Home > Education, Family, Friends, Parenting, School > Sorry, kiddo. Lesson learned.

Sorry, kiddo. Lesson learned.

Just 3.5 weeks ago, I was excited to see my four-year-old son start an alternative academic adventure.

The weeks since have been brutal on him. They have been so brutal, in fact, that he will not be returning to the new school when its gates open today.

I might write more about this later. For now, though, I want to use the peace of a new day to express gratitude for my dear teacher friends, who responded quickly and lovingly to my request for their insight. I am heartened by the thought of them in the classroom, using their gifts to shape the future.

My son, bless his heart, struggled to make the best of a bad situation when I told him time and patience would make a difference. I am glad he now knows that even his mom and dad make and learn from mistakes, and that his parents’ mistake here was not trying something new but emphasizing perseverance above all else.

Perseverance has its merits, but so does the wisdom to know when to walk away, and when to run.

We all know a little better now.

  1. May 22, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Sorry it didn’t work out, but it sounds like walking away from the new school is the best choice at this time. Learning to accept that a decision isn’t working and being willing to let go of it is actually a very hard lesson to learn, so hopefully this early example will set that in his habit pantry for future reference. (Yes, I feel like a habit pantry should be a thing.) You are always looking for those silver linings, too! *hugs*

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:16 am

      I though I’d learned this lesson about this time last year after many months of blind perseverance, but it’s clearly one I needed to relearn! If D can learn it earlier than me, and do it without having to relearn it quite so frequently, I’ll be grateful. Miss you. *hugs*

  2. cardamone5
    May 22, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Sorry it didn’t work out, but good for you for walking away.

  3. May 22, 2014 at 7:24 am

    You as a mom know what’s right for your child. Good decision in not sending him back. You’ll find the right fit eventually. He’s four, he should be enjoying school and having lots of fun hands-on learning experiences, as well as pleasant socialization. The right fit will come. 🙂

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:28 am

      I wish I’d put it all together a couple weeks sooner, you know? At the end of his second week in school, D was dared to–and did–something not great, which the teacher discussed in class and the kids kept jabbing him for, without reprimand. The next day, he saw us and sobbed to go home with us. This is something our super social, school-loving little boy has never once done before, but we figured it for adjustment pains and assured him we’d be back in just a couple of hours.

      Still, even with a new baby on board, it was only a week and a half longer before we saw the teacher was a big part of the problem. Thanks to a really startling conversation with her, I was able to see just how much negativity D was up against daily there. While the physical classroom was wonderful for him, the rest was terrible. A and I agreed we’d rather have an unfocused, happy kid than a hyper-focused, emotionally devastated one. We can work on his focus from a place of his happiness . . . and will, I think based on everything I know of him, find much better results!

      I am so glad for my teacher friends affirming that none of this was right or normal.

      • May 26, 2014 at 7:25 am

        Oh, Deb, that breaks my heart that the teacher would 1. reprimand him as an example 2. Bully him about it 3. Allow the other children to continue her assault. It sounds like she is a very unhappy person, for whatever reasons, to not enjoy the company of preschoolers–which I think are the most fun age to work with.
        My daughters didn’t go to preschool. They had a wonderful daycare provider who only took teachers’ children, so that she could work on the school’s schedule. They had wonderful socialization with the other kids there. Plus, their daycare provider did all sorts of fun activities with them that they still will mention from time to time as adults–and my girls still keep in touch with her. I taught them all of the basics that they needed for kindergarten and provided plenty of other educational opportunities for them. They’ve turned out fine.
        You’ve made an excellent decision. They last thing you would want is for him to develop a phobia about going to school because of that mean spirited teacher. 🙂 ❤

  4. May 22, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Funny, but we just learned the same lesson in perseverance! You made a good choice in walking away. For us, we have learned this lesson before, but my “never give up,” attitude got in the way. I am being gentle on myself as I was doing my best given what I knew. However, now I will listen more carefully to my instincts! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! We can all learn from it. Have a lovely day as you take a new fork in the road. Best, Cate

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:38 am

      I’ve learned this lesson before as well, but I too like to endure as if to demonstrate my capacity to endure! By now, I should know it’s pretty high.

      I think this was the first time where it intersected with my kids. It took me a little to see from a different perspective, but I am so glad I saw. I’m also glad for your like experience/words, which help me feel a little more patient with myself and a little more resolved to listen to my instincts sooner. Thank you! 🙂

  5. May 22, 2014 at 9:10 am

    My sister is struggling with both of her girls being in gifted and talented programs at school, 6th and 4th grade, and they are both floundering. It’s hard to admit your brilliant kids can’t climb any mountain, but she has come to the conclusion that next year they need to go to “regular” class so they can succeed.

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:42 am

      That’s the kind of discussion we’ve been having here the last few days. What is success? In the end, I fall back to what my mom tried instilling in my siblings and me: The answer is different for every kid, so we need to find the right path for the individual kid. In this case, “the right path” is the one where the kid is allowed to flourish socially instead of ostracized, with the positivity of that rippling outward to his work. It feels good to have made the decision, and to have engaged D in it.

  6. May 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Hugs to you. I really admire your strength to make these decisions. You are my inspiration.

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:43 am

      The inspiration is mutual! It’s interesting to wonder what will be easier and more challenging with his little brother. Growing up with three siblings and an impassioned advocate as a mom, I suspect they’ll be very different indeed . . .

  7. May 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    In the end, you’re doing what’s right for your family. It’s not a bad thing that you tried to persevere, or suggested the same to Li’l D. You and he tried it out. It’s not the right fit. You’ll find one. Schools and teachers are just one of those things that require “trying on” sometimes.

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:46 am

      In this case, the “right fit” is the old school. We’d left in pursuit of one that we thought would encourage D’s focus and growth into his own passions, but quickly determined that these things aren’t nearly as important as they’d seemed from the backdrop of a safe, loving school environment.

      D was excited for the new adventure, but now is even more excited to go to the plays where everyone not only knows his name but cheers it when he arrives. 🙂

  8. May 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I am so sorry. For him and for you. And love that you both started with a bit of perseverance, and then walked away. Hugs.

    • May 25, 2014 at 3:47 am

      Thank you. I’m so glad for this early morning wakefulness. The love and encouragement in this thread is balm to the soul. Aaaah. ♥

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