If there was a parenting manual for the school-age kid, I always imagined it would go like this. Get the kid up, dressed and off to school after a good breakfast. Your child will enjoy class time and friendships. After a snack and a break, child completes homework, studies as needed and succeeds.
Except for some children.
Some children wake up and don’t want to go to school. Some children say “I can’t do this” the moment they sit down to a work-sheet. Some children lay on the floor and roll around making noises in the back of the room. Some children talk out of turn and without raising their hands. Some children talk back to the teachers. Some children express anger. Some children just don’t seem to fit.
I read a fantastic piece today written by a teacher about “THAT” kid in the classroom. The one that other children always talk about. The one that other parents always worry about distracting their precious learning child. And I wept knowing that THAT child is my child. My boy is the one laying on the floor making noises. My boy is the one that gets “dangerous” sometimes and for no reason. My boy is the one that kids and parents talk about. My boy is the one who is not fitting.
And when the principal of your private school calls on a Friday afternoon to say “We really do want the best for your son, but this may not be the best fit for him,” you feel your world crumble right alongside you. The walls collapse. The ground shakes a bit as the weight of the words sink through the protective, defensive, mushy Mommy brain. Numbness turns to questions.
Questions which don’t really have an answer.
Questions that begin with “oh my goodness.”
What are we going to do now?
What are the options?
How do I help this boy who is struggling?
How did we get to this point?
What should I have done differently?
Where do we turn?
How do I parent “that” kid that doesn’t fit anywhere? Where is this parenting manual?