But there is one thing that is always at the back of my mind..
I am so afraid that my son will end up in the streets or take drugs/alcohol etc..
I don’t know how to explain, why I worry so much..
As a baby, he was a delight..He never cried..always smiling..He was such a happy baby.. so unlike his sister !!
But things began to change as he grew older.
Raising him.. without breaking his will..at the same time setting boundaries…has been a challenge..
I remember getting a phone call from his school (grade 1)..When I went to the school..My son was sitting on the chair outside the office reception..He was reading a book.. I asked him why is he sitting there? and he replied very casually, they had DEAR ( drop everything and read) and when the teacher told the class that DEAR is over and asked the students to put their book back, my son refused..according to him, he was in the most interesting part of the book and it would only take him few more minutes to finish and he asked the teacher if she would give him 10 more minutes, she refused, he continued to read..ignoring her..teacher send him to the principal..and I was called..
Let me tell you my feelings..
I am a single mother..getting a phone call from school is scary..First thought is..something happened to my children..It is such a relief when the receptionist tells you, “oh, Mr so and so would like you to come to the school and discus matters concerning your son” and the relief turns in to new sets of fears..you begin to worry about what has he done this time? As you get your youngest child dressed and then carry her and walk up the hill to the school, you analyze all the possible things your son could have done..and wonder, is he going to get suspended? Will he get a record? What will I do?
The meeting with the Principal didn’t go well..
Rules are for everyone..and must be followed was his explanation…
I agreed with him..then I asked him, what do you suggest we do about it?
He has to listen to the teacher, the principal told me in not so nice tone..
How do you make him listen to the teacher? I asked him.
One thing I have noticed is, Principals don’t like parents who are vocal..
What he wanted at that meeting was for me to agree that my son is irresponsible, defiant, disruptive..etc By tagging him in those terms, it is easy for the school authorities..they have a record..of his misbehaviour and meetings with his parent..and eventually when things get out of hand, they can suspend my son.. everything will be done as per the rules..
There is only one person who can stand up for my children.. that was me..
I didn’t dispute the fact that my son disobeyed the teacher..but this happened because, the teacher allowed DEAR, teacher set the time..and my son couldn’t finish his reading in time..and asked for extention and wasn’t given.
What the teacher and the principal didn’t see was..in that time it took me to reach the school and meet the principal, my son finished reading the book..My son was least bit bothered about being send to the office and having to meet with the principal..He didn’t think he did anything wrong..
What can I as a mother do? How do I force my son to listen to the teacher, when he very calmly tells you that, Mom, all I asked was for 10 more minutes, she ( teacher) was doing maths and I have already finished the maths work book !
I asked for an academic assessment done for my son..That is the next thing school authorities hate..more work for them !!!
They did the tests eventually..( I had to go all the way to dept of education to get it done)
He got the ‘gifted’ tag..( which gave me a bit of break from having to meet with the principal every other day.. cause the school has to accept that his ‘giftedness’ was the reason for his (mis)behaviour)
One thing I have to mention here is.. I do not condone my son’s behaviour..but there is nothing that can be done to make him toe the line you have set..
He is a straight A student, he is doing Uni level maths and has been given admission for Maths acceleration program in grade 8..
He still reads story books in class..
and I worry..all the time..what is the next rule he is going to break..