parenting

Raw Parenting

A week ago we had our first parent teacher meeting for the sixth grade school year. I always have a bit of anxiety around these meetings because I’m never sure what I’m going to hear, but I was going in with optimism since the school year had barely started.

Admittedly it did not start off uneventfully as we received email communication from a teacher within the first week about a long-standing issue with his talking in class. We addressed it and started anew. The next week we stopped in for a talk with his advisor who will help him navigate the year and this conversation was also mixed. He’s a good kid, a smart kid, but his emotions run high and he’s often in conflict with a few of his classmates. Deep breath. Start anew.

I’ve written on here about my ups and downs with parenting. He is an amazing kid. Smart and thoughtful. Has a strong sense of right and wrong and fully embraces our faith and treating others the way you want to be treated. He works hard and has shown unwavering dedication on his path for a Black belt in Taekwondo and continues working toward his second degree today. He makes me laugh nearly every day. But sometimes I cry.

He is persistent and argumentative. Strong-willed and extremely literal, which is the root of some of his peer interactions. We’ve seen a therapist for a couple of years to help guide him and us through these trying times. It’s been a roller coaster for sure and while I know we are not alone in these struggles, sometimes I just want to wave a white flag of defeat in the face of it all. I lose my patience. Sometimes I yell. I don’t like this about myself, but there it is.

So you can imagine the conference didn’t go so well because I’m not sure a blog post would be warranted if it had. Overall, we received an overwhelming number of positive comments but one was really hurtful and therefore took precedence above them all. And so like a new wound that covers over, I repeatedly returned to it in the past week to peel back the layers, making it fresh again with each examination. I have tried processing it from every angle to make sense of it. I talked to my husband, a friend and the head of the school. We received a note of apology for how the message was delivered from the teacher.

Now it’s time to move on. The only way I can think of doing that is through faith and prayer.

MC

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parenting

Letting our kids grow up

Children at school classroom

Hello, readers! Today I’m tackling a hairy parenting topic known as letting our kids grow up and find their way. I feel this is necessary after I witnessed a meet and greet with a new teacher this week that can only be described as a well intentioned assembly that went off the rails. Yes, it’s late in the school year. Yes, our school had to replace one of their teachers (who I previously wrote about here). Yes, we can do this.

If you don’t want to click the link for the backstory, here’s a brief synopsis of the issue. New teacher acts inappropriately many times. New teacher enjoys a great deal of “bathroom/locker room humor” with 10-14 year olds. Kids, of course, love said teacher because he acts like a peer and not an authoritative, adult teacher. Teacher not a good fit and leaves with seven weeks to go in the school year. I don’t know all the whats and whys behind the leaving but I trust the school did what was appropriate. Yesterday we got to meet his replacement, a highly qualified individual with a doctorate, and from what I could tell from his message to parents, many years experience with a variety of grade levels and sound teaching practices.

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parenting

Courage in Parenting

On Tuesday evening after picking my son Liam up from school (5th grade), he told me something that happened in one of his classes that day and I had a deep pit in my stomach that lasted for a good hour. He rarely wants to talk about his day, let alone relay something he feels uncomfortable about. I went into full mother alert and began texting other moms to see if they could corroborate if anything weird happened in religion class.

It took forever for anyone to respond to me so I called my husband to relate the incident. I had initially tried texting the details and he wasn’t getting it so I called him. Yes, the teacher said something completely offensive about a student’s mother and it was sexist and suggestive and completely inappropriate for a 5th grade RELIGION class.

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parenting

Disrupted sleep leads to a hard topic

I’m drifting off to sleep when I feel something jostling my arm. A soft voice whispering but I can’t make it out. I want to sleep. The jerky nudging continues until I can’t ignore it anymore and my eyes adjust to see the hazy outline of Liam bending over me, loud whispering something I still can’t hear. The words are lost but I can hear the urgency in his voice, a mother’s fine-tuned sense of when something is wrong with your kid.

This is the third time over the past week we’ve been through this. I urge him to tell me louder what’s the matter since I’ve taken my hearing aids off for the night and sound is like an underwater cacophony to me without them. He tells me in a louder voice, right next to my ear, he can’t fall asleep. He’s ten and five feet tall, nearly my height, practically adult sized but he wants to get in bed with us. I try to dissuade him telling him he’ll sleep better in his own bed, knowing I’ll sleep better if he’s in his own bed.

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