Thursday 30 September 2010

Parenting Hurts! Detentions for 6 year olds???

I have had a good cry this morning! I felt so sad and I did not know what to do about it. I wanted to submit and eat and try to stifle my emotions and not to feel but I knew that would solve nothing and I had prayed for the ability to be strong today and to remain abstinent. I have not eaten on this, that is a minor miracle. Thank you Lord.

What made me cry? My little man, or maybe not him directly but circumstances surrounding him. I am not even sure why it made me cry, I think it might of been the release after the rubbish assessment last week. The one I took so calmly. I know one thing for sure, being a parent really does hurt. Every little thing our kids go through, we go through with them and with our added years of life experience it hurts us far more than it hurts them.

At school yesterday lunchtime there was an incident in the playground, one involving my JJ. I picked him up from school and saw nothing of the teacher, I was not asked to come into class or anything. JJ has a chart each day which monitors his behaviour (he has a tendency to call out and monopolise lessons, so this helps him to focus and to be able to understand what is reasonable and acceptable behaviour in the classroom). He told me he had 2 sad faces on his chart that day. He said he did not want to tell me why, so I probed and he said he had been crying (he does this fairly often at school nowadays, it is as if he has no control over how his emotions wash over him). He had cried as he had hurt a little girl C at lunchtime when they were playing. He was swinging a hoop making noise and it had hit her. He told me it was an accident and he had apologised. We talked about being careful and having our own space and then I thought nothing more of it, these kind of clumsy accidents happen a lot in World JJ.

We went to Wild Wednesday, a lovely outreach initiative at a local church and one of JJ's teachers was there. She is a great lady and has a real love for all children. I said to her I had heard JJ was upset and we talked a little about him and she told me he had a good day in the classroom it was just the lunch incident and he would go to lunch club the next day. She said this was a positive initiative to help him understand that his behaviour has consequences. It was busy there, I was looking after the three kids doing craft etc so I moved on. It was only when I was at home talking to dh later that we thought about this lunch club and realised it sounded a lot like detention. Can that be right? A detention for a 6 year old who hurt someone by accident and then I had not even been informed of it by school. This seemed strange to us so I decided to investigate it this morning.

At school I briefly spoke to JJ's teacher who had been absent yesterday and he confirmed JJ would go to the lunch club with the Deputy Head but as he was not there he did not know much of the incident. I then saw C's Mum and apologised to her that C had been hurt. She tells me that the girls had been playing a game and JJ had been trying to wake one of them and hit C with the hoop as he tried to wake the other little girl. Nasty and hurtful but still sounds like an accident to me. I agree JJ needs to understand that he is a big boy for his age and that his actions have consequences but more and more I want to cry. I start to feel that my boy is being misjudged, misunderstood and being penalised for an accident. Is it really right for a 6 year old to lose his playtime and to have to eat with a teacher?

By the time I am home I am really sad and hurting for my boy. So I call the school and they agree yesterdays teacher will call me and explain. She explains that JJ has to have lunch with the teacher and discuss appropriate playground behaviour, then he is to draw a picture of good behaviour and he can go out and play. I am pleased to hear that he will get playtime but I still feel I should of been informed if an incident was this serious that it required him spending time with a teacher for lunch. I ask her if they consider that it was an accident or not. I am told JJ hurt C on purpose. I explain that is not what I have been told. We agree to speak later after she investigates more with the children and lunchtime supervisor.

I come off the phone hardly able to say goodbye and I have a good cry. My baby, what to do with him? So full of complexities. I truly do not believe he is just naughty, there is never any malicious intent with him, no smirks and no backchat. I want to be there on the playground each day to protect him and help him to learn to play like everyone else. I think his lack of social skills hurts me more than it hurts him. I need to know what I can do to help him. I need people to think the best of him.

Every fear that a mother has is coming out, I worry so much about my boy having friends to play with. That report from the school referring Jacob for assessment has really stabbed my heart and worried me, when it talks about JJ having no real friends as he tries to have his own way and control the games too much. He is a part of me, I love him so much. I know I need to give this worry away, it is not productive for me to keep it inside and let it eat at me. Please Lord release me from this and let me know what is best for JJ and to act in his best interests.

I have used Josie's prompt 5 from this weeks writing workshop to write this post. That prompt is imperfection, because truly that is what I am! but as long as I keep trying, that is what counts....
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