their class. This is to prevent "hurt feelings".

After having lunch with my daughter yesterday and following the new guidelines, I have many issues with the new policy. First of all, I brought Sonic for she and I to eat. I had a drink carrier, a sack, and a box. I had to try to keep all of these items contained in a tiny spot because there were children all around us. Secondly, the little boy beside me did not sit still. He elbowed me, fell on me twice as he could not sit down and be still, and multiple times, leaned against me. The girl across from me was obviously not feeling well as she coughed several times, right into the air with no effort in covering mouth.

My thoughts on the matter are, if children are getting their feelings hurt because I am pulling my daughter to a separate table to have lunch with her, how do they feel when they see me having lunch with her sitting right across from them?! If they are getting their feelings hurt when they see me bringing lunch to my niece, how do they feel when they see us at McDonald's and they are not invited to sit with us?! Kids have to learn at some point that they might not get invited to a birthday party when all of their friends do, they might not get to play with friends at recess because on that day the friends don't want to play with them. As parents, it is our job to teach our children these things.

Not every parent can go have lunch with their child. I don't recall my parents ever having lunch with me. In fact, my parents rarely ever visited the school. I turned out fine. My feelings were probably hurt multiple times every day in school. That is life. Children are going to be hurt and upset. We have to teach them how to deal with this hurt and anger so that they can become civilized members of society. I don't know how many other parents have issues with this new rule, but I saw four different parents with their children at the back tables and one even had two children that were not hers eating with them. Either they didn't get the memo or just chose to not follow the rules.

If we have to follow these guidelines, it would most likely deter me from eating lunch with my daughter, as it was not an enjoyable experience for me. I am thinking that I should speak with the principle and let him know my concerns on the matter...or just not follow the rules next time I go to school. But, then what is that teaching my daughter? It's an odd situation to be in, really. I have never been one to "make waves", so to speak. I try to follow the rules. What would YOU do in this situation? I look forward to reading your comments.

12 comments, add yours here:

Shutterbug8162 said...

What interests me most is the parents who were at the back tables enjoying their lunch. I would wonder why they were allowed to break the rules. And go ahead and break them myself. Do you have the option to sign her out for lunch and bring her back? You get lunch together, and no other children get their "feelings hurt" because you are out of sight. Just thinking out loud. I don't think I would like the new rules either. I have to agree with your reasoning.

Kara said...

I would talk with the principal about it, or I like Shutterbug's idea if you can check her out for lunch.

Becca said...

I second Kara! :)

Desert Songbird said...

Having lunch with my son is never an enjoyable experience because he likes to sit with his friends, eat as quickly as possible, and then scurry out to the playground (where parents are not allowed!). I've also gotten poked, jabbed, and had my foot stomped.

I prefer checking my kids out for lunch, but I only do that when it's a special occasion or if family is visiting. If it's an ordinary day, and I'm just there and they ask me to stay, then we sit at the end of the table, away from the crowd. I don't see why kids would get upset by seeing a classmate having lunch with a parent; it never seemed to cause a problem at our school. Then again, we have lots of parent involvement, so on any given day, there are 30-50 parents on campus doing various volunteer activities.

Akelamalu said...

I'd definitely speak to the principal about these ridiculous rules. Some of the primary schools where I live stopped having sports day because they decided it wasn't good for the children to lose races! That's what life is about for goodness sake! The parents complained and sports day was reinstated.

Crazy Working Mom said...

Shutterbug - I'm not sure about checking her out. I don't think it's an option that I would consider, though. As far as breaking the rules...apparently other parents are willing to do it. I'm not sure if they spoke with the principle and decided that it wouldn't make a difference.

Kara & Becca - I am there every Tuesday, so I might pop into his office this week while I'm there.

DS - We are allowed on the playground and most of the times I will go out there with her. I didn't yesterday because I had some things I needed to do at the office. I have never checked her out. I am not sure if that is an option. I am afraid that if I did I might have a hard time getting her to go back to school, so I don't know about that one.

Akelamalu - I think in theory his rules might be okay, but not in reality. You're right...kids have to learn to accept these sort of things as it's part of REAL life!

Lois Grebowski said...

PC run amok... kinds need to learn...

I would have a candid discussion with the principal.

Mags said...

I think you should protest. And the protest meal should be peanut butter sandwiches. (Are they banned there? They are here b/c of peanut allergies.)

The rule is stupid-if parents are allowed to have lunch with their children, they should be allowed to sit alone. Stupid rules.

Dimple said...

I think you need to talk to the principal first. If that doesn't help, enlist other parents who agree and talk with him as a group, or write a letter signed by everyone, or something like that.
You're right, just breaking the rules, however dumb they are, may set a bad example for your daughter. But going through a reasonable problem-solving process would set a good one.

Lori said...

As I get older everything is not black and white, there is a lot of gray in between. I can see both sides. I went and ate lunch with Kaitlyn the other day and it was absolutely crazy!! There were kids sitting all around us and I couldn't even visit with her. I don't know what the rules are at Bradford. I may could have sit with her at a different table. I don't know. Maybe I should check into that the next time I go eat with her. I can remember my friends parents coming and eating with them on their birthday. My birthday was always in the summer, therefore, my parents never came to eat with me birthday or no birthday and it did kind of hurt my feelings but I get my feelings hurt easily and that is life. Kids these days don't have any respect and it seems the schools are not "allowed" to discipline like they did when I was in school. I hope this has helped.

Shay said...

Lol Tish your such a trouble maker!! jk I totaly agree with you though! All kids will have to learn that one day!! I go every year on Haley's birthday and wish her happy birthday at school and sometimes eat lunch with her! This year I was told I couldn't pull her out of class just to tell her happy birthday even though I have permission from my parents to do so!! The say it's not a lagit reason!! what do schools know anyway?? lol love you

Maggie said...

I hope you fight this silly rule. I can't stand the let's all feel good all the time attitude or we are all winners. Kids need to learn that sometimes they just don't have what the kid next to them has. My kids come home quit often and me so and so parent had lunch with them today. Like it's just a fact of life. No biggie.