An Off Day in Second Grade

This exchange happened after I received a note from Owen’s teacher and a downcast face from my boy about him showing off a bit with his friends.

Dear Mrs. Martin,

I wanted to write and apologize for Owen’s language and behavior today. I know that he is not in the habit of using unsavory language, nor would Kris or I allow him to. I do feel somewhat at fault for maybe not stressing the “badness” of the word He used. I don’t remember my exact words, but I know that we talked about that word and the fact that it’s in the Bible and what it used to mean. I am confident that I told him it is unacceptable though.

I had thought at first, partly due to his insistence that he was only saying it as it refers to a donkey, that he might actually be innocent. I asked him a lot of questions though, and the clincher for me was when I asked if he still would have said that word if you had been standing next to him. He admitted that he would not have said it.

I can only suspect that he was trying to impress or even shock the other boys by allowing it to escape his lips. I don’t know yet what his intent was

I also don’t know what was going on in the bathroom. Again, he said he wouldn’t have done whatever he did in the classroom or in mixed company. So he was indeed guilty, and full of the shame of it.

I don’t know what came over my boy today and I don’t know why it was all on teacher appreciation day. I’m sure that didn’t convey appreciation very well. I don’t know yet if there’s more I need to do, but I know that I’m thankful.

Thankful that he was mad at himself (not at the boy who told on him) after you talked with him. Thankful that you made a big deal about it and deducted points from his conduct sheet as well as punished him today. I’m thankful that I can send him out, away from me, and he is not just watched over, he is held up. Thank you for keeping the standard that I would myself.

It also gave me the opportunity to teach him 1 Thes. 5:22 and what the Bible says about avoiding evil. Even if he had done nothing wrong, even if his defense about not “meaning” the word in a bad way were completely true, it had the look and feel of “bad” and that’s not Christ like.

I had to write a similar note for Ivan’s teacher earlier this week. Not for poor language choices, thank goodness, but for repeated selfishness, which is what it usually boils down to for all of us. Oddly, I am not discouraged. I am pretty sure that God didn’t give me these fellas to simply enjoy, but to build up, correct and strengthen. How can I build up, correct and strengthen, if I don’t know where the flaws are?

Thank you again for everything you do in that classroom. I appreciate you and the school and all that goes into keeping our children safe and strong.

God Bless,
Mary Kelso

Her reply:


First, let me say I LOVE YOU!! 🙂 Owen is the wonderful boy that he is because of the godly parents raising him!
Second, no apologize is needed because I was just happy to learn that Owen really isn’t perfect!:) His little heart was crushed when we were talking about how his actions had affected his witness for Christ. It was very evident that he loves his Lord and was very sorry for his behavior.
Third, have you ever considered teaching a parenting class? You would be wonderful at it and there are some parents that could benefit from your wisdom!
Thank you for making my day through your testimony as a Christian parent! I am blessed by you every time I speak with you!

All to His glory,


P.S, Please remember that I have raised three boys and am working on the fourth one. There is nothing a boy can do that I haven’t seen before!! 🙂

I love the “P.S.”

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