Monday, October 22, 2012

Those Notes Home

This post is for any parent who ever got one of those notes home from school.  Somehow I thought I would never be that parent.  Maybe because I can safely say that I never grieved a teacher K-12 to the point of them telling my parents.  Straight "a pleasure to have in class" across the board on report cards; I thought surely my children would return the favor.  I've had to do some hard work changing my internal reaction when people give me negative feed back with miss Claire.  I was beating myself up about it to the point of making myself sick.

I know things are starting to change for me when Claire gets kicked out of the child watch at the YMCA and it doesn't ruin my day.  Yes, it is totally frustrating and avoidable if they had just taken a second to help her but it isn't the pit in my stomach, anxiety that used to be there.  It's just part of life and we are learning what are going to be the most successful places for Claire; and sometimes we get kicked out trying.

Claire hasn't figured out Fridays at all.  This year 5 days a week of school is new and she has had a "red light" every Friday.  She is just so pooped the last day but should I keep her home every Friday because she is tired?

So, last Friday was the worst.  She was sent to the office, I think twice.  How does it feel to get a note home with your child that they spent the day in the office for "Hitting friends, refusing to work, refusing to come in from recess (this one seems to be very popular in the down syndrome community right now) and spitting on people" all in one day???  Um, horrible, it feels terrible.  I am so relieved that I have figured out exactly what to say to myself so I don't go into internal hysterics and nausea for two days over it like I used to:
"You do everything you can at home to support Claire and avoid this.
She knows that spitting, pushing, kicking... is not okay.
This was Claire's choice; not your fault.
You will talk to her when she gets home but not take it out on her that you are embarrassed and frustrated.  You are a great mom.
You are doing the best you can.
If integrated Kindergarten isn't the right fit for her it is not going to be the end of the world."

I do still need a serious hug after I read one of those notes though.

Got to give some props to her teacher.  She has been handling it well.  She always gives bad news in the best possible way without clouding the facts.  I like that she gives Claire the benefit of the doubt on her off days: maybe she is tired, I know she is not trying to attack anyone, her knee is still not better... Thank you Ms Mayer!

So if anyone has anything they do to help them not internalize this all so much, I'm all ears???? It's really hard for me!

Me "did you get a star today?"
Claire "No"
Me "what happened?"
Claire "spit friends, push friends" 


  1. I don't have any words of wisdom but I so understand. I do think it is the same with all kids. I have an emotional reaction with things don't go well with Rex. Granted it is in totally different situations but I think its the same principle. We want so badly for our kids to do well and for the world to think are as amazing as we do that when someone has to give constructive feedback it cuts to the quik. Then multiply it by 100 for our kiddos with special needs because we put so much extra work/time into helping them succeed that it gets even more personal.

  2. Oh at least Beau isn't the only one kicked out of Child Watch :) Hugs coming your way. I think we all totally understand. You aren't alone!!

  3. "This is Claire's choice; not your fault." Ooh I'm definitely filing that one away for when I have kids!! If you can figure that out I'm sure there are going to be a lot of jealous Moms (and Dads) out there. No matter what you do to teach, encourage and love, Claire is her own person with her own spirit and will.

    And yes you are a good mom, love you!