“Mama, it’s too loud! I can’t ever concentrate because everyone yells!” “Everything takes THIRTY MINUTES when it could just take FIVE!” “My ears and head hurt from all the chaos!” “Everyone is crazy, why don’t they stop?”
After less than 2 months of public school, these are the phrases my 6 year old used when anyone asked him why he wanted to go back to homeschooling. Usually, He would cry, stumbling over his words, trying to make sense of it all; eventually, getting too frustrated and give up.
Everyday was a struggle for most of our family; We were all feeling the stress -especially me. It didn’t feel right -not letting him homeschool when I had the resources, the time (I make time), AND the desire…..it’s crazy to me.
So, I followed my gut and pulled him out.
I think I needed to really hear what we had all been listening to him say, he isn’t ready. He needs more time.
Fast forward to the first day back homeschooling – I won’t bore you with all of the details, but, I will tell you, our school day was full of learning and laughter. We had so much fun; He LOVES math -we had to start with two lessons. He couldn’t wait to dive in; counting, reading his new BOB books, clocks, patterns, and neither could I.
As we were cleaning up our school mess, (tip: Picking up things in alphabetical order is always fun) I couldn’t help but feel like a badass. He is happy! He is stress-free! No tears!
I did that and, especially now, I am confident we made the right choice.
As moms, we’re always looking for ways to help our children. We talk to our mommy friends -maybe try something they’ve had success with in the past, we get online -ya know, looking for solutions to situations we, ourselves, don’t fully understand (admit it, we all want to do the “fixing”, first), or some turn to their own parents or family for advice, it doesn’t matter, the point is, we won’t find the answers we are looking for unless we keep it simple -ask them, and then listen. You’d be surprised what these little humans have to say and all we have to do is ask.
Side thought: It’s funny, newborns can only communicate by crying, SO what do we do? We, instinctively, learn their every wimper and cry in order to care for them. We are hearing them, learning them. Why, or when, does this change? Life? Time? Careers? Society?
I don’t think we can ever pay too much attention to how our Littles are feeling. If your child is struggling with something, I encourage you to just STOP and really try to hear what they are trying to convey to you -don’t interrupt them, wait! . Let them put the words they know together. I find, if I interrupt to help the conversation along he either gets side tracked and doesn’t finish his thoughts, or feels overwhelmed because he thinks I don’t understand what he’s trying to say. I can tell you from experience, this is no good!
We ALL know parenting is a rough gig, complete with NO instructions or guides. We just have to trust our mommy instincts and do the best we can because at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
- Start teaching them about their emotions & how to express them, this HUGE so start early.
- We don’t always have the right answers (surprise, surprise) -allow them counseling at school or privately. Whatever they need to do to vent and get things off of their chests.
- Make sure you prepare your heart before you dive into a conversation. Kids always think they’re right which usually leads to an unhappy mama because the attitude and arguing can be typical. If this happens, try to reroute the question or give them a small task to keep their hands busy -again, depending on age.
- Be patient and listen. Try to really hear what it is they are struggling with, friends, teachers, school -It doesn’t have to be bigger issues like anxiety or Spina Bifida (physical problems lead to emotional problems, I’ve learned)
- And finally, listen to your instincts. We know our babes better than anyone and we need to be their advocates until they can be for themselves.
-Hope this helps!
Best of luck to you and your small humans!