Friday, April 04, 2008
The games kids play
Every morning when I drop my son to the school, I would ask him a question “How many smiles are you going to loose today”.
“I will try to keep them all today” is his answer all the time.
It is their 3rd grade class rule. Each kid owns four smiles at the beginning of the day. And they loose similes for any mischief's they do during the course of the day, like talking in the class or not following directions etc. At the end of the day their daily folder, which they carry home, will tell how many smiles they lost and for what reasons. If any kids keep all their smiles for a whole month, they would get a treasure from the class treasure chest at the end of the month.
“But yesterday you lost two” I said.
“Well, that is because of Noah. He was the one talking to me. And you know what, he lost all the four yesterday.. poor thing. “He always has an explanation.
“And today, you know what I am going to do, if he talks to me again. I will first warn him not to do that” He said and showed me how he would do that by pressing his index finger against his lips.
“You don’t need to do anything. If Noah talks, he will loose his smile”, I tried to intervene.
“No, I don’t want to put him in trouble. I will warn him first. Is that okay”. He looked at me as we reached the school.
“Okay”, I said.
This mundane incident flashed in my mind an hour after it happened as I was scanning the daily news. It’s shocked me by the strikingly different ways kids can react. The news was about an alleged plot by a few third-graders to stab their teacher. Not only they plotted the plan, they actually brought a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tap etc to the school to carry out their plan and even assigned tasks to the children like covering the windows and cleaning up afterward.
After reading this, the first question that might cross our mind would be “Is 8-9 year old kids actually capable of doing this?” . If they do, what they are actually lacking; for the time being let’s not look for who is to blame.
But wait, before I could finish reading the news, it shocked me again by what authorities are going to do about it.
“The district attorney is seeking juvenile charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault against an 8-year-old boy and two girls, ages 9 and 10”.
Lady of justice is blindfolded .