Imagine you buy takeaway once a week from the same place each Friday. And one day you discover a piece of metal in your meal. So you take it back and show them only to be told ‘we don’t have any pieces of metal like that here’ – as though they catalog all their random pieces of metal.
How would you feel? Would you tolerate this explanation? Does it sit well with you?
To add insult to injury you’re sent away with that same meal and told to finish it. Would you follow their instructions?
Perhaps as an adult, maybe not. As adults, we understand that we have the beauty of choice. The freedom to choose what we want based on our knowledge. We know that we are capable of making these kinds of decisions for ourselves – especially when it comes to something like continuing to consume food which we just found a piece of metal in!
Now I want you to imagine the same scenario, but happening to a young CHILD!
Piece of metal in her canteen meal
You try your hardest to provide a lunch order for your little ones once a week. It’s the only ‘takeaway’ they get. And they find a piece of metal in it.
They show their teacher who is alarmed and sends the child to the canteen to let them know what has happened.
Upon close inspection by the canteen ladies, they both concur that the foreign metal object is not from their premises.
It’s Not OUR Metal
“We have nothing like this piece of metal at the canteen” they tell your child as they keep the foreign object and instruct your little one to just eat the rest of the food.
There is no offer to replace the meal. Or even to take it from the child and throw it away. The lack of empathy and compassion is infuriatingly astounding. And it makes one question what these ladies would have done if they ever found a foreign object in their own food.
What if There Was More Metal?
What if there were more metal pieces in the meal and my child ended up breaking a tooth. They didn’t even check the food prior to telling her to finish it! What guarantee did they have that it was safe to consume?
It saddens and disgusts me that some adults treat children this way. As though little ones are somewhat inferior and don’t deserve the same care, consideration and respect that we as adults appreciate.
Of course, I understand that it’s important not to raise children who are too ‘precious’. Unexpected accidents happen all the time and ensuring that children remain resilient through unfortunate situations is a wonderful characteristic to have.
It’s equally as important to remember when we owe them a duty of care. Compassion doesn’t cost a thing and extending kindness towards a child isn’t going to take a single thing away from anyone.
Why Should A Child Accept This?
Most adults would not stand for the excuse which was given to my daughter as an acceptable resolution for themselves. So why should a child have to endure this simply because they are young and naive?
I emailed the school in hopes that they are able to implement a more comprehensive action plan should this happen to other children in the future.
A Child Can Say NO To A Grown-Up
I’ve also made sure that my daughter understands that she doesn’t need to obey an adult if their instructions sound dangerous or put her at risk in anyway. This is important on so many levels! And I do feel a tremendous amount of guilt for not making her understand this sooner.
As her mother, I can’t help but wonder where exactly, if not the canteen, the piece of metal came from, especially considering the food was delivered straight to her classroom from the canteen. And of course, my heart can’t help but question if the canteen workers would have accepted the same treatment if it were their own child.
They may be young and naive, but all children deserve our kindness, love and respect. As adults, shouldn’t we have the maturity and compassion to be able to grant them this?
What would you do if your child found a piece of metal in their school canteen meal? Tell us in the comments below.