Making fun of children isn't nice, but teaching them to be able to laugh at themselves is an important skill that too often gets pushed aside as many parents today overreact to every little thing that may hurt their precious little one's feelings. Case in point: Arizona mom Christina Valdez who's outraged over a recent award her daughter was given at school.
Valdez's 8-year-old daughter, Cassandra Garcia, came home from her school recently with the offending award. Instead of it being a source of pride like most awards would be, it was a "Catastrophe Award" given for the "Most Excuses for Not Having Homework." It was signed by her third grade teacher with a smiley face, but it left Valdez feeling anything but smiley.
In fact, she was outraged that it was given to her daughter in front of classmates who laughed, and she went to the school to complain. She says the principal blew her off and told her it was a joke. She told KGUN9-TV:
I think it's cruel and no child should be given an award like this. It's disturbing.
Whether Cassandra actually had a problem making up excuses like the dog ate her homework, I don't know, but I don't think it's nearly as big of a deal as this mother is making out to be. She told the station she's so upset that she won't be sending her daughter back to that school next year. The station got input from all sorts of specialists who chimed in with how awful the award was too. "They feel less than, they feel fearful of authority of what might happen if they make a mistake," said psychologist Sheri Bauman.
Or maybe next year they'll stop making excuses and actually do their homework? Look, while I don't think the award was the best move on the teacher's part, I think the mom's reaction will do a lot more damage to the girl in the long run. Instead of just telling her to brush it off as a bad joke, she's teaching the girl to take herself way too seriously.
Learning to laugh at ourselves and being able to take a joke are vital skills in life. I'm working on it big time with my 8-year-old son who gets irate anytime anyone dares laugh at him or ribs him even a little. In a perfect world, no one would ever laugh at our kids, but it's not perfect, so we may as well give them skills to deal with it rather than freak out over every little joke.
Do you think it was wrong for the teacher to give out this award? Do you think the mother is overreacting?
Image via smbuckley23/Flickr