The last few days have not been great. I have struggled and struggled (internally) with M’s attitude: she has been tearful, rude, listless, negative, snarky towards D and there have been constant moans of ‘I’m bored’.
I do wonder when I write these negative posts if it is helpful to write negative things about my own daughter, and what she would/will say if she ever reads it. In my defence, I do prefer a “warts ‘n’ all” blog, rather than a rose-tinted one and I hope that in writing about the challenges we face as a home-educating family that it might help others in a similar situation. Also, all the moaning I do about M’s challenging character is out of LOVE for her and wanting to find the best way for her to flourish, not out of any negative feelings.
Last week after a bout of negativity towards me and D I suggested to her that something needs to change if she doesn’t feel happy with the way things are. She needs to do something, go somewhere, try something ANYTHING to get out of the rut she’s in. I got a grumble in response. Softly, softly, catchy monkey, I thought.
Yesterday I hit an all time low when we were back on the track of the “I’m not learning anything like I would be at school” comments which she says quite a lot. It was on the tip of my tongue to retort “maybe you SHOULD go back to school!” Knowing this would mortify her, instead I said “do you want to do school-type work then?” and she replied that she did! So I got out all our old Galore Park text books and her MEP maths worksheets and asked her which one she would like to do. She said she didn’t want to do any of them and only wanted to do some handwriting practise (while holding a handwriting sheet I made for her 2 years ago). She only wanted to do something EASY. I could have cried and I think the disappointment must have shown on my face because then she got tearful too.
I really do think she has a fear of learning: she gets so tearful when she makes mistakes or doesn’t understand something.
We had a chat and she said she wanted to make something (internal SCREAM as I pictured yet another UNFINISHED SOMETHING being shoved in a drawer again) but actually I think it was just a get-out as she couldn’t think of anything she actually wanted to make. So we chatted some more and she said she wanted to do something new!! See? Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey! I have been tasked with finding a dance class, riding lessons and a Brownies club.
Today, it struck me that we have had ONE WHOLE YEAR of living in each other’s pockets. And perhaps, just perhaps, she is ready to start stretching her wings now?! She has not been ready in the past: any activities would be viewed negatively as time away from me (and time D would be gaining as having quality one-on-one time with me, leading her to feel jealous).
NOW she is ready to FLY!