Monday, 3 January 2011

I'm not a bad mother...I just don't like doing crafts!


The kids are fighting and so are the dogs.  It's time for them to go back to school and even though I've loved having them at home I can't wait to have the house back to myself, if only for a few hours. I wish I could be one of those mothers who take pleasure in their company, bake cakes with them, or create wonderful object d'art, but unfortunately I'm more of the "go and watch the TV" or "lets get someone over to play" type of mother who abdicates responsibility for their fun to something or someone else.  Not good for their soul I know, but soooo good for mine.  

During arguments Bart often brings in the "show stopper".

"WHO is the child, here?”

It always stops me dead in my tracks and makes me think...yes I am a terrible mother.  I look at other mothers and know they are doing a far better job than me, but I know my children and I know that they will always come and tell me what is bothering them without me apportioning blame.  They know I look at the bigger picture and see the three sides to the story.  I tell them how it is, and I don't sugar coat it. Am I mean?  Perhaps, but I like to think I live in the real world and there are some mean people out there.  I want them to be able to stand their ground and stand up for themselves.  I'm not always going to be around to protect them, am I?

Last year,  Finn came home from school.  He was upset because Mrs B kept "picking on him".  Now Finn's not a naughty boy and he worries relentlessly. If it had been Bart, I wouldn't have been surprised, but not Finn.  Finn always tries to do the right thing... Finn had mentioned it before, but I thought he was being over sensitive. But this time I sat him down and asked to tell me what was happening, step by step.  Mrs B is not too keen boys and favours the girls in the class.  After he spilled the beans, I could see that Finn was getting the blame for many things that others had done, but didn't contradict Mrs B, because as he said

"She wouldn't believe me!”
Finn it seems is always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Finn now doesn't like Mrs B, so I think the feeling is mutual. But it wasn't going to last forever, and I explained to him that sometimes people don't like other people. Some people are mean and we just have to accept it or try and change it.  We couldn't like everyone, but we could try to understand why, but the good thing was that after this year, it was unlikely that he would have Mrs B as his teacher again. The choice was his.  Finn moved class at the end of the school year and Mr S thinks Finn is brilliant! 

Sis told me about Ben when he started Secondary School.  He had gone from a small prep to a state school when he was 13.  Most of Ben’s friends had gone onto other private and boarding schools, with a few moving into the state system. Ben had heard rumours of how the prep boys were bullied and knew that he had to develop a new persona. 

Ben was a rugby fiend and excelled in sports, but he was dyslexic and knew he could be a target.  Ben had told sis about the troubles he faced and came across, but it became clear that he had the reputation for being a bit of a "hard man", and this began to spill over into class.  Ben hated it because at heart he wanted to learn.  He wanted to go to university, and he hated who he had become.  One day Sis got a call from a teacher who had worries about Ben and his lack of respect for the teacher of a certain class. Sis knew of the troubles because Ben had told her and how bad he felt when he was rude.  Sis explained the reasons why and although not an excuse told her that Ben was horrified at his behaviour but couldn't stop himself.  The penny dropped for the teacher and realised that Ben was "acting" to protect himself and having spoken to someone who knew Ben realised that he needed help.

The teacher went straight to Ben and pulled him out of class, sat him down and explained that she had spoken to his mother and now knew "where he was coming from" and they would now start afresh. Ben, himself was so relieved that he apologised profusely...and so began their new relationship.  Ben excelled in her class and often stood up for her against the other classmates. A new respect for each other was formed. If not for that teacher, Ben would not have attended the university of his choice, and Ben would certainly not have become the gentle, thougtful young man that he is. The teacher took Bens' mother at her word and believed and was compassionate enough to realise that it takes all sorts,  for all reasons.

So, I may not be a good mother at times, but like sis I understand where my kids are coming from, and I hope when the time comes I can help them when they can't help themselves!

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