Growing Pains

April 5, 2009

Poor Alex has been having a real up-and-down week.  

We go to two different churches, so the boys go to Religious Education at the Catholic Church every week at 10 am and then either go to 11:00 Mass with us, or we go to the United Church and they attend Sunday School there.  It’s a lot.

Today was a United Church day since I teach the 3 & 4 year old Sunday School class twice a month and this was my day to teach.  Alex is in a class with his cousin and good friend who shall both remain nameless.  Alex thinks these guys are great and they have a lot of fun together.  But.  They are both a grade ahead of him in school (even though they are all the same age) because we started Alex in school a year late.  Long story short, Alex will show off and try to impress them when they’re all together.

After Sunday School today, it was brought to my attention (by my sister-in-law) that these three boys have been giving their Sunday School teacher (the minister’s husband!!) a hard time  and that he was at his wit’s end and doesn’t know what to do with them anymore.  He actually asked Alex’s friend’s mom to stay during class to see for herself and  – in her words – she was “appalled” by their behaviour.

I was floored.  It never occurred to me that he would misbehave in Sunday School.   Alex is a kid who got a student-of-the-month award for setting such a great example for the rest of his classmates!  He was singing in the Music Festival Concert this afternoon, so had gone home to have lunch with my parents while we got the other three ready.  When he was at our house to pick up his costume,  D’Arcy & I told him in front of his grandmother that he needed to think about his actions; that we were embarrassed and disappointed to be told he was acting like this so he had better think about what he was going to do to rectify the situation.  We also told him that if we ever heard that he was misbehaving in Sunday School again, he would not be allowed to go anymore and would have to sit through the whole church service with his father each week instead.

After the concert was over, we came home and he & D’Arcy sat down at the kitchen table together to write an apology letter to his teacher.  This is what he came up with:

“Dear M,

I am sorry for fooling around during Sunday School.  It was rude of me to talk when I wasn’t supposed to.  I’m also sorry for not listening to you when you asked me to stop talking.  You can expect my behaviour to change.  I will not be disrespectful in class anymore.  I like your Sunday School class. Thank you for being my Sunday School teacher.

from, Alex”

Then D’Arcy drove him to his teacher’s house and Alex read him the letter before giving it to him.  He accepted Alex’s apology and D’Arcy made it clear that should this ever happen again, we want to know immediately.  

Next Sunday, Easter, is a Catholic week for us, so it will be two weeks before we’re back there again.  Hopefully this lesson will still be fresh in his mind!

This parenting thing just doesn’t seem to be getting any easier…

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