I know. You’re worried. Every day, your child comes home with a story about THAT kid. The one who is always hitting/shoving/pinching/scratching/maybe even biting other children. The one who always has to hold my hand in the hallway. The one who has a special spot at the carpet, and sometimes sits on a chair rather than the floor. The one who had to leave the block center because blocks are not for throwing. The one who climbed over the playground fence right exactly as I was telling her to stop. The one who poured his neighbor’s milk onto the floor in a fit of anger. On purpose. While I was watching. And then, when I asked him to clean it up, emptied the ENTIRE paper towel dispenser. On purpose. While I was watching. The one who dropped the REAL ACTUAL F-word in gym class.
You’re worried that THAT child is detracting from your child’s learning experience. You’re worried that he takes up too much of my time and energy, and that your child won’t get his fair share. You’re worried that she is really going to hurt someone someday. You’re worried that “someone” might be your child. You’re worried that your child is going to start using aggression to get what she wants. You’re worried your child is going to fall behind academically because I might not notice that he is struggling to hold a pencil. I know.
Your child, this year, in this classroom, at this age, is not THAT child. Your child is not perfect, but she generally follows rules. He is able to share toys peaceably. She does not throw furniture. He raises his hand to speak. She works when it is time to work, and plays when it is time to play. He can be trusted to go straight to the bathroom and straight back again with no shenanigans. She thinks that the S-word is “stupid” and the C-word is “crap.” I know.
I know, and I am worried, too.
You see, I worry all the time. About ALL of them. I worry about your child’s pencil grip, and another child’s letter sounds, and that little tiny one’s shyness, and that other one’s chronically empty lunch box. I worry that Gavin’s coat is not warm enough, and that Talitha’s dad yells at her for printing the letter “B” backwards. Most of my car rides and showers are consumed with the worrying.
But I know, you want to talk about THAT child. Because Talitha’s backward “B”s are not going to give your child a black eye.
I want to talk about THAT child, too, but there are so many things I can’t tell you.
I can’t tell you that she was adopted from an orphanage at 18 months.
I can’t tell you that he is on an elimination diet for possible food allergies, and that he is therefore hungry ALL. THE. TIME.
I can’t tell you that her parents are in the middle of a horrendous divorce, and she has been staying with her grandma.
I can’t tell you that I’m starting to worry that grandma drinks…
I can’t tell you that his asthma medication makes him agitated.
I can’t tell you that her mom is a single parent, and so she (the child) is at school from the moment before-care opens, until the moment after-care closes, and then the drive between home and school takes 40 minutes, and so she (the child) is getting less sleep than most adults.
I can’t tell you that he has been a witness to domestic violence.
– Amy Murray, HuffPost Parents
Read more: Dear Parent: About THAT kid
Feature image source: Pixabay