Yesterday my fifth grader came up to me in tears while I was cooking dinner. “My teacher says there are too many people in the world because there are too many big families and we have a big family and I’m worried their going to split us up.”
I think I got whiplash from my neck snapping around to stare at her while the other kids, because of course everyone had to be present at that moment, broke into confused and distraught mayhem. “Oh, honey. There’s plenty of space still on the planet and they couldn’t split our family up.” I went on a little about laws and such, then asked, “Did your teacher say because you had a big family you would be split up?”
“No, that’s what I felt like she was saying.”
“What did she say exactly?”
Elizabeth made a few more sniffles in an attempt to calm down. “She said they are planning on sending people to live on the moon because we are overpopulated because people have too big of families.”
Inside I was fuming, outside I managed to remain calm and collected and reassured my family that nothing no-how would be able to split us up and separate us.
We talked some more and sweet Elizabeth says, “maybe I misunderstood, mom.”
Misunderstood? Maybe, but all of it? I was fairly sure she didn’t misunderstand the big family, overpopulation, and live on the moon parts. Honestly, I could care less about living on the moon, I was just bothered by the impact the big family comment was having on my daughter. I dwelled on it all evening and this morning I decided it was worth a call to the school over. There are a lot of large families in our area and I was worried about the other kids who might be worried but not mention it to their parents, etc.
So, I called the principle, and she was understanding and said she would talk with the teacher.
There are a few things I am grateful for because of this situation, first I am so glad that Elizabeth was comfortable coming and talking to me about something that bothered her so much. Go Liz! Second, from everyone’s reaction it was evident that even though they may fight a lot, they sure do love each other. 😀
While these are wonderful things to realize, I would like to clobber the teacher for causing needless alarm and worry to a young child. I can understand it in highschool, even middleschool, but grade school, when most kids aren’t old enough to understand personal and political agendas or view points? Come on.