Jack wrote:I hate to take sides, but I think Kat is right. This is not a case where the father was blase, since the scenario clearly states you (he) and Clark searched 'all afternoon' for the dog. I understand that Clark is upset, but I had a dog run away before, when I was that age and younger. The fact of the matter is that you might find the dog quickly, but you might never find the dog, since the dog is probably moving as you do.
There are things that could have been done differently, but I don't think that excuses the boy doing what he wanted to do, for whatever reason.
So....... When the dog had been missing overnight Clark, in the absence of adult support took it upon himself to continue the search.
For me the dog is incidental in this. The real issue is about understanding.Understanding
what might be going on in a child's mind.Understanding
that a child is a person and is capable of independent thought and action able to make decisions, immature decisions, but decisions nevertheless.Understanding
that Clark's sense of guilt, having been responsible for the dog's escape may have loomed so large that he became obsessed with the need to recover the dog, possibly it became the ONLY thing on his mind.Understanding
that lacking parental support he was likely to make a brave but wrong (from the adult p.o.v.) decision, but the right decision for him, to take the initiative and continue the search himself, Also that as he got lucky he relieved you of the need to explain to your neighbour that you had searched for an afternoon and then gave up.Understanding
that the adult issues raised here can, and indeed should
be discussed; but calmly and at an appropriate time.Understanding
that censure and/or punishment, either from yourself or the school smacks of Zero Tolerance and is doomed to be counter-productive because his initiative was successful and he has stumbled on an important life truth that slavishly following arbitrary rules is not always the best way forward.