Thursday, October 11, 2012

School Struggles...Have I Become THAT Parent?

Photo: Faith not very happy to be at school...she chose her sunglasses over her real glasses
This year has started off to be a mix of happy and hell all stirred together.
Faith started SK at the regular, public school and most days it is torture dropping her off.  I have struggled with how to do this in a way that I don't leave the school crying and worrying about her and the people who will be around her all day.
I remember doing daycare and telling the parents not to worry about their child crying as they were dropped off, and sometimes getting frustrated when they stuck just prolonged the agony for all of us, the parent, the child and me.
Now, the tables have turned.  I have 5 kids, and none of them have had huge issues with separation.  They gladly went to school and I never had to worry about I have Faith, and my biggest fears have come true...
I have become that parent.  The one who can't leave...The one who prolongs the agony and makes it harder for everyone involved.
And I am aware of this.  I just can't figure out a way to drop her off and leave feeling alright.
To back this level of worry up, Faith has had some behavioural issues this year.  It has only been a month and she has bit 2 teachers, broke the teachers necklace, hit, scratched and pinched various teachers and has thrown the chairs around the room.
This is not what I wanted...and yet, we knew what we were looking at when we fought in the beginning for her life...
I have had those "bad mom" feelings...the ones where I really "dislike" (really I mean hate....) Faith.  Awful, I know.  But it is where I was at the other night.  She is fine at home, she is cuddly and loving and playful and I thought to myself that one time....Why can't she do this at school?  Why does she have so much control over my feelings in the morning, that ruin my day?  Why do I LET her have that control over my feelings...?
I absolutely adore Faith, don't get me wrong.  I know these are just hurdles we are jumping right now, and it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A few weeks ago I used my Boardmaker program and put together a bunch of charts and PEC symbols and a Behaviour Escalation Continuum for the teachers.  It took me an entire weekend, printing, planning, laminating, cutting, velcro'ing etc...It was a lot of work.  They were all so thankful for the help, because really, they don't know her yet.
And I can be a huge help in that area.  I am struggling with the drop off.  The EA's who work with Faith during the days are amazing.  The school has really worked hard to help Faith in the transition.  I had been taking Faith up the stairs into the room, because she was really giving them a hard time, and then I was sneaking out. 
Faith would be so upset when she didn't see me after I I have been encouraged to say goodbye and just leave.  Which I have done a few times.  That is so hard, because Faith ends up screeching and hitting and running after me.  It breaks my heart. 
I thought I knew best and today said that I would just sneak out.  The EA said, Faith doesn't trust her when I sneak out....and then it clicked.  I am doing what makes ME feel better. 
Today, Faith started hitting the EA with her mailbag and I was able to hold her and tell her she needed to be nice.  Then I said bye and I left.  Faith ran after me and screamed.
I was crushed.  But I have to do it.
I am going to suggest that I meet the EA at the door of the room and say goodbye there, so I am not going into the room to prolong the goodbye...and I will just have to accept the fact that Faith will have a good day.  Hopefully, and try not to let it bother me so much.
I really don't want to be that parent that everyone dislikes.  I don't want to be overbearing.  I want Faith to be successful and be able to transition well. 
I just don't know that I can separate myself from this...


  1. oh Ruth... I've done years of this. First of all you really need to remind yourself that she doesn't spend the whole day screaming that you left. If you need to you can get the teacher or EA to take a few pictures of her (give the EA a camera or if they have one there) of her during the day. It will ease your mind. Obviously this can't be done everyday but I am sure they would be willing to do it once or twice to help you (and them).

    Aiden has done this to me for years. He is in grade 5 and there are still many days I have to leave him clinging to me and crying.

    But he DOES have a good day at school.

    It is the TRANSITION that is torture for them- not the being at school. That is what you need to remember. The actual act of leaving home and going to school is what sucks so bad. The act of saying goodbye- not actually being there. Once they focus on where they are they are ok.

    The violence- you know I deal with that constantly too. And that never gets easier to deal with. It breaks your heart but you just keep working with the school and your support network to find strategies to help her and the staff manage it all.

    And you are allowed to cry. It's ok. This is hard. We all cry. Because it is not fair. It's not fair that our children have to suffer and that we have to suffer and that we have to watch them suffer and that we can't FIX it. But we do our best and we love them and we carry on. Because that is the only option.

    And we cry. Because you can't hold it all in or you will go insane.

    Love you Ruth. xox