Your teacher said what?

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.

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8 Comments

Filed under Children, Lizy, Opinion, Parenting

8 responses to “Your teacher said what?

  1. treen

    Because of course 5 kids in one family is HUGE and we “shouldn’t” have any more than 2 or maybe 3. Whatever. I remember when 4-5 was the average, and you didn’t have a “big” family until you had at least seven kids!

  2. PerpetualChocoholic

    That’s pretty bad! I’d be mad too! As for overpopulation, in Canada we have to encourage immigration because we aren’t keeping our numbers up high enough through our birth rate. I think it must be much the same with the U.S. You could drive for miles and miles and see no one in some places. That’s a statement made by an ignorant person who is perhaps falling for the latest junk science.

  3. I dread the day that I have to deal with that sort of thing. It really is amazing how much they internalize things like that and hard it is to deal with that when we have a different system of values than most of the world.

  4. Good for you! That is a relief to know your child will talk to you, way to stay calm because it’s much easier said than done 🙂

  5. Karen

    OMG, poor girl!

    Just on what you said about middle school and high school versus grade school, I wonder if the explanation would be worded that way for older students? With older students you can talk about the issue of overpopulation without necessarily couching it in terms of “large families”. But I don’t want to stray into the realm of politics myself, so I guess I will leave it at that.

    • It’s a good point – I’m sure it would be worded very differently, and not only that, but they would be able to understand it better and form their own opinions (after all, aren’t teens very opinionated? 😉 ) Anyway, I think I understand what you are saying, and I think that is where my biggest concern lies – its fine that she believes that, everyone has a right to their own beliefs, (and if it were in middle/highschool I don’t think I’d care much because my child would be equipt to either ignore the comment or argue with the teacher about it) but to teach it to a child and word it in such a way that effects the very basis of their being, disturbs me a bit. 🙂

  6. I’m really glad you called the school about it. Most likely the teacher was trying to explain something and it just came out totally wrong. I’m sure she didn’t mean to frighten any of the kids in big families–but if its not brought to her attention she won’t know that she did, in fact, frighten someone. I’m sure it’ll help her think about what she says a little more closely.

    And Hurray! for your kids sticking together!

  7. Tracy

    Wow, poor Elizabeth. So good she went to you and was able to talk about it.

    On a different note, after receiving a few weird comments from an anonymous viewer, I have decided to change my blog to “invitation only” readers. If you’d like to keep following me, could you please send me a msg with your email address? Thanks :).
    tracyboudreau@eastlink.ca

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