Skip to main content

You can't always get what you want

This week I have been teaching Vacation Bible School, something I am grateful to have the opportunity to do. I want to be sure the kids have fun while learning the Bible stories. but the real challenge is determining how lenient to be and how many feelings I should try to spare.

Yesterday, I told my 12 kids to divide up into groups of three or four for a scavenger hunt. Once the kids did that, because I had an extra list, I asked if anyone wanted to work alone. After about 30 seconds, one girl volunteered, and I then started to explain the instructions. Soon after, one boy started to get upset because he insisted that he really had wanted to work by himself. I explained that I had asked for volunteers (and I actually looked right at him when I asked this question), and he did not speak up. This seemed to upset him even more, and he next said that he wanted to work with the girl who was going solo. For about five seconds I considered telling him, as nicely as possible, that he needed to work with his group. But having been witness to his outbursts my first year at VBS, I instead asked the solo girl if she would mind working with him. Fortunately, she agreed. Problem solved. Major meltdown averted.

Later on during snack, my child, who was in a different group, wanted to sit with some of her friends, but there were not enough seats left at that table. Whenever I see this occur, I just pull up a chair at the end of the table for the kid. However, I was several tables from J when this happened, and a nearby adult volunteer told her to sit somewhere else, where there was an empty seat. I watched J ask the volunteer if she could just move a chair near her friends, but this women again told her to sit in an empty chair, and my child did, clearly upset. I went over to her, and she asked me to move a seat so she could sit by her friends. I offered her a seat at a table next to mine, but she refused, so I told her that she needed to respect what that grownup said and just sit there. Jordan was not happy.

Fast-forward to today at VBS, and my kids once again broke into groups. I was happy that two boys picked the boy who was upset from yesterday so he would not feel left out. But unfortunately, that same boy wanted to be with the solo girl from yesterday who had already picked a partner. The boy once again became upset and insisted that the other girl in the duo was bossing him around, saying he could not be with them, and he started to cry. I told the boy that she probably just wanted to be with her friend, that sometimes girls just want to be together. I said he could be with the other two boys who were happy to have him. I also said he could work alone. Neither of those options appeased him.

I tried to console him as best as I could, but I remained firm, telling him that we don't always get what we want in life. I insisted that the one girl was not bossing him around, and he needed to move on. After a another minute or two of crying, he decided to be a scorekeeper with one of the nice teen volunteers, and he was fine for the rest of the day.

But I, as I often do when I parent and teach, was left to question my decision. I don't want to be the one who makes a child upset, and if I can do something to avoid that, I generally want to. But I also don't think it is very helpful to coddle kids and constantly spare their feelings. Life is not fair. People can be cruel. Believe me, I see this quite often whenever I sub and I see how others are with my kid (post coming on that soon). And despite what a teacher at another school told a kid I met at the park, you don't have to be friends with everyone; everyone is not going to like you. Sorry.

Sometimes you just have to accept that you can't always get what you want. And you don't always get what you need for that matter either!

Comments

Carpetbagger said…
"Sometimes you just have to accept that you can't always get what you want. And you don't always get what you need for that matter either!"

There's a Bible story for ya. Life lessons in VBS. Lots of drama occurring under the surface there.
Facie said…
True dat! So good to meet you, by the way!

Popular posts from this blog

Worry

Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…