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For the Love of God – Fail My Kid

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Last month, I once again found myself in a parent-teacher conference with several of my children’s teachers. Early in the meeting, I usually have a chance to share a quick spiel on the DePetris’ stance on our support of teachers, but at that point I was coming in hot from a lacrosse game so the spiel didn’t happen. After a few minutes, I could feel the energy in the room tiptoeing around a topic I refuse to tiptoe around. Once I sensed what was going on, I launched into my formal statement (which is now a ‘formal statement’ because I’ve had to deliver it so many times) granting my children’s teachers full permission to fail my kid if their work isn’t handed in on time. 

Some people listening might be asking themselves: “Mags why on earth would you do that? Don’t you want to support your child?” And listeners in another camp might be asking themselves, “Why wouldn’t the kid fail? They didn’t hand in the assignment. Just like, not stopping at a stop sign can lead to an accident or a ticket. And, not paying taxes can lead to consequences from the IRS, and not getting to work on time can lead to getting fired.” To listeners with the first question: I do support my kid, and that’s actually why I’m in the second camp. Team, the reason those teachers were tiptoeing was because today’s teachers have to deal with constant backlash from parents when they give students natural consequences.

G Man’s and my first experience of this was with our oldest child when, right around middle school age, she dug a prit-ee considerable academic hole for herself. I kept urging her teachers, and her guidance counselor, that it was our strong opinion that getting F’s in middle school was the perfect time to learn these lessons. While I was happy to play music for my kid outside the hole, and send down food, and empower her to pull herself out of that hole—there was no friggin’ chance on God’s green earth that I was either going to bring her a ladder, or get in the hole with her. She’d gotten herself in there, now she needed to learn that she could climb her way out. And that’s exactly what she did.

Now, I have no idea if that experience helped our daughter in any way, shape, or form, but it definitely let her know where her father and I stood on the topic: We believe in you. We believe in you four kids so much, that we know you can make it out of any hole you dig yourself into. And, if you aren’t given the opportunity to learn these lessons of faith in yourself when the consequences are low, you have to struggle a lot more when the consequences are considerably higher. 

So I’ll say it now, and, given the ages of our children, I will be saying it for another four years: Teachers, we thank you so much for all that you do. Please feel free to give our children any natural consequence for not taking responsibility for themselves—you will not be gettin’ a call from us!


Alright TeamConfessioners, next week I want to talk to you all about the person I fell in love with when my husband and I went away last month. I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t him. Be sure to tune in next week to hear who that person was. And, if there’s someone in your life who you think would benefit from hearing this post, please forward this episode to them—it helps me out a ton. Thanks for listening!

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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