When my oldest daughter was in first grade, she came home from school and dropped her backpack and coat at the door.I lamented her inability to hang up her gear on the designated hooks and called her back into the room to clean up after herself. As she did so, I noticed her sneak something out of her side backpack pocket and place it on the counter with the weak nonchalance skills of a 7-year-old. I saw that the something was her brother’s slap bracelet, the one she had asked to take to school and the one I had told her she was not allowed to take. Her brother didn’t want her to have it, and the teacher had recently sent an email letting parents know that toys or jewelry from home were too distracting in the classroom.
I calmly asked her to tell me about the bracelet. I wasn’t mad. I needed her to understand that sneaky, need-to-hide-the-truth feeling. I needed her to know that her intuition was telling her she should have made a different choice.