No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

8 Sep

That’s the way the saying goes, right? I googled it so I’m 99.9% sure I understand its meaning. Trouble is, like many things, that’s a difficult view to explain to a 9-year-old. It seems Nia experienced it last week at school though.

It all started with the good deed in the morning. Like most of the students in her class, she wanted to eat the school breakfast. She hadn’t started eating it yet when she heard another girl say she didn’t get a breakfast. They were all gone. Worried about the other girl, Nia took her meal up to her teacher and told her she’d like the girl to have it.

Great deed. I teared up when she told me. I hugged her, kissed her on her head and told her how special that was and why it was so nice to be considerate of someone else like that. Nia said her teacher loved what she did too and told her to move her clip up (a classroom reward technique). Nia added, “But that’s not why I gave my breakfast to her. It felt good to make someone else happy.”

It seems that other little girls in Nia’s class didn’t have that same spirit within them that day. It was book fair week so Nia made a few purchases besides her Guinness Book of World Records and journal to record all things friends, fashion and fun. She also decided to spend her dollars on some bookmarks and a really cool invisible ink marker with a mini-black light on the cap to read hidden messages. She was most excited about that marker. She wrote her name with it and then let the girl next to her try it out before she had to leave the class for another subject. When Nia returned, her marker was not in her desk where she left it.

She learned that the girl who tried it took it out of Nia’s desk and used it to pass messages back and forth to another girl in class. When Nia got it back from them, the marker tip was worn down to the plastic.


She was bummed. I was bummed for her. We talked about what makes people act certain ways sometimes and how she responded. I told her I would give her another $3 for her to buy a new one because she didn’t even get to really use it. The next day, she told the teacher she’d like to go buy another marker at the fair because someone in the class ruined her first one. The teacher, of course, wanted more information and corrected the behavior of the other girls.

I didn’t tell her to say that to the teacher because I don’t agree with tattling when people aren’t in any danger of being hurt but I feel like the girls did need corrected. I worry the behaviors of others will dishearten our sensitive and giving girl. I told her to keep being sweet Nia no matter what and added she should tell the girls she would’ve been glad to share her marker with them – all they had to do was ask.

Maybe she could write it in invisible ink in a note to them …

One Response to “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

  1. Ginger September 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    Oh sweet Bean. I love that heart of hers. All I can hope is that rather than those other girls rubbing off on her, it’ll be the other way around and they’ll learn by her example.

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