Monday, December 19, 2011

Teachers Who Get Kids

On Friday, I got a holiday gift and a note from a parent. The gift was lovely. But the note nearly put me in tears. Then today, I got another gift from a parent... with a giant hug to go along with it and a teary thank you.

I can't tell you the specifics, but what I can tell you is that those two moments gave my mood a giant boost. I have extraordinary worries about my son. Because I want him to feel safe and loved. I want him to have friends that he knows how to communicate with and I don't want his life to be spent, like mine, worried that he's never good enough. I see the traits of my entire childhood coming out in him, and I know the personal beatings that come with it. It's his issue, and it was my issue. In many ways, it still is.

So, like these mothers, I feel a giant sense of relief that he has people in his life that "get" him and support him, and don't think he's some demon spawn from hell the they wish they never had in their classes. I feel a giant sense of relief when they are clearly a partner in trying to help him help himself and are good at guiding him to be the best little person he can be. I like that they see strong traits of leadership, kindness and a want to do well and be successful. It means the world to me that they don't think I'm failing him. Because sometimes, when you have a child who has some issues, you feel like you're standing alone. Like you're a family of lepers or something...

I voiced this one day to one of the staff at X-man's school. He smiled and said he knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. He had it with his son, too.

Tonight at the Rec Center, I walked up to Ms. Sabrina, X-man's favorite staffer. He had given her a holiday gift at Lego Club. And I didn't want to say it in front of him, so I went back later, ran 4 miles and then let her know, that I was so happy he found her. Because he knows that she understands him. She's a safe person for him to go to who takes the time to figure out the bigger thoughts in his head. Teachers like that don't come by every day. And like his kindergarten teacher, they're all trying to support him and teach him to respect the boundaries.

One of the other socialization problems that I'm noticing has also been highlighted by four different parents that I've met of grown single children. "X-man doesn't have sibling to show him the social ropes regarding cruelty. (Yes, siblings can also be VERY loving and kind.) He enters situations expecting everyone to be fair and honest. And he's shocked and frustrated when those kids aren't honorable... and if they're not, why does he need to be?"

It's put a lot of perspective on some of the conversations he's having with me lately about not fitting in at school and not having friends. He's very social and outgoing. But he's also very bossy and wants everyone to live by his rules. :-)

So, you know, he's 5. :-)

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