When I received a phone call from my son’s school telling me that my son accidently broke the football goal post in the school field my heart sank. I went to school to have a short meeting about the incident with my son and the Deputy Principle. I found out that my son was actually playing a silly game by lifting up the goal post to try to drop off his friend who was hanging onto the net at that time. Because of the weight of his friend, the goal post fell down and broke. I was terrified that someone might have been knocked down by the goal post and got injured but luckily no one was hurt and it was just the goal post being broken. However, the bad news was that replacing the goal post was going to cost a lot money. The deputy principle said maybe around fifteen hundred dollars or more.
I was very upset and even angry with my son and his behaviour. I didn’t really know what I should say and do in that moment of time. Then the Deputy Principle said to my son that he has to pay for what he has done wrong, think about how the incident could possibly have injured others and how other students now can’t use the goal post while they’re playing football at lunch time until it gets replaced. She then wanted my son to think about ways to make amends by himself at home and come back to discuss it with her the next day.
I was glad in a way that she made my boy really think about his mistake and find ways to make up for it. After dinner that day I asked him what he’s going to do and he came up with some ideas like picking up rubbish at school and helping cleaning and emptying the bins etc. He even wrote a proposal with an apology letter which I think was a great way for him to learn from his experience.
He took it to school the next day and his Deputy Principle worked out with my boy the task schedules for 10 days and my boy has completed them. I really appreciated the way the school dealt with the problem in a supportive and positive manner. My boy was indeed upset and nervous on that day when we had the meeting about the incident but he seemed to realise that he needed to take full responsibility for what he had done and make amends.
I believe it was a good opportunity for him to learn about consequences. However, it was an even greater learning opportunity for me as a mum as it taught me that I didn’t have to react to his mistake or misbehaviour negatively and get mad and blame him. But instead let him be the one who resolved the problem for himself and for me just to guide him to respond in more responsible and positive ways.
Year 8 student’s mum