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If Only There Was A White-Zone…

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

TuesdayTorah@imabima.blogspot.com

Who ever said “rules are made to be broken” was not a mom.

At least I hope not.

What’s this all about?? Drop-off.

I am, by nature, a rule-follower. I follow the rules all the time. Even when no one is watching. Or judging. Or learning…

There are a few simple rules for drop-off at Beernut’s school:

*have children exit the passenger side;
*backpacks should be in the car and not the trunk in order to keep things moving rapidly;
*children should be let out by the big trees and not by the kindergarten playground;
*parents should drive courteously and with caution.

Without exaggeration, I do not believe that I have ever left the parking lot without seeing at least one parent completely disregard at least one of these rules. Our principal has sent home flyers and even made phone calls (via the phone tree) to remind parents how important it is to follow the rules. After all, “we want to keep your children safe.”

And while safety needs to be of the utmost importance, I would venture to say that most people operate under the false sense of statistics — “it’s not going to happen to me.”

I don’t need to drive safely because accidents happen to other people.

A ridiculous s.o.p. Not to mention rude.

Picture this: a parent who decides to let out her child in front of the kindergarten playground causes a backup that emes (truthfully) extends onto a main thoroughfare.

Or my personal favourite: the mother who decided that her errand was so darn important that it was actually OK to PARK her car in the drop-off line and run something into the school. And then saunter back to the car. Though I must admit that even had she teleported back to her PARKED vehicle it would not have been rapid enough!

What the principal neglects to mention is that in addition to the safety factor or the courtesy factor is that our children are watching. When we as parents break the rules, we are effectively teaching our kids “rules are for everyone else…but not for me.” That rules apply only to suckers.

Conversely, when our kids observe us following rules (even when we don’t want to), they learn that even adults must do things they don’t want to do.

And they learn that “rules are made to be followed.”

*****

What’s your Tuesday Torah? Pop in on the Ima and let her know.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 8 April 2008 7:13 pm

    My mother is queen of “this rule does not apply to me.” My daughter is very uncomfortable breaking the rules. I’m somewhere in between, but I’m very conscious of following the rules in anything that involves my kids. I agree with you – the message you send this is not worth the extra few minutes of your time.

  2. meira permalink
    Tuesday, 8 April 2008 8:10 pm

    My husband was once (long long ago) tasked with traffic management during drop-off and pick-up after Sunday school. Parents screamed and yelled profanities at him because he enforced the rules. Wonder what those kids learned about kavod ha-rav . . . not to mention life in general . . . .

  3. Tuesday, 8 April 2008 8:21 pm

    oy – that drop-off thing is unbelievable. i think you have hit the nail on the head here that even the drop-off line is a chance to teach our kids important lessons! life is full of teachable moments…

    this year i’ve been doing drop-off/pick-up for our midweek and sunday programs. let me tell you, people just don’t pay attention to the rules…it boggles my mind how they can just have such disregard. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve almost been run over!!!!! (and i wear a neon hat, very attractive, i have to say)

    great post!

  4. Tuesday, 8 April 2008 8:39 pm

    Yeah, parents and the drop off rules thing, how many were on the phone while in the midst of this grand task I wonder. When I used to have to deal with the drop off site at one NMUSD site, I was amazed at the lack of courtesy these folks have, but it could be worse.

  5. Dadgiraffe permalink
    Wednesday, 9 April 2008 7:51 am

    “Even when no one is watching.” But Someone IS watching! Yes, it is possible to be ethical without a religious base, but the temptations to stray from the right path are greater if one believes that, ultimately, no one is watching.

  6. Frume Sarah permalink
    Thursday, 10 April 2008 2:54 pm

    Of course Someone is watching, DG. But that is the topic of another post 🙂

    You are right, though, that ethical behaviour ultimately demands answering to a “higher power” to keep humans on the path.

    Poppyseed asked me today why I get so angry with the other parents and it gave me a great opportunity to talk about what happens when parents don’t follow the rules in front of their kids.

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