“I didn’t have fun at school. I felt left out.” WHAT?!? I’m running up to school and facilitating play at recess. I’m securing placement at the lunch table. Heads are going to roll unless my baby feels safe, secure and happy. Around which time I’ll be blogging that I need better discipline tactics because a happy Drew is usually an obnoxious, hyper Drew.
Ok so I’m exaggerating a bit. Although the aforementioned is a direct quote and those were my first instincts, I have not and will not do any of that. After jumping to emotional, irrational feelings, I have decided that this is also part of what makes first grade THE year. I have put most of the emphasis on how this year is crucial from an educational standpoint but I almost neglected the social aspect.
By now, Drew has had quite a few opportunities to go into new instances and meet new friends. He is able to do that relatively easily. I sorta forgot that that’s really the least of it. It’s all the other things – learning to engage with groups of kids, learning to not always win/be first, learning to share toys/friends/attention, etc. He is now learning and gaining social skills on a deeper level. How could I have neglected to think about what first grade means socially???
I have passed along my intensity to Drew. When he loves, he loves with every fiber of his being. When he doesn’t…well, it’s not pretty. So many times I struggle with managing him, I think because I’m faced with some of the most difficult components to my own personality. Therefore, there are going to be a lot of highs and lows on his journey to make friends and mature. I’m sure this will be easier because he’s a boy, but definitely not easy.
As much as I may no longer be phased by his tears when they come from something I have caused or his feelings being hurt by an engagement at home, it’s a whole different story when you set your child free on the world and they come back with hurt feelings or tears. And by no means will this end with Drew, I get to go on this roller coaster three times (and one time being with a girl which I’m afraid may be the worst). Somewhere along the learning experience my children are going through, I must also gain some of my own perspective and maturity. My kids are going to struggle, which at times may cause them to feel sad, insecure and lonely. As much as I may feel compelled to “fix” it for them, some of this they are going to need to weather on their own to be strong, confident people in the end. I’m just not sure I have the stomach for it…and it’s only first grade 🙁