I’m the mother. I’m supposed to fix things, help my son, teach him how to help himself, and stuff like that. But this morning, I was at my end. To give you a little background, my son has Sensory Processing Disorder, has a little bit of ADD, a touch of anxiety from time to time, and is very, very sensitive. His life is a little bit of a challenge for him, and more of a challenge for me.
This morning, just as it was time to go to school, he was in the bathroom, complaining of being backed up. After giving him enough time that he was going to be just a little bit tardy for school, my stress amped up. I had plans with a girlfriend to go do some shopping that we needed to do, have a cup of tea, and visit. We have a standing date the third Wednesday of every month when the kids are in school.
The kid was making no progress, and my attempts to help him were met with anxious choruses of, “No, it will sting and burn and hurt!” I tried on several occasions, with no success. I bobbed and weaved like Muhammad Ali, first being compassionate and understanding, followed by temper welling up in me, wanting to strong-arm him. After my girlfriend got to the house, I had had enough. I finally laid down the law- “You are getting your stuff, getting in my car, and going to school!” This command was met with tears and anguish.
I held my ground firmly, until I was sitting in the car, engine on, waiting for my little man to get in. He wouldn’t. He stood, just outside the car, a mess of tears, talking about how he can’t take it (school) anymore. The things he was saying without saying them were more like, “I can’t take it (life) anymore. And if you keep making me go to school, it will kill me inside.” He cries about having to go to school every other day, and then some; but something about this moment told me to stop pushing and let him stay home. I did.
He is a wonderfully creative, caring, and capable child; but he is not designed for the way our school system teaches kids en mass. And, unfortunately, I am not in a position to home school him. Switching schools isn’t the answer, because all the schools around here teach pretty much the same way. I think, maybe, working with either a psychologist or an occupational therapist (to help with sensory issues) would help. I don’t know.
How do you explain to an eight year old that they just have to suck it up and endure this torture, when it should not be torture for them?