Denial is a powerful thing.
As a teacher I have become very familiar with it.
I know the supportive, wonderful feeling of knowing that your parent has your back. As a child, I knew that my mother and father would believe me… they were on my side. But I also didn’t take advantage, I didn’t lie.
As a teacher I have seen students abuse the fact that their parents believe in them. I’ve seen them take advantage and manipulate.
Here is a real conversation I’ve had with a parent:
“Hi Mrs. Smith I was just calling to talk to you about a problem I’ve come across in class. While I was checking Timmy’s work I found that his entire paper was plagiarized off of the internet.”
“Well, that isn’t possible. Timmy wouldn’t do that.”
“Well, I’m open to hearing another explanation but the assignment is word for word. I’m going to have to give him a zero.”
“I asked Timmy about it and he said he didn’t do it. Timmy never lies to me. He’s never done this before. Are you sure?”
I could go on with other examples but seriously. Seriously?!
I have a paper in my hand that has been copied word for word from an internet site and you will stand by that your child didn’t do it, REALLY?
I’ve had parents deny that their child copied another students assignment saying maybe they just “think alike.” I had a student copy the entire Wikipedia assignment, complete with footnotes and hyperlinks, but Mommy says they didn’t do it.
This is ridiculous. I can’t even think of words to describe how ridiculous it is. It’s right up there with the parents I have who do their students assignments for them and thent ry to say the student shouldn’t be penalized when the parents get caught copying the assignment off the internet (oh yeah, that happened).
And as far as behavior when I work with kids and tell their parents about the incident that happened there are parents who never, ever believe their child would do anything bad. It doesn’t matter that they get a bad report every single time they pick up the kids…. it must be us, not their perfect angelic child. Irregardless of the fact that their little darling mouths off at them and won’t be respectful to their parent even as they are walking out the door.
So I want to believe LA when in the future she tells me something…. but at the same time I don’t want to be this parent.
I’m afraid of going too far one way or another. I don’t want to side against her, but I don’t want to blindly believe that she is perfect.
I guess the answer is just to be reasonable and teach her that we are judged by our past actions. As long as she gives me reason to I will always have her back and be on her side. I’ll fight for her. Defend her. But when it’s obvious that she has done something wrong I will not accept that… and it will make it harder for me to believe her in the future.
Because while I love Egypt, I’m not camping near De Nile 🙂