My daughter is a lot like me --- she and I tend to pick out the same clothes for her closet; we really do agree on most forms of entertainment, and I like to think that some of her humor comes from me as well.
But there are also some traits that I am starting to see that remind me of me in my not-so-super days. Feelings I wish I could stop her from feeling. Things I wish I could tell her were no big deal but I know that they suck - cause surprisingly, they happen when you are 8 and they happen in your 30s too.
Its only Tuesday and an email came home from school today -- Grace spent 90% of the day today acting up. Simply not paying attention to the teacher and letting her frustration take over her actions. All. Day. Long. Enough that the teacher wrote an email home and listed every single infraction -- at least one per subject today apparently.
Grace tells me that she doesn't get it (they were learning some new math skills today), that there is too much "stuff on my desk" (when sorting vocab words -- there are a lot, in all honesty), and she is distracted by the other things in the room like her friends or the other teachers. Once she loses her focus, it takes so much to get her to concentrate again and get moving on the project or lesson.
But on the flip side, at home, homework is done no problem most of the time. She focuses on the worksheet and gets the answers right the first time. Tonight, even after all these issues at school, she was excited to do a matching game to learn her science vocab words -- the exact same thing she refused to do in science class today.
Its hard -- we punish her for the behavior. It's just not okay to act this way, but is there more to it? What if she is acting out for some other reason? Is there something going on that we don't know about? Does she really feel what she says -- that she cant focus cause inside her head feel jumbly? She says "I'm stupid" - is that something she really believes?
And this is where we are now -- at the crossroads of "Why"? Why is she acting like this? Why is she getting so frustarated so easily? Why does she say these negative things about herself when no one else is saying them to her? Why???? We have all the IEP therapies in place at school - extra reading and math attention, occupational and speech therapy.
But maybe this isn't an academic issue at the root - maybe she really does take after her Mama and need a little more emotional support in life than she has right now. The social situations and feelings just seem to take over so that she has trouble focusing on anything else --- sounds pretty familiar to me. I do the same -- if something is hard or I just dont want to do it, I ignore it. It never goes away and then its worse than at the beginning. I let other people's actions (or inactions) dictate how I deal with things. And I don't speak up for myself enough --- learned that the hard way when meaningful friendships disappeared that really just needed me to reach out and talk and stand up for myself.
It is what it is for me but I don't want that for Grace. I also don't want to assume that is what is going on either --- no need to create this in her life if she is fine and simply misbehaving for the sake of misbehaving. Parenting is hard when you have no idea what to do next. But not doing anything isnt an option either!