To call or not to call

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COMMENTARY
By Danielle Wilson

Life’s about to get interesting when a conversations starts with, “I debated whether or not to call you, but figured if I had kids, I’d want to know.” This was how a phone call began the other night, and as soon as I heard those words, my heart sank. Ugh. What the hoo-hah did my child do now?

As parents, we’ve probably all been in this situation, either as the bearer or the receiver of the bad news. I recently overheard one of my kids’ friends direct two F-bombs at my 10-year-old son while they were playing Xbox in our basement (we had not yet installed my super-awesome sound barrier birthday door), and, to put it simply, Momma don’t play that. I politely sent the young man home, but wavered over whether I should call the mother. In the end, I decided it wasn’t that big of deal and gave him a reprieve. He had, after all, looked sufficiently embarrassed when he apologized.

So, I recognize when a parent feels strongly enough to actually pick up the phone and rat; my child probably deserves it. But that doesn’t make the accusations any easier to hear. With this latest incident, my stomach immediately turned upside down as I prepared for the onslaught of alleged crimes, which amounted to my son being very disrespectful to the instructor of an extracurricular class.

I certainly did not enjoy the phone call – no parent wants to hear their kid is behaving like an ass – but in all honesty, I did appreciate it. My husband and I cannot be, nor want to be, with our children 24/7, and like all kids, they’re going to make mistakes. But it’s far better they get caught and punished for the small stuff now while they’re still malleable, rather than have their misdeeds ignored until they’ve become adult dillholes firmly ensconced in their dillhole ways.

And there is a saving grace to receiving one of these uncomfortable calls: You get to legitimately channel all of your disappointment and embarrassment into creating the perfect punishment.  Because when the shameful tears fall, as they inevitably do, we know we’ve done our job as parents.

In summary, if you catch a kid doing something wrong and feel the parent should (or would want to) know, go ahead and narc. They’ll thank you for it later. If you’re the one with the brat child, take consolation in the fact confiscating a cell phone can bring considerable joy. Peace out.

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