Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Do you baby your youngest child ? Dealing with a bright child..

I made an appointment to go and see the youngest ones teacher this week.  Not so much to have a moan but more to get the opinion of someone who interacts with my son on a daily basis who might not have such rose tinted glasses as mine are.

What she had to say while sort of helpful didn't really hit the nail on the head for me as much as I would have liked.  Basically she said he was a well behaved child in school who pretty much did as he was told, didn't moan alto, is able to concentrate and is a bright kid.  All pretty positive so I asked her to try to think of a reason why he insists he doesn't want to come to school.

She suggested that it might be a maturity issue, which when I got home gave me serious food for thought. Do I baby him?  As my youngest child I am aware of the fact that I am trying to hold on to the little boy as much as possible.  With no plans to have anymore he is my baby.  But am I holding him back because of it?

He's a very bright kid, its regularly commented on by friends and relatives how bright he actually is, which his reasoning and reading ability does suggest.  He's also quite highly strung with a tendency to get frustrated very quickly if he feels his opinions or voice isn't heard or understood the way he feels it should be. This means that many a time I am sitting with him trying to explain to him an idea or a decision while he is trying to argue the point from his perspective.  This can become incredibly futile with no positive outcome and so more often than I probably should I coincide to his point of view and we end up doing things his way. Is that babying him?

Its almost as if he sees the regular jobs, ie dressing yourself, brushing your own teeth, putting your own shoes on, as far to mundane and time consuming and that instead he would rather fill his time up with the more interesting experiences of playing his computer games, reading his books, or playing with his kitten. It feels to me like he just doesn't see the point of it all, like life is too short to be worrying whether you've washed behind your ears, and as much as we the parents try to explain the whys and what fores of the importance of getting dressed quickly, leaving for school on time or not stopping every 5 minutes on the walk to school to look at the flowers, its like he just doesn't get it.

Don't get me wrong, he always wants to help cook dinner, he can see the point in that.  He keeps his room tidy, he sees the point in that.  He cares and looks after the animals in the house as best he can, he can see the point in that also, but he just doesn't see the point in school. He's totally convinced he knows everything he needs to know so doesn't see why he has to attend.  He's happy playing by himself doing his own thing so the whole friends thing doesn't bother him, he'd rather be playing with kids older than himself anyway and the structure of the school day just fills him with foreboding.

Its hard everyday trying to explain why he needs to do something that goes against every fibre of his being, that he just sees as pointless and futile all the while knowing that he is a bright kid who probably does get a bit bored at school, that is slightly socially awkward because his brain works at 15 times the pace of everyone else.  I don't think I baby him, I think I handle and understand him better than they do at school and I think that is the reason he struggles so much.

At home I can calm him when he's frustrated, I listen to his points of view and while at times I do get frustrated with his stubbornness I can also work around it to get to a point we are both happy with.  I just don't think they get that about him, I also think he bottles up all frustrations through out the day and then at home time just explodes with the of ideas, points and valuable arguments that he is unable to discuss at school, which sometimes makes me feel like I should have left him there for them to deal with.

I am hoping that the current bribe for a reward at the end of the week if he goes in everyday without fuss will have given him a routine he can get his head around.  For while I understand that in society we have rules and we all must conform to some degree. I, in no way wish for his indomitable spirit of free thinking, independence and thirst for gaining new ground for himself to be in anyway crushed.

I am not babying him I am allowing him to express who he is as a person and let his mind reach all the conclusions and evaluate all of the issues it wants to while I take care of his bottom wiping...

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