I have a dilemma.
A parent told me her child wants a different locker.
I want to say ‘NO’.
The thing is, I try not to say no without good reason. I think of myself as someone who does not set unnecessary limits for children.
Why do I want to say no to a change of locker? The locker is available.
Well – None of the other children got to choose their lockers. It is much easier to have the lockers in use grouped together. We have extremely limited time to do admin work, and I am reluctant to spend it creating new locker labels or peeling off old ones.
Those are reasons, of a sort. But they are not very strong ones.
And my real reason, when I think about it, is that I want to say no to this child.
I am finding this child demanding. There is difficult behaviour. Requests are ignored. Help is not given. Boundaries are not respected.
I believe I should work to get the child to feel involved. Build a strong relationship. Praise. Connect. Recognise strengths. Interact. Be responsive. Create a sense of belonging. And I am doing those things.
But I also feel a strong need to say no to this.
I want to send the message ‘you don’t get everything you want just because you say you want it’.
And I feel a need to assert hierarchy.
I want to say no so the child learns I am in charge.
I don’t like recognising this in myself. I am conflicted. I wonder if I am wrong to feel this way.
But I still do.