Friday, February 8, 2008

bad guys wear black

Pook had an interesting car pool situation this year. It started off normally-- I'd drive two neighbor siblings each morning and their nanny would bring him home. After the third day of this Pook said something unusual which made me ask more questions. He said the nanny told him he didn't need a seatbelt because the school was so close. "No booster seat you mean?" I questioned. No. No seatbelt or booster apparently. In fact, she did not even have a third seatbelt in the back of her car. And he was the one sitting in the middle. And she hadn't told me about the problem.

Now, I look back at this and realize several things. One, I trusted the nanny because I trust the person who hired her. Mistake. If she's going to transport my child I should have investigated a bit more. Second, she was paid to keep two kids safe. Not mine. Had I been missing a booster (and it does happen) I would have put my own kid in the middle without the booster and put the neighbor in a safer spot. A nanny has different motivations than a parent. And third, my child was following the directions given to him by an adult because he thought he was supposed to. He didn't know he could/should question an adult or that an adult might just plain be wrong.

We learned a lot from this. I try to let my children know that they can be right and an adult can be wrong. Pook isn't one to correct an adult, so I've suggested that he blame me if he's ever in doubt: "I have to ask my mom first" can be his excuse to say no. The whole realm of adults doing bad (purposely or not) just sort of exploded in my face. While I want my kids to follow directions from adults I also want them to question authority. Tough stuff.


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