Friday, September 3, 2010

Just Turned Five and A Confirmed Snowflake

Snowflakery begins young. The stories I hear from my teacher-students and friends suggest that it may be absorbed through the umbilical.

Consider the young kindergarten student that has nearly driven a friend to drink after only two weeks of school. Five year old Special Sally finds learning her kindergarten lessons too boring, so she meows like a cat, dances around the room, and in all ways is a behavior problem. Now, Myfriend Myra is equal to the task, but of course little Special Sally is angry that Myfriend Myra insists on proper behavior.

Enter Mr. and Mrs. Snowflake A. Asshat, who cannot understand why little Sally acts out---"because she sits so quietly in front of the television every night unless we change the channel or she doesn't like the program." (Myfriend Myra's dry comment: "I'm not a tv.") In any case, the Asshats contend, it is child abuse to require quiet attention or (heaven forbid) for Special Sally to have to say the Magic Words (Please and thank you, of course). They have accused Myfriend Myra of cruelty for requiring the dreaded D-word (discipline), and have vowed to ensure that she is fired as someone "unsuitable to be around young children."

If Snowflake Sally and her parents are terrors now, while Sally is just-turned-five, be very afraid when she reaches college age. Assuming she or they manage to live that long.

Snowflakes. FEH.


  1. Myra's behaviour is perfectly normal for a five year old. It's what kindergarten is designed to train her out of, so that in grade 1 she'll be able to sit still and learn stuff.

    However with parents like that it will never happy. I predict three things: 1)your friend will keep her job, no problem (her administration has met such parents before);

    2) poor little Myra will to be moved into a Private School for Entitled Tots, where she won't learn nearly as much as she would have with your friend;

    3) when little Myra is in grade 5 or 6 her parents will suddenly realise she can't read, write or add and spends a lot of time in detention lockdown so she doesn't disturb the other kids. There will follow a merry-go-round of special assistance, new schools, and finger-pointing by the outraged parents. Poor little Myra hasn't got much of a hope of coming out of this with an education, a degree, or a life.

    Thanks, parents, for doing the VERY BEST for your poor little kid.

  2. "However with parents like that it will never happy."

    Freudian slip?

  3. Oh my god, Special Sally sounds EXACTLY like my nephew (gender aside) who started kindergarten this week. He's obsessed with meowing and his parents are 100% against the idea of discipline. They have this idea that he will tell them when he is tired (and he frequently stays up until 3am). They have the same attitude about food. So if precious has a craving for candy, his body must be missing some sort of sugar nutrient. And so they give him candy for dinner.

    My enormous sympathies to your teaching friend. When I have my nephew for the day, I find he responds really well to discipline, appreciates "quiet time" and "reading time" and genuinely likes vegetables instead of candy for dinner. But as soon as Mom and Dad show, suddenly he throws a tantrum.

  4. There's nothing normal about a 5-year-old who meows like a cat and dances around the room in a classroom, unless she's never had a day of preschool (the place where that stuff is trained out of two- and three-year-olds) or is so exhausted or sugared-up that she can't cope.

    I hate disciplining my kid (who is 4), because it's hard and maddening work. But I grit my teeth and do it for the people. And for her, so she's not the object of adult loathing.

  5. @Merely Academic,

    Though PickyHistorian did not indicate it, I'm going to guess that SS is the Asshats' first child, which means we can expect a lot of fumbling around by the parents until they find a system of parenting that works for them. If they or the child have half a brain, they will get their act together and the child will grow out of these behaviors. If the kid doesn't turn around by grade one, THEN you can blame the spastic parents or the spastic child.

  6. @Strelnikov - oh, absolutely; this is the Asshats' first child; must be. One loses energy to allow that level of undiscipline past the first child. There is a good chance the parents will grow out of it, it's true. This is their first encounter with a school system that demands more from their child than they do. They may adapt.

  7. Curious to know if these parents were teachers. Teachers and profs make the 'worst parents' - they know the system the best, know who to complain to, and know how to phrase the complaint for maximum response. While I don't let my kids get away with anything, I'm not afraid to speak my mind when I think the teacher's being unreasonable (e.g. one teacher was 'pre-emptively' removing my eldest from the lunchroom to eat alone, every day, before he caused trouble, as he'd caused trouble before - WTF? being punished BEFORE the act? my wife the lawyer, and ex-teacher, had a field day with that one...), and from conversations with other profs and friends who are teachers, I'm getting the impression that we tend to be the biggest thorns in the sides of teachers and principals because we don't just lay down and accept whatever we're told by 'the authorities'.

  8. Hmm. As the child of an elementary-school teacher, I'm inclined to say it was the biggest factor in my success in adapting to an academic environment. I 'went to school' for months before I was born and, one supposes, got somewhat used to the rhythms of the school day that way. I 'played teacher' with my younger sister (who meowed too, by the way, but behaved well), using my mum's teaching supplies. I knew what was expected of me in a school environment years before I was ever faced with one.

    Now, of course, while all this made me the teachers' pet, it made me the other students' perpetual target. Getting away from *that* abuse was, however, one of the things that most endeared university to me. And I've never left.

  9. @Prof Poopiehead
    Sally's parents don't sound like academics, for example they let the kid watch TV indescriminatly (anybody who knows a little about child development would say that it's a good idea to keep them away from the idiot box for the first few years, then wean them on to it.) Also, from what I read the Asshats don't seem to have read any books on parenting, which would seem to be the sort of thing academics would do.

  10. Myfriend Myra didn't say anything about the parents' jobs, but from her conversation they didn't sound like academics, just a couple who were letting the child do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. As for Snowflake Sally's behavior, it has to have been beyond normal for an active five year old. (However, no, she is not really worried about her job, either; she's heard that threat before.)


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