Kids should really come with a manual


Yep. That’s me, or at least the way I feel when dealing with my children on occasion. As a mother of 3, the younger two have been a breeze since I’ve been there and done that. However, the territory we are entering with my 9 year old is another story.

P is in the third grade this year, and we have had a rash of behavioral issues. I almost wish we were having academic issues, because I know how to correct those. P has been bullied since his first day in kindergarten, and I do believe it has had a significant impact on his psyche and sense of well-being. His self esteem is low and I worry about his emotional state daily. 

I think the low point for me was last school year when P’s bully was in fact his own teacher. The adult responsible for his education, safety, and overall well-being at school. I entrusted my child in her care and was blindsided by her behavior. She picked on him constantly and I had conferences for HIS behavior until I was blue in the face.

Once I began standing up for my child, it only got worse and the school system only backed her up and defended her, treating my son as a problem. If I had the resources available to me necessary to take charge of my children’s education, I would. Unfortunately, I am now and will always be a working mother. That’s the luck of the draw in the state of today’s economy.

I received a phone call from my son’s third grade teacher today and while I feel she has been exceedingly patient in our plan for P’s behavioral issues, I feel she was upset by my response to her call. His teacher emailed me Friday about an incident that had occurred at PE on Thursday. He was grounded all weekend as a result. Then another issue today. He has periods where his behavior is great and periods where it isn’t. It gets frustrating when you do all you can to no avail. Therefore, I told her I no longer knew what to do and would continue to try what we had been but didn’t know what else to do.

Not long ago, at my wits end, I decided to try therapy and possible medication to see what happened. After a month and a half of therapy and about a month on a sleeping medication and antidepressants, it seemed we had turned a corner. We weaned him off of the medication and things were great. We do not spank him for his punishments because he isn’t a child who responds to that sort of discipline and we don’t want him afraid of the ones he should be able to come to no matter what.

Parenting is probably the most rewarding yet frustrating journey I’ve ever been a part of. But one thing is for sure. Since it doesn’t come with a manual, it takes a village.


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