Mom Tells School Not to Feed Her Child

If you're like me, you're first thought is, "WHAT?!? What's wrong with this mom?"

Then, I read the story. Ah. Not quite so bad as I first thought.

In fact, I'd have done the same thing with my child. If I tell you to do something and you don't obey...then you will face the consequences of your disobedience. As most parents know, the best consequences, the ones that stick the most...are those born of a natural consequence.

Johnny leaves a nearly full jug of milk out on the counter? Johnny will be paying you $2.50 to replace that milk. Johnny's also not likely to do that again...because he felt the hurt of that $2.50...that he WAS saving to buy a new video game.

The difference between my situation and this mom's situation is that I homeschool. If I tell my child to get their lunch together for the park picnic we're having today & they do something else instead; then they won't eat until we get home. I have the ability to enforce my consequence because I'm with my child.

I'm not a bit surprised that the school chose not to honor the mom's request. I am beyond angry that they made the decision to tell the child that what his mom did was illegal. It was not anything close to illegal and for that I think the school SHOULD apologize! I think they should go TO THE SON & tell him that mom wasn't doing anything illegal. They were wrong. He should listen to mom.

How hard would that be?

I don't think that I would have actually expected the school to honor such a request, though. I would have told Johnny that he had to pay for his lunch since he didn't get his lunch together. If he had the cash, it would come out of that. If not, I'd loan him the money and he'd pay me back...with interest. THEN it would be JOHNNY'S choice to feel the hurt of spending his own money on his lunch or to feel the hurt of not eating lunch. There would be nothing for mom to ask the school to do. If the school told Johnny that he MUST eat, then he would be required to purchase the lunch with his own money.

If you choose to have your child educated by someone else, whether that be a private or a public school, then you have to accept that you have given up your right to parent your child during a part of the day. As such, you'll have to alter the consequences accordingly should your child disobey. You might have to get more creative with your discipline, but you can still find a way to have Johnny feel the consequences of his actions...while not expecting the school to play an active part in his discipline.


Courtney said...

I so see your point, but I also think that where you live can have a lot to do with if the school will follow with your request or not. I have sent emails to my teachers kids telling them that DS is grounded for such and such reason and as part of that he cant play at recess or do such and such. Haven't had a problem with them not doing what i have asked. I do think that the school was right in giving the kid a sandwhich though. Schools now days have then kids eat luch so early! My DD eats at 10:45 and has recess or pe (i forget which) almost directly after. I would have had my son pay for the lunch himself or if he couldnt would have ask the principal if he could help clean up the cafateria to pay it off. Idk, maybe i am just lucky that my kids go.

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

Sounds like you are very blessed that your kids go to a school where you can communicate effectively with administration & have them actively participate in raising your children. I fear schools like that are way too few.

I agree that she should have made the child pay for his lunch. I can understand the school's point of view.

Angela Cooper Rogers said...

Comment from Facebook:

Not allowing a child to eat as a disciplinary action is ridiculous and down right cruel. Eating, sleeping, using the restroom, etc.. are things that are essential in living. This parent could have disciplined the child by taking all sweet foods out for the day or taking away the computer, cellphone, or some other source. She could have made the ... See Morechild do the chores at the house for the day. There are so many things that could have been done. Shame on that parent! It sounds like the parent wanted to get revenge, not remind the child of his/her mistake and enforce the rules in a responsible way. I am so thankful that I home school my children and do not have to worry about another person making the decisions for my children.

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

I actually disagree with you. A child will not starve from missing one meal. I don't think she should have expected the school to participate as she did, but I firmly believe natural consequences work best.

If the child has to pay for their own meal or goes hungry for a meal, I GUARANTEE they will think twice about putting video games over prepping lunch again!

Doing chores at the house for a day, taking away sweet foods or the computer...those things are just a random consequence that don't really fit what the child ACTUALLY did. In life, we face natural consequences. If we don't take our lunch to work, we don't get to have someone else provide it for us & then just have to do extra chores at home. We either pay more for a lunch out or we go hungry.

I believe part of training a child in the way they should go is training them for adult life...where we face natural consequences to our actions.

Tara Kimbrough said...

I didn't really read your article but I just heard about it on the radio and wanted to share my thoughts on this situation. I understand the school's point because they can get in trouble if the refuse to feed a child lunch when the parent's are unaware of it. However, when the parent's aware of it, the school must comply. Having a child wait to eat is not neglect and will not cause them any harm. Waiting to eat is not denying a person food. A few hours will not make someone starve or cause them emotional upset. Any good parent/person knows this. To think it will cause them to starve means that when your child wants a snack you have to give it to them, or it's neglect. That's bologna. The child does not run the house or the school, however, this school is telling the child they do by overriding the mother's legal right to discipline her child in a SAFE and EFFECTIVE manner that will not harm the child and is not illegal.

I would also like to note, the mom doesn't have to pay the school anything. The school took on that expense themselves, even after being notified by the mother that the child cannot eat lunch that day because he forgot it at home. If I was the mom, I would have gone there at lunch time and made sure my son did not eat and my form of discipline was enforced. I went without food all the time as I child because I refused to eat what was made for me. It was a choice I made when I was 7 that I would rather go to bed hungry then eat something I didn't like it. I practice it to this day. The 4th grader knew what he was doing and school has no right to override a mother on a decision like this. It is these forms of actions that the government and schools take to override a parent's authority that is leading to the high crime and teen pregnancy rates. (Trust me, I know, I've been there.)

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

I'm in total agreement with you, Tara. In my opinion, the school crossed the line when they told the child that mom was doing something illegal.

However, I think in this mom's situation I would have found another way of disciplining my child that DIDN'T involve the school. (For example, making the child pay for his lunch or letting him choose to go without lunch on his own...but with him required to pay for it if the school forced him to buy a lunch.)

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