Fried Chicken Honesty

So my Dad sent me a joke the other day, one that was cute and clean.

{image by Keith Davis Young via we heart it}

My Favorite Animal

Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.” She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else in the class laughed.

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA.

He said they love animals very much.

I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was.

I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she’d asked the other children.

So I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal’s office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again. I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am.

Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most.

I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”

Guess where I am now…???

*****

Cute, huh? I do love the honesty of children – most of the time. Unless it is “Mommy, you’re really, really old” kind of honesty.

But it does pull into focus one of the many a challenging parts of parenting: teaching appropriateness. I want my kids to be honest – but I still have to teach them that there is a time to speak, and maybe a time to keep our thoughts to ourselves (or to tell Mommy in private). I get it – most kids have no filter.

Anyone who has had a “Mommy, that lady is FAT” moment will get it.

We also have a “Mr. Literal” living under our roof – he is a total rule follower (unless said rule involves him hitting his sister). Which is great, until he starts enforcing rules on ALL of his friends (*flashback to Bobby Brady as “the hall monitor” and you get the picture.) His adherence to rules is such that he is starting to annoy everyone; on World Book Day he confronted a friend who brought toy guns to school (they went with his costume), telling him “you can’t have them here”; Boo then turned to his friend’s mom to explain that NO guns were allowed at School, who was forced to sort it out with the teacher to show Boo that it was ok.

It’s like living with a whiny, vocal version of your conscience.

The bottom line is that he IS right. However. Some things do have grey areas. But kids can be very literal, so how do you teach them shades of grey when they see only black and white? Or is the question, should you?

I think this falls into the same area as “tattling” versus “telling”. I HATE tattling. I want my children to learn to sort out disagreements without constant intervention. On the other hand, I don’t want my child hurt by a meanie.

We’ve explained to them that if someone is doing something that could hurt themselves or is hurting others, you need to get a grownup.

If your sister calls you a “poopy head”, that doesn’t count.

Even though, yes, it may hurt your feelings.

These are the things they don’t put in the books.

*****

I’m curious to hear how you address these types of situations with your kids: how you teach them to filter, the shades of grey that exist (be it right or wrong) or tattling vs telling (and when they MUST tell).

Comments

  1. My 7 year old is Mr. Literal. Everything is by the book and if anyone steps out of line he wants to tattle. It drives me up the wall because his sister is always doing something wrong. So, I told him to only tell on his sister when she is doing something that might get her or someone else hurt. First thing that happened is he watched her draw all over her walls.
    *Sigh* I should have just shut up because the day before he would have instantly let me know and avoided all of the painting I will need to do.

  2. Gmom Phyl says

    I love it, fried chicken, chicken and Col Sanders!! The principal must have looked forward to seeing that child!!

    When my children or students told me I was the meanest mommy or teacher, I felt I had accomplished something. In order for children to grow, to separate from parents, they have to say these insulting things. Preteens have to find everything wrong about parents to find their own identity. One of my greatest compliments was from my eldest grandchild, having a tantrum, “Oh, I can’t do this with you.” That’s because I walked away.
    Parents are the first target when a child is unhappy. Don’t try to solve anything, just let them be mad and get it all out. Then they’ll feel better.
    Another compliment was when a grandchild asked me if I voted for George Bush. I said I did. He said, “Well, I knew you would. He is bossy and so are you!”

    Wisdom from the Mean and Bossy Gmom Phyl I earned it!!

  3. My ten year old is slowly beginning to understand the differences between being brutally honest and not sharing every thought he has. It is a slow process, but it is happening.

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