My daughter got in trouble at school, and I'm so glad.

Of course I'm disappointed in my daughter for the ticket that she received at school this week for failure to follow directions in wellness class (her school's version of physical education).

And I'm equally disappointed that this is not the first ticket that she has received this year for failing to comply to school rules.

Then there is a small (large) part of me that is happy that she has received these tickets. As a fifth grade teacher, I often have students in my class who have never been in any trouble during their first five years of school, and they come to my class legitimately afraid to ever get in trouble.

This may sound like a good thing, except that when they blunder or misstep or make a bad decision that might result in a consequence like our school's version of a ticket or a phone call home or the loss of a privilege, these students often fall apart. They become paralyzed. They weep. 

The years absent of trouble cause trouble to become an unfathomable monster in their mind that they fear as much as anything else in their life.

I know adults who feel the same way about trouble. They can't imagine breaking or bending a rule because that might result in trouble, and trouble is equally unimaginable to them. These are the same adults who think that when their boss comments negatively on their job performance, they are "in trouble"

I want my daughter to behave well, but I want her to also understand that trouble is also a part of life. It's okay to take risks. It's alright to make a bad decision. Sometimes the intentional and deliberate breaking or bending of a rule in the pursuit of happiness or common sense is a good thing. The possible trouble that may result need not be feared.

Also, whenever my daughter gets in trouble, I feel a small amount of pride, too.  She's following in her father's footsteps.