Here's what she wrote:
Do you believe everything your kids tell you?
During my Open House speech with my parents.....I always end on a humorous note....I tell them that " I will promise not to believe everything they say happens at home, if you promise not to believe everything that happens at school!" We all get a good chuckle....but my point is made.
. . .
Being the mother of an incredibly over-sensitive child, I can appreciate this rationale...as The Princess takes every statement that is not a glowing remark of her greatness to be a slap in the face......but here's the difference....when she tells me crazy things like this....I remind her that, just because someone isn't thrilled with something you do that is inappropriate...doesn't mean they don't like you....it just means what you did was not acceptable!
. . .
Don't misunderstand....I am all about involved and concerned parents.......I am a parent...I understand that. But, before I take action based solely on the word of my child, I will be doing some investigations of my own! (Just call me the interrogator! ) :)
I make that same deal with teachers, grandparents, other responsible adults who might be privy to or subject of commentary by my adorable, precious yet somewhat prone to dramatizing daughters.
Like the Queen's daughter, my girls are walking vulnerable hearts on sleeves dramatic sorts who feel every little comment as a sharp stab.
"It's not okay to slap your sister, you stop that, now, here's what we need to do instead..." I can say quite calmly to Patience, only to have her collapse in tears.
"But mom she [insert perceived injustice here with no apparent idea of her own responsibility]...sob sob sob..."
"Patience, I understand sweetie, she [insert perceived injustice here] and that makes you [mad/is unfair/sad/insert word]. But slapping is never an okay way to handle it. We need to Use Our Words and if that doesn't work, we need a Plan B that is nice. I'm always glad to help you think of a Plan B."
Patience says, "Waaaaaahhhhhh I'm a terrible child and you hate me....waaaahhhhhh."
The thing is, as frustrating as it can be sometimes, I nevertheless understand that when it comes to my kids, they tend to relay events emotionally, as in "here's how it felt," which is usually a skewed version of the truth.
This is especially true of Patience, my drama queen. Not as much true so far about Persistence, who is more likely to be fairly sneaky and quiet about naughtiness, and, if caught, deny deny deny, then, if trouble ensues, shoot back better than she gets. Her fierce face is a work of art, master level.
But Patience. Oh how she longs to be Marvelous and Adored by everyone all the time, regardless of how she acts. She's a Nice child you know and doesn't mean Bad so it should all be Good.
She's the child who frequently says, "Mooooooomm, my teacher hates me."
Let's put that statement through the Factizer (yes, my friends, I have been known to say this aloud).
(imagine whirring noises and so forth)
Okay here's what came out of the Factizer: I was naughty and talking during clean up time and my teacher gave me a yellow caution and a verbal warning. I felt really bad and embarrassed to be called out, and for not doing what I should. I felt horrible for disappointing my teacher, worried about being in trouble and all I can think of to say to explain all of this is she hates me.
I love my Factizer.
Unfortunately sometimes it spits back "Inadequate Date for Translation" message and I have to investigate.
I make a point to know the teacher and be on good terms for that.
One of the K teachers at Patience's school and I are friends. We were chatting one fun Friday evening and I gave her the biggest laugh she'd had all day, I think.
"So, teacher Friend," said I, "Is there by any chance a student in kindie named Solange?"
"Why do you ask?" said she.
"Err well hummm it's like this. Patience keeps coming home with tales of a Solange who has an awful lot of trouble in school. She's got a lot of feelings---not very good ones by the way---about being in kindie."
"And you're worried because?"
"Okay well because either there is really a child named Solange having a very tough time or Patience is using the old 'imaginary friend' or 'my friend has trouble but it's not me oh no it's not me' tactic because it's sometimes easier to speak in the third person."
"Well," she said hesitantly, "There is a child named Solange, and she is having a rough time, but I can't say more than that."
"No need to!" I said happily, now realizing the Tragedies of Solange were another parent's problem, not mine. I mean, I feel for that parent, but we all have our own crosses to bear, eh. Don't need to carry each others in a case like this.
So tell me...how do your kids communicate? How do you figure out what's going on with them, in their lives? How do you measure it against so-called facts?
I'm eager to hear about all ages and stages (believe me!).
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
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