Author:  Catherine [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Confessing

If you committed some sort of crime at school and it was dealt with at school, did you / were you expected to also tell your parents?

I just wondered over the bit in Two Sams when Con is told to talk over her trick of going into a dream with her parents. She wasn't the only person involved in Samantha's (or was it Samaris?!) accident and I didn't get the impression that the other girls were expected to confess their carelessness to their parents.

There seems to be an expectation that the Maynard Triplets will confess their sins to their parents but it isn't something we see with other girls and I wondered whether, had the triplets not been Joey's daughters but just ordinary pupils, the same thing would have occurred.

Author:  Sunglass [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

I think it's that perennial issue of Freudesheim practically being in the CS, psychologically and literally, so school and home are almost interchangeable, and the same 'rules' apply - in a way I always find deeply inappropriate. Joey has far too much confidental information about CS pupils in her knowledge at various points - it's unforgivable how often she knows a CS girl's relative is seriously ill or dying before the girl in question does - and Miss Annersley is awfully present across the hedge in the triplets' home, too, in a way which I can't imagine being easy. Most people in the triplets' position would have longed for someone to brick up the gate in the hedge!

So I suppose it's not surprising, especially when teenagers were being infantilised to the extent they were in the CS books, that Joey's children appear to 'confess' sins to her in their little night-time colloquies well into their teens (though I think we do hear at some point late in the series that Margot at least no longer encourages these night-time chats), rather as Miss Annersley almost inevitably makes errant girls break down in her study. I always find the emphasis on confessing to Joey creepy - I was a normal enough small Catholic child but for the first few years of going to confession, none of us could ever think of anything to say, and had to make things up, so I find the reams of things like 'eating sugar' that the three-year-old triplets appear to come up with in Rescue a bit odd. Plus I would have thought EBD being Catholic herself, and the Maynards all being Catholic, she would have found it odd that Joey is sort of pre-empting the role of the priest in a sacrament, especially given these 'confessions' happen when she's hearing their prayers!

(It occurs to me that Joey would have made a disastrous Catholic priest from one point of view at least - she'd have been incapable of respecting the seal of the confessional if the way she lets out other people's confidential information is anything to go by!)

Author:  Alison H [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

I think we usually tried to conceal our misdeeds from our parents :lol: .

People generally only told their parents either if they felt they'd been hard done by, if it was a minor misdeed which they thought was actually quite funny, or if they thought their parents'd find out anyway - if other kids had told their parents and those parents were family friends, which wouldn't apply so much at a boarding school, or if it was something really serious (I hasten to add that I personally never did anything that bad, honestly!!) and they knew that the school would be notifying their parents about it.

I don't remember there ever being any sense of having to "confess" in the way that there seems to be with the Maynards. I do feel very sorry for the Maynard girls: they must have felt that anything they did at school would be discussed with Joey by one of the mistresses, and having their teachers popping round to their home for afternoon tea and their mother interfering in their friends' business can't have been very nice.

Author:  judithR [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

Alison H wrote:
I do feel very sorry for the Maynard girls: they must have felt that anything they did at school would be discussed with Joey by one of the mistresses,

My mother taught at the primary school we (me, brother & sister)attended & we misbehaved in the sure & certain knowledge that all our sins would be found out.

She was also friendly with Brown Owl...

Author:  Mel [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

I agree that Joey's confessional chats with the triplets is intrusive and unpleasant. I put it down to the fact that EBD was a convert and that she might think that this is what happened in the Good Catholic Home. It certainly didn't in mine!

Author:  Cat C [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

My mother taught at the primary school we (me, brother & sister)attended & we misbehaved in the sure & certain knowledge that all our sins would be found out.

It's not all that unusual for children to attend the schools where their parents teach, of course (although almost never at the CS...) I think what would have been hard on the Maynards is being unique in the way their parents (or at least Joey) was so intimately connected to the school. But I find it quite believable that they wouldn't have realise just how strange it was until after they left and went to Oxford / Edinburgh.

The oddest situation I knew of was where someone was teaching at a school where her younger brother was still a pupil AND they were both living at home with their parents...

Author:  Emma A [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

Joey's chats with the triplets where they confess any misdeeds is meant, I'm sure, to show her as the sort of person who, though they can relate to her as a chum, can also help to relieve their minds by hearing confessions of any small sins on their conscience. I suppose it would also give the children some time with their mother to talk over anything that they were worried about. The point about Confession, of course, is that it is a sacrament, and meant to be between you and the priest: only he can give penance and absolution to the penitent. It certainly shouldn't be abrogated by one's mother, and in front of one's sisters - the triplets were certainly doing this when they were sharing a bedroom. As a rather laxly brought up Catholic, I was never encouraged to confess at bedtime, and wouldn't have mentioned any sins from school unless the school were going to write to my parents (I did attend a day school, of course).

Eating sugar would have been quite a domestic crime at the time of Rescue, due to rationing.

I don't think that the triplets would have been advised to talk over their misdeeds with their parents had they not been Joey's daughters: they were really the only family of which the staff knew a great deal of the family dynamics. None of the staff knew how other girls were treated in their families - at least, not in so much detail - so suggesting that a girl talk over some piece of thoughtlessness with her parents could have been quite inappropriate.

It's another instance showing the immense spotlight shone on the triplets' lives, and the ludicrously high expectations of standards of behaviour and example they were expected to exhibit (ironic, considering Joey as a young girl was not obedient, clever nor expected to set a good example!). If I were Con I'd quietly ignore that suggestion...

Author:  Jennie [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

Janie Lucy also did that with her children when they were small.

I think EBD thought it was a good thing to do.

Author:  MaryR [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

Actually, one of my friends did it with her two sons, and indeed claimed that they still wanted it as teenagers and in their early twenties - they are contempories of my daughter, aged 30. Whether it was the Irish Catholic matriarch in her - though my mother never did it! - I don't know but we all felt it was rather weird in this day and age.

I personally think Hilda would say that to the triplets because she knew that Jo DID have encouraging conversations with them. Some parents would just have criticised or punished them. And I'm not sure we need to use the word *confess* that Hilda uses in quite the same way as we Catholics going to confession - not that I ever had a problem with that. But then my mother was one of those who would have punished me. If the school saw fit to condemn me for something, then so did my mother - two punishments. :cry:

Author:  Kate [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

My mother taught in my secondary school and my best friend's dad taught in my primary school. I was okay because I was well-bahaved anyway but my mum had to tell her colleagues to STOP telling her about every little thing my brothers did. She had a policy that unless they would have specifically called other parents to tell them about it, they shouldn't be telling her.

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

I always thought that was terrible on Hilda's part. What happened in the school should stay in school not tell Con she had to confess to her Mother and get yet another telling off/talking to. If Hilda couldn't manage to talk to Con about it all then I'm sorry but she should have resigned as Head. Con was already realising what her fault in the situation was and was already repentant of it, why drag Joey into it especially as Con was 18 not 6.

Author:  MJKB [ Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

Benevolent and all that Joey is fundamently, she is still a controlling parent and this pattern of parenting tends to result in passive aggressive behaviour in children. No 18 year old should be expected to humble herself in this way before her mother.

Author:  jennifer [ Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

For school, big issues would be brought to the attention of the parents, and behaviour trends would come up at parent teacher interviews. Minor, internal matters would not be specifically told to the parents.

I have met parents, though, who get very upset if the teacher doesn't tell them *every* disciplinary act, every day, as a matter of course.

The confession thing with Joey did always strike me as a bit odd. It seems very intense for a nightly session - having to comb through your mind to tell your mother anything bad you had done that day, in front of two of your sisters, and then praying over it. Every night, into the mid teens.

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confessing

Being an ex-Nanny I would usually fill the parents in on what their child had been up to during the day good and bad. It was done more so they were aware of any problems not so they would be further punished by the parents. It was understood that any naughtiness was dealt by whoever was in charge and not dragged on by anyone else. There was only one mother who I never did that with and that was primarily because she would punish the children further, not leave it dealt with.

I think there is a huge difference between this is what your child has done and this is how I've dealt with it and leaving it at that to this is what your child has done, this is how I've dealt with it and I now expect you to deal with it further.

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