When it comes to my six year old I feel like the Borg, adapting to phaser modulations and trying to assimilate at the same time. I battle with him EVERY DAY. I try new tactics. I revert back. I try different ones. It’s a struggle.
I often think about when I was little, if I did the same things that he does, how I would be lit up with a switch. There was no understanding of meltdowns vs. tantrums, child development, or any kind of special needs that was not visible, in aging Southern Baptist great-grandparents.
Do not misunderstand my words. My favorite part of my childhood was my Granny. She was very religious and just from a different time. I respected my Granny but at a young age I realized she could not answer my questions without telling me a Bible verse. My curiosity begged me to ask all the common questions of childhood.
Why? (x1 million)
Why is the sky blue?
Why is the grass green?
What are rainbows?
Even though I exhibited ADD symptoms in my childhood, and my parents did not have me tested, I loved school. I did well in school. Mostly because it was not home. I had my friends at school and I liked to learn.
That long anecdote brings me to tonight. Where here in the 21st century we are given Triple P, Magic 123 and RIE classes instead of switches and Bible Verses.
I just about lost my patience. I’m trying to take into consideration that
1. J2 has been at school all day and is adjusting to new ADHD meds
2. I let him play outside after school.
3. It’s bedtime and he just took his medicine.
All he has to do tonight is read seven sight words and put them in the correct boxes according to their length. ( see goes in column 3). He can’t read the damn sight words. He can’t sound them out and put them together. He guesses. He plays around. He gets frustrated. He has to be told to rewrite a word or two.
Damn sight words.
I hate them
They make me feel like a shitty parent.
I don’t know how to make him understand.
Why can’t he read that? Why can’t he WRITE that?
I know I’m projecting my love of learning and subsequent expectations of school on to him so he gets frustrated. I’m frustrated too.
It’s time to mix formula and for him to go to bed. He has one word left to write. He just can’t focus anymore so I send him to bed.
Afterwards I’m left with a plethora of thoughts about school testing, homework, his IEP, his upcoming NVLD testing, etc.
I just don’t know how to reach him
It’s now the 3rd quarter and his progress report is mostly 1’s and 2’s. He is making progress on certain goals in his IEP but not on actual school work. I get notes all the time about practicing writing sentences. I don’t understand how he can practice writing sentences if he can’t read or spell. I have to sit there and spell everything out in addition to helping him form certain letters and create spaces between words.
Then I feel like a shitty parent again because I get frustrated and he starts getting overwhelmed. Then he will tell me about how his friend can do his homework and another can read his Pokémon cards. I feel really guilty because I love reading and, before Clark, J2 was read to multiple times a day. Now I feel like that has to be penciled in somewhere.
Part of me wants to give him lectures on motivation and paying attention in class and then the other part tries to remember that he acts according to his own biological laws and just can’t function that way.
Even though I am overwhelmed with his frustrations and never-ending tirade of questions, I don’t want him to stop.
Never stop questioning.
I may never stop wondering if hating sight words makes me a bad parent.