A Parental Dilemma

I recently read The Dinner by Herman Koch. In this novel, a couple meets at a restaurant for an expensive dinner. During the course of the meal a sensitive subject comes up. Both families have equal-age sons who are friends. Both sons have been involved in a terrifying incident.

Discussion revolves around to what extent parents will go to protect their children. At what point would it be considered to be going too far? Or not far enough?

This novel made me think about an incident that took place in my classroom. After an intruder-alert drill, one of my students asked me if I would get between him and an intruder, to essentially take the bullet for him. My response was a definite no.

But how do I know this for sure? Until I was in that situation, I have no way of knowing how I would react.

For this assignment, think about your character. Put him/her in such a situation. Would he/she lie, cheat steal to protect the child? Would the character complete the child’s homework assignments? Verbally attack children who bully or tease, or let the children work it out on their own?

Write a scene in which the child is in some kind of trouble. What does the parent do? Come to the rescue? In what way? What is the outcome? Remember that not all stories have happy endings, so it is okay if things do not work out in favor of the child.

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