Ready to Fly?

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.

Rant over.

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!

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4 thoughts on “Ready to Fly?

  1. What a brave post Lucy! And so insightful that you have brought it towards a positive outcome! Very hard to do when it gets like this. In my experience, when it got like you describe, it was often a case of trying to dissipate the intensity that sometimes occurs between parent and child – both trying their hard at ‘learning’ – and backing off, being more relaxed about the activities (finished or not), and being confident and positive about where you think the day should be going – and heading there! Other times you really just need to leave them be to come to their own conclusions and stop trying to please! 🙂 All the best. xx

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Ross! It did feel brave to get my feelings out into the public, brave and therapeutic :-). Definitely agree about the intensity between me and M at the moment, I think now she’s ready it will do her the world of good to have experiences without me, and will hopefully leave her feeling more positive about HE too.

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  2. Theo is 9 and has lots of time away from me now which makes our bond stronger I think. He is in an orchestra where I just drop and leave him, athletics where I sit with other mums and drink coffee ( I love this one), skateboarding where I’m sat inside a building away from him and then he spends evenings and weekends with his friends up a tree. I think that there just comes a natural time when they need their own space and I think that you are probably approaching that age. Brownies and dance classes will be wonderful and youll get a moment to breath as well.

    If I ever sense boredom approaching I put my wellies on and announce that I’m going for a walk. They are normally keen to abandon whatever they have been doing for some fresh air. If the air injects the life back into them we go back and carry on ( normally with food as well).

    It’s a great, real post Lucy. Once she meets up with kids her own age and has a few conversations about school, she will realise how much more she is learning at home. Theo is always amazed by how much more he has learnt!

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