Our Default Position is to Do it Wrong

“Have you ever said, “Mom, Dad, Teacher, Don’t you trust me?”

An adult who hears this might want to say, “What do I have ‘Dumb’ written across my forehead. Of Course I don’t trust you. You’re a kid, and kids aren’t old enough to know … Of course I don’t trust you. I’m a teacher (parent.) Why do you think I’m here for you?”

That’s a bit much, but we should say,

“Yeah I trust you, but I’m here with you because you need some help. Your teacher needs some help too. Because if I don’t have people I’m accountable to, if I don’t have people that I can go to, who watch me, then my default position is to do it wrong, And it’s the same for you, so we are in this together.”

“I trust you I really do, you are the best kid on the face of the earth. But if you do that, you are going to face consequences.”

Remember that there are always consequences.

“Our default position, all things being equal, is to do it wrong.”

“We gotta be one with each other. We have this default thing in us, that if there aren’t rules there and we don’t keep each other accountable, we’d do it wrong.”

“This is why I worry about you.”

– Adapted slightly from Steve Brown’s Keylife Broadcast on December 14, 2005.

4 Comments on Our Default Position is to Do it Wrong

  1. Hi Chase,

    I love the line about there always being consequences. That’s one thing we taught our kids. Sometimes they learned the hard way, just as we did when we were young.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    That was from a radio show and I just loved the topic and how it was presented.

    I actually used it in the classroom before when I taught Grade 6. I think it’s great for middle school or high school students.

  3. I remember that, actually. I guess the important thing is to make them feel comfortable enough to tell you what’s going on in their lives. A lot of the time children assume that because you’re so responsible as an adult there would have been no way that you were like they were as a child.

    Truthfully, I confided a lot in my father just because I knew that he had a more hectic and rebellious childhood and he could understand me better.

    Ah kids, when will they learn heh.

  4. Hi Chipazoid,

    You are absoluetly right. I have a real high strung, can’t sit still kid in my class this year. I remember that I was like that in Grade 4 too.

    Everytime I have a kid like that in my class, I remember how I was and it think it helps inform my classroom management style.

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