Parent evening meltdowns and being ENOUGH.

While other parents come away from parent evening talking about academics and how clever their children are I come away proud that we have hard working children who try their best.  I walk away hoping we are doing all we can to teach life skills so our boys have the opportunities to be independant and as successful as they can be. I used to think being clever was important, I used to think that my children would be gently nudged towards college and university. Then my children were born and I saw the reality of being a parent and then the added complexity of having children who don’t and can’t learn at the speed and intensity of the ‘average’ or neurotypical child. I couldn’t care less nowadays about whether they get GCSEs or A levels, all I want is for them to be happy and healthy and we have worked damn hard to be able to say they are all happy and moderately healthy.

We can’t have a generation after generation of robot children, we need the free thinkers and the creative children.  We need a sytem that celebrates this not pushes each child to fit into the curriculum box.

So now i sit and listen to my son saying he doesn’t understand what his teacher wants him to do in lessons and i hear his anxiety about getting detentions for not completing work when he didnt understand what was expected of him in the lesson. I wonder if the education system will ever be able to be flexible enough for children like him. I have two children who I am confident will go out into the world and while they may have not achieved academic success i know they will make a life and achieve things and be happy. I have one child who in all probability will go out into the world and find it is a confusing and difficult world to navigate and he will not find it as easy to be happy and social. As a parent you want everything for your child and want them to go into the world and experience all sorts of things, I want this for all of my children but with Robin I know that for him this will be hard.

 

Robin is anxious a lot of the time, he is 8 years old and he worries more than a lot of adults, he works hard and still feels the weight of knowing he is not doing what the teacher expects of him. I hate more than anything the unfairness of that. The knowledge that he feels already that he isnt good enough, that his inability to fulfill the curriculums expectations and understand what is expected of him in lessons is already having an effect on how he feels about himself. In truth he is a joy, he is funny even more so when its unintentional, he is honest, he is brave , he is inquisitive and he is caring what more could a person need to be. He doesn’t need to be clever or keep up with his peers he needs to be secure and happy and loved but that doesn’t matter to the education system. Having the words ‘low self esteem’ and ‘learning disabled’ attached to you from such a young age doesn’t fill you with confidence that his life will be as easy as some childrens. As much as we need these words to get support and the correct input for our children I have to wonder how much damage these labels can do when used to decide a child is limited and therefore it is acceptable not to try to get their best capabilities from them.Does anyone else other than his family care that by trying to push him to the required level he is having his self esteem damaged, he is already beginning to feel he isnt good enough and I can tell you he is more than good enough.

How do I teach my child that to me it really isn’t important how well he academically achieves and if he doesn’t hit targets as fast as an archaic educational sytem expects him to that it wont change how much I love and admire him. How do I teach him that being kind and brave and working hard at everything is enough. The whole system is set up to test, examine and grade a child on their ability to remember and put into practice things that on the most part they can get by without. Maybe getting by isn’t what most parents want for their children but it is enough and for some it is everything.  I want to tell him not to worry about the school work but its still there and he still has to take part in the education system if only for the social skills he gains.


I will teach my children to love, be kind and spread happiness because in all honesty that is so much more important than academics. I hope that against the negativity they may sometimes feel from not achieving as expected that the world will see that being good and kind is enough.

‘It is more important to be kind than clever’

Acceptance is so very very far from me!

A huge amount of my mind is taken over by not being able to accept that i dont have and may never have answers to my questions and fears. I know that in the grand scheme of things i am so very lucky to have children who are considered mildly disabled but honestly i dont know how to accept that they will always have some form of disability. I want to know whats wrong and find solutions that probably dont exist and make everything easier for them.

acceptance

I dont want to spend 90 percent of my brain power in worrying and the other 10 percent being angry that other people dont ‘get’ me. I cant change who i am and i cant change what has happened but all that has happened has made me fearful, I fear for my kids for what they may suffer at the hands of all the people out there who wont be kind. I fear that after losing one child i could never contemplate facing a day without my boys and that losing them preys on my mind more than it should. But above all my children are fantastic and without them i would have learnt nothing worth knowing,I love them and just want the best for them.  Its the fighting for all the right help and feeling how other people doubt or judge how we do things that drives me to distraction. Its great that others can sit up on their high horses and judge how i try to run my life which lets be honest is slightly more complicated than average families life, i sometimes feel like they honestly think they know better than me so maybe they should try it and ill go have a nice rest for a few weeks. Deep down it isnt the many appointments with the 8 doctors and the 3 different therapists that cause the problems or the medications or even the worry about their futures that really gets me down its the constant looks and whispers and judgements from other people that i cant accept, i dont want you to walk a mile in my shoes i want you to f**k off and let me do my best. I have watched Lewis at deaths door, I have watched him be anesthatised on at least 6 occasions in 18 months i have sat in hospital with him on many occasions and worried about his future, i have watched Robin be teased for looking a little bit different and i have watched him take every little thing he has to do like taking medication, wear a patch to stop slobbering and wee through a funnel in his stride. When you have done this come back and tell me how im doing it wrong or maybe you will see how im doing the best i can instead. Im talking about doctors who talk to you like your an imbecile who couldnt possible have an insight into what your own child feels and needs, while i bow down to your superior nonsense i know my child best, people in the street and in supermarkets who think you should learn to control your children when they arent happy and decide to have a scream, i am sorry my childs vocal chords offend you but give him a break its just a bad day and in the grand scheme of things while your shopping trip i accept has been rudely monopolised by my sons lungs its only for a short time.

screaming

And yes im talking about well meaning people who really honestly dont mean to offend but feel the need to inform me that in thier day they did things differently, while im sure that its true it doesnt help. Lastly for those who know me well and utter sentences that without ever meaning to cut me to the core i dont blame you for a second as its my own insecurities that put me down and i accept this im just not very good at it obviously. 

I wish i didnt feel like someone else could do a better job, maybe fight a little harder and shout a little louder for the boys for the things they need and regardless of some people think they do need these things for a better and happier future im not feeling sorry for myself or looking for an ego boost if i already feel this way at times i really dont need anyones elses help in making me feel like im doing this wrong.

So im making a little pledge to myself and the key is in Acceptance, i will accept that i am who i am. I will accept that nothing much will change in my life but i will be happier in the knowledge that i accept that i am doing my best and that no one can judge me. So with this one word Acceptance that feels so very, very far away from me i will be happier it might take me a while to reach Acceptance as its still a way of but i think i might get there.