Back on November 1, I wrote a blog about a 9-year-old Florida girl who was arrested for, among other things, assaulting a policeman and school bus driver over a matter of candy. The school bus driver had told her not to eat candy on the bus which made her go ballistic. Well, on the news-wires today is a very similar tale, once again set in Florida.
10-year-old Florida girl, Miesha Bryant attacked teacher Kelly Sanchez after Sanchez had confiscated a bag of Hallowe’en candy. Bryant went on a rampage, hitting her teacher and threatening her life.
According to an Orange County sheriff’s report, Sanchez told investigators that she was holding the candy until the end of the day. She said the girl “went behind her desk and took the bag of candy without her permission.” Bryant then started pelting classmates with the said candy. After Ms. Sanchez once again seized the candy, Bryant started throwing items from the teachers desk. While waiting for a school resource officer, Sanchez was struck in the stomach by Bryant and was told by Bryant that she would “kill Ms. Sanchez and her family.” When police arrived, Miesha, being held in the assistant principals office, was cuffed and taken to a juvenile detention centre, where she was later released into her mother’s custody.
In a TV interview, Sebrina Bryant, the mother, said she was angered over Miesha being arrested for the incident and didn’t believe her daughter was capable of such behaviour. But when the WFTV reported asked the child why she threatened the teacher, she piped up and said, “I was mad.”
I think that last paragraph speaks volumes here. The mother, instead of reprimanding her child, went into self-defense mode. It’s not a parents place to stick up for their child when they know full well that he/she has done wrong. Children need consequences for bad behaviour and Miesha’s mother’s reaction was teaching her that she can get anyway with anything. Discipline should have been the first item on the agenda. Children need to learn accountability and I fear it may be too late for this little girl.
If you’re a parent or a guardian and you pass up the opportunity to read a bedtime stories to the little one in your life then shame on you! I may not be a parent myself, but I have a little five-year old niece that stays with my wife and I on a frequent basis. In fact, before she started school this past August, I babysat her for two years, daily, from 6AM to 2PM while her mother worked. To say that she and I have formed a close bond would be a gross understatement. She’s like a daughter to me. I taught her how to colour, draw, act silly, taught her ABCs, and most importantly, how to do a very convincing English accent (I’m an Englishman living in the United States).
Now I’ll probably get more into the relationship of my wife and I with our little niece at another time, but right now I have a message. We live in a time of fantastic technology. When it comes to handheld and tablet devices, the World around us is changing at an alarming rate. There are actually apps specifically aimed at children too. And they’re great. I actually helped my niece learn her ABCs through such an app. But something about this troubles me…
Always remember how we were brought up as kids. Realize the importance of reading a child a bedtime story. These days they have apps that can sing lullabies to children. There are also apps that play bedtime stories to children. All well and good. But I think it’d be a crying shame if the app revolution were to replace the art of reading a bedtime story to a child. To me there’s nothing more rewarding than reading a tale to my little niece. Be it Chicken Licken, The Enormous Turnip or The Magic Porridge Pot, there’s no other way she’d prefer to go to sleep than hearing her uncle reading her a bedtime story. This blog’s accompanying picture is the cover of a book that I picked up back in England the last time I visited home. This somehow makes it more special to her in her eyes. I’m creating memories for her that she will never forget.
What kind of memories is a child going to make by listening to a storytime app or a lullaby app? My guess would be crappy ones. Parents, guardians, be a part of your children’s lives. They are there to be appreciated, not to simply raise. And reading a bedtime story to a child is one way to show them how much you love them.