Not my son…

31 Oct

Since the first week of starting in public school this year, we have been in contact with our boys teachers.

We’ve emailed and visited with them because we had no idea if the boys would adjust well to the size and new teaching styles, if they’d be ahead or behind the curriculum, or if they would be able to fit in socially with their new classmates.  And we wanted to do everything we could from home to help make this transition as easy as possible for all of us.

Both of the boys ended up with REALLY great teachers this year.  We’re very pleased with both of them and their communication with us.

That being said, we went to our first parent/teacher conference of the year last week at the end of the first nine weeks, and it wasn’t what I expected at all, well, for one of our boys.

About a month ago, our son came home telling us they “tied his feet to a chair so he could sit still.”  We knew that wasn’t the case, so I called and talked to the teacher and discovered that my son likes to move around in his seat quite a bit, so they have bands they can put on the bottom of the chair so kids that naturally move a lot can have something for their feet to play with and that helps them stay in their seat and not get bored.

That made sense to both my husband and myself.  Our son is ALL BOY and has a lot of energy.  We were fine with this and Lincoln really seemed to like it too.

When we showed up at his parent/teacher conference — we saw that Lincoln had at least a minimum of ten items for him to “play with” during class.  Things like tension bands, bean bags, lap bags and so forth.  The teacher told us that Lincoln is progressively moving more and more and they are trying everything they can to help him be able to move as he needs to and still stay focused in class.

Immediately I asked if this was a behavioral issue.  The teacher reassured us that Lincoln is a really good boy, he never touches or distracts other kids, and as he said “is cute as a little button”, he just moves and moves all day long.

Lincoln’s school work is very good, although his hand-writing is quickly getting more and more sloppy and the teacher just wants us to be aware of what is going on and our options because Lincoln is on track now, but he doesn’t want to see him fall behind.  And obviously, we don’t either.

My husband was constantly shaking his head in agreement and said that he saw all the same things from recently coaching Linc during flag football.

I however, was having a much harder time sitting there composed.

The teacher was trying really hard to handle everything “ethically by law” but he was eluding to the fact that he believes Lincoln has ADHD and that they are doing what they can but they are also working with the intervention specialist and school psychologist.

ADHD?

Do you know what happened in my head?  I got REAL angry and a little defensive.

The truth?  I’ve seen too many ignorant articles, Facebook comments, and Pinterest Pins that all say, “You call it ADHD, back in my day, it was just called being a brat.”  Or “ADHD is a nice way of saying, a kid with no discipline at home.”

My son is a good boy.  He longs to please adults.  And of ALL my kids, Lincoln is the best behaved.  I’ve never been a real defensive mom about behavior.  I’ll be the first to tell you that my third son — he’s terrible.  We have our hands full and we’re constantly trying to learn how to parent him.  Nothing typical works at all.  He’s just rotten to the core. (Thank goodness he’s adorable and does have a good steak that shines every once in awhile!)

So, I know “Being a Brat” …. and Lincoln — that ain’t him.

How DARE you tell me he can’t sit still, is falling behind in school (when NONE of his papers show that AT ALL) and give him all this “stuff” to keep him behaved in class?

Are you  just trying to single out my kid because he came from a private Christian school?

Don’t you know that boys have lots of energy???

**DEEP BREATH**

The teacher never said Lincoln was a bad boy. And *I* was ignorant of what ADHD truly is and what that means for my son.

I’ve been researching and am VERY thankful for everything the school and his teacher are doing to make learning extremely successful for him.

No one (including his teacher, intervention specialist, psychologist nor his parents) want him on medication — at least not ANY time soon.

There is a good chance he can grow out of this, or find tricks to keeping focused better all on his own from the things they are giving him to try right now.  And the last thing he needs is anyone freaking out and telling him to sit still or else.

He needs to move — it’s how he learns. And that’s OK.  That doesn’t make him a brat,  That doesn’t mean he has bad parenting at home.  That doesn’t mean his teacher is judging him, punishing him or upset that he has to teach him.

Practical Application –

Time for some self-evaluation —

What area(s) might I be ignorant of the truth and have allowed stereotypes or ignorant statements/opinions/ideas to create a false mindset for me?

What is happening in my heart that I’m immediately defensive instead of receptive?

 

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