Courage in Parenting

On Tuesday evening after picking my son Liam up from school (5th grade), he told me something that happened in one of his classes that day and I had a deep pit in my stomach that lasted for a good hour. He rarely wants to talk about his day, let alone relay something he feels uncomfortable about. I went into full mother alert and began texting other moms to see if they could corroborate if anything weird happened in religion class.

It took forever for anyone to respond to me so I called my husband to relate the incident. I had initially tried texting the details and he wasn’t getting it so I called him. Yes, the teacher said something completely offensive about a student’s mother and it was sexist and suggestive and completely inappropriate for a 5th grade RELIGION class.

The trouble was I couldn’t get anyone to verify the story. One mother said her daughter wasn’t paying attention and another said her son noticed Liam freaking out because he thought the teacher was talking about S E X but he didn’t think it was inappropriate. So I started doubting Liam’s account and little by little the pit in my stomach eased. I wrote it off as him misunderstanding something being said. It happens.

Fast forward to Friday night at ski club and I overhear another 5th grade mother relating a run in she had with the very same teacher that week. Her daughter related the same story Liam did but instead of trying to corroborate it, she went directly to the teacher and asked if he said the thing her daughter heard. He did but wouldn’t admit it to her. She took it above his head and he was dealt with.

Why didn’t I have the courage to confront the teacher myself? Why did I let it go so easily? There are times in life when you are your child’s best advocate and I learned something from this mom, to trust your instincts and no matter how uncomfortable you need to step up to the situation. God, grant me the courage…

Have you ever wished you spoke up about something when you didn’t?


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