This whole parent thing? It's harder than it looks. Or maybe it's just as hard as it looks, I don't know. But I do know that it's damn hard.
The BoyChild has been attending a special program at a different school for about 10 weeks. It's for 'mild to moderate' behaviour issues. He returned to his regular school last Monday and yesterday we went for the final meeting to discuss the evaluation and progress he made. It wasn't the most positive of meetings, but it wasn't all bad. I guess it's just hard to see your child and all his behaviours laid out upon the page in black and white.
They feel like judgments but I know that the schools care about the outcome. They don't just think a pill will fix it as the six pages contain only one reference to medication and 50% of the report contains strategies that the school (and we, as parents) can employ.
But still.... there are sentences in the report that feel like knives. .... difficulty expressing thought.... difficulty expressing his thoughts and feelings in written form.... may be the result of inability to sustain focused attention... difficulty generating... organizing thoughts and ideas in a self-satisfying manner...
There are days that I cannot write. There are times when I want to say so much and the words don't come. But I just get up and walk away from the computer until the thoughts gel. But I cannot imagine what it is like for my son - he's in grade three and they are required to write so much. And yet every time he sits to record his thoughts... he is stuck in that same place where the words and feelings are inside of him and they cannot get out. I can completely understand that frustration.
And let me tell you, I have moderate behaviour issues when it's happening. Ask my husband. Heck, ask my ex-husband!
As I review the strategies that the schools have laid out for us, I waver between hope that they will help and the worry that the school will let him fall through the cracks. I mean I've told them for two years that he needs to sit closer to the teacher. Ever since a teacher/psychologist he had in grade one told us that it was crucial for his success.
Basically they say that everything they want to do will not be a success unless they are "matched on a daily commitment by M to work through the frustration he is feeling, try his bast on every assignment he receives and to take greater responsibility for his own learning."
So how the heck do I help him do that?
We'll go to some kind of family counseling, despite Major Man's abhorrence of telling anyone other than me and his best friend his personal thoughts and feelings. We'll keep up our family reading, maybe introduce some family writing as well. Like maybe a gratitude journal.
And I did something that I always do when I encounter a problem.... I buy books about it. My library just increased by three.
Throughout it all, I keep repeating my 2010 mantra: remain calm and carry on. Someone else (I can't remember who!) said this was her mantra for the year and it immediately struck a chord with me. Yes. I can remain calm and I will carry on. Hmmmm this would make a pretty cool tattoo I think....