Friday, October 02, 2009

An Uphill Battle

My first grader is giving her fabulous teacher a ton of trouble. She's defiant, argumentative, sulky, and an all around pain in the tush. Her teacher has tried a huge variety of ways to help her and enlisted the advice of other experts in our building. We've attempted to address this at home through more attention for her and discussions of the behavior (when we aren't furious with her). Yesterday it escalated to the point that she ended up in the principal's office (that principal is, of course, also my boss - just to add to the complication here).

I genuinely don't think my daughter has any real understanding of why her behavior is such an issue. When I talked with her yesterday after things had cooled down, she did not seem to recognize how her behavior impacted her classmates. I can't figure out how to help her see this.

In addition, I'm trying not to let this issue feel like it is all about me. I can't get away from feeling like a failure as a parent. I'm pretty sure that is not helping me handle the situation well. We'll get through this, as many parents have before. Somehow, knowing that isn't as helpful as I would hope.


The Girl said...

If it makes you feel any better, I'm a first grade teacher with five little friends who are displaying all the same behaviors in my the same time... You are doing what you can as a marvelous mom! I keep getting told that they are still technically kinders right now, and are testing all of us to see what they can get away with... The fact that everyone is doing so much for your little one to help her speaks volumes for the kind of school you are part of, and the kind of family you have :) I'll keep you guys in my thoughts as you work through this! I know my five friends and their families are thinking of other parents going through this too!!

Seeing your post last night helped me realize that it isn't just ME as a teacher that is suffering through this stage...parents are too!

organized chaos said...

I'm not a parent so I can't begin to imagine what you're struggling with when you are feeling like a failure as a parent. I am one of the most sensative people I know, so I am sure when my turn comes I will feel the exact same way. But, I can say that you are far from a failure as a parent and that is def. the furthest thing from the truth, AND I am sure that has not crossed anyone's mind.
At least you know that the people working with her truly love her, appreciate her for who she is, and truly want her to be the best she can be. And you know the principal loves her as well. Just think if it was a principal who didn't have the understanding attitude ours has!
I just want to give you a hug because down the road when I'm the one saying these things I hope you're there to give me a hug and listen to me!

Anonymous said...

My daughter was a student in my grade level a few years ago. She acted out and ended up in the principal's office. Now that she is older and years have passed, she is able to articulate her feelings at the time. Other students and parents, unfortunately, were giving her a hard time for being a teacher's kid and that she must be getting favourism etc. Something to think about....

Anonymous said...

I too have my own children in my building - including living though my own child in my classroom. The only advice I can give is not to take it personally. Our kids need the space we can give them to make their own mistakes and be their own people - aside from the role they are forced to play as a teacher's kid. Remember that you are in a unique position to have a clearer view of what the big picture surround your child's problems are. You know the key players and are in a position to see more than any other parent. I've found it hard to stay out of certain things and not become over-involved but I think it is a necessary step. Clearly, you are doing your best to help your child. That is the best that we do. It does work out in the end. We just lack some of the distance to see it when it's happening around us all day!