Defensive? Moi?

Well okay, maybe. I have been told by more than one person that I am the most defensive person they’ve ever met, so you might just want to take what follows with more than the usual grain of salt.

I had a conference today with the Sniglet’s teachers – apparently he’s very smart, but emotionally kind of a mess. Gee, wonder where he gets that from. AND when I got home there was a note from Ignatz’s Latin teacher – the usual, he keeps forgetting to bring the right stuff and doesn’t write all his assignments down.

I’m learning a lot about myself by talking with my kids’ teachers. Specifically, I hear their criticisms of my sons – perfectionistic, stubborn, snarky, disorganized, doesn’t cope well with frustration or criticism – and I recognize all those traits, and mostly I think: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

So okay yes I am feeling very defensive, but there is also the tiniest possibility that parts of what’s zipping around my head may actually have some validity to them. For instance:

I forget stuff all the time. I can’t help it. Neither can he. And I’m tired of apologizing, so what are YOU willing to do to help solve this problem?


Yes, he is a perfectionist, we all are. He’s stubborn – we all are. These are personalities, not pathologies. Deal with it.

And also,

All the stuff I read about helping ADD kids seems to require a super-organized mom who can be relied on to do the same things at the same time, every single day. Kids need consistency, yes. But did it ever occur to any of you (teachers, writers of books for parents of ADD kids, my own husband) that the ADD has to have come from somewhere? Maybe he’s a scatterbrain because his mother’s a scatterbrain, and maybe, just maybe, you should think about not putting 100% of the responsibility for a solution on her, when she’s already demonstrated that she doesn’t have the necessary tools.

Yes I see that my children are not perfect, but somebody has to love them for exactly who they are. I nominate myself. You have a problem with them? You fix it.

I won’t say any of those things at the conference with the Latin teacher, but I will say this:

I don’t send you notes when he doesn’t clean his room or shows up late for dinner. When he messes up at home, I deal with it. What happens on your watch is your responsibility, and I expect you to deal with it.

Song du jour of the day: The Obvious Child, by Paul Simon.


3 responses to “Defensive? Moi?

  • amy

    I’ve been gorging on Paul Simon lately. Excellent choice.

    As for the teacher stuff, I feel for you. I know teachers have a difficult job, and so on, and so on. BUT. Do we want a world full of people whose individuality has been medicated/bullied/whatever out of them, just because it makes it easier to educate them in a one-size-fits-all mold? Or perhaps could we expect the educational system to consider each child as an individual and work to optimize success for that particular child?

    I’d be defensive, too. In fact, I’m so defensive in advance of sending my kids to school that I have decided not to.

  • FirstNations

    I came very close to making the same decision, except i realized just in the nick of time that if my daughter and i had to spend that much time together one of us probably wouldn’t survive. think ‘cage match’.
    my daughter was not a good little girl; the little apple didn’t fall very far from the little tree. but see, i had my own misspent yooothful memories to fall back on-ha! so i could head her off t the pass. but i got no compliance that i didn’t fight tooth and nail for out of the school, either. i heard the same thing about her all the f*****g way through. i knew all the administrators by name. i pulled out my hair making those people do their jobs. i even had to sic campus security on her at one point to make sure she showed up and attended class…she signed in and out, they logged her homework; oh, it was jolly.
    Now she designs airplanes for HeathTechna.

  • more on that « alala

    […] pm (backatcha, mamablog) Two responses I wanted to get up, but didn’t get around to, on the defensive-moi post: Amy, you are my homeschooling hero, and if we ever move to Rhode Island, I am totally sending […]

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