Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Loose toofes and middle school woes...

so my darling 5yr old baby boy, Jaxon, came running into my bedroom yesterday morning as I was getting ready for the day to announce that he had a wiggly tooth! His first loose tooth. He was so excited...and I got a little teary-eyed. And that took me by surprise.

See, I was totally fine registering him for kindergarten, not understanding all the heartache among friends in signing up their youngest for kindergarten. The Hubs and I were talking about it then, and we both decided that life is so much better now and we're having more fun
with our kids than ever before that we shouldn't waste the present grieving the past or lament about how fast their growing up. Life is good.

But for some reason this first loose tooth made me a little sad. My baby boy is growing up. >sigh<.

As for the middle school woes, this is something I dread about having my kiddos growing up. My oldest baby boy, Coleo is struggling at school with feeling like kids are picking on him and teasing him. He had a little meltdown this morning on his way out the door.

I have been coming down pretty hard him the past few months, in helping him be more aware of the choices he's making re: all sorts of things. Food choices, how he spends his free time, how he's spends/saves his money, controlling his impulses, all sorts of things. We've got charts posted all over the house for all the kids reminding them what needs to be done and when, in attempts to empower them more and to have me nagging them less. And he still falls short sometimes and I am the first to call him on it. So I am the bad guy right now. He actually told The Hubs that I am just like the teacher at school that he doesn't' get along with. Ouch! I just don't know how else to come along side him and try to teach him the things he needs to know and do to be a confident, self-reliant young man. I do know I have to catch him doing things right more often and praise him more. I know the whole it takes 10 praises to counter every negative. But it's so hard! Why is the nagging seem to be easier?

So this morning I grieved for him after getting him out the door. I feel so sad when he he has these melt-downs and tears up saying he doesn't have any friends. Or that he's being teased or picked on by "everyone". I don't get that at all. He is a funny, witty kid, he's friendly and sociable. We let him do all sorts of fun things, we've offered him the chance to invite kids over from school. But the friendships just don't seem to be happening. He was one of only 4 kids from his elementary school to move to the middle school he attends, and 3 of them were girls. So he started out at a little bit of a disadvantage with no one on his side really, but he was kinda of excited about that actually. He was looking forward to having a new "pond" to swim in and make some new friends.

I have prayed for those friendships...in hopes he'd find those one or two really special ones that he could carry thru to highschool with. He has a couple of really good friends at church, but they all attend different schools. I hate the thought of him being a target, singled out by the supposed "cool kids". I know how vicious middle-schoolers can be. A parents worst nightmare really. Vigilante Momma takes hold and I want to go scope out the rotten ones and let them have a taste of it. He endured some physical harrassment and bullying as a 2nd grader on the bus, initiated by an older boy and it about broke my heart that he tolerated it as long as he did before it "surfaced'.

I hate the thought of him worrying and dreading going to school. It's hard to know when to step in and talk to a teacher. I have encouraged him to talk to his teachers, and even go see the 6th grade counselor if he thinks that would help. He's afraid the kids will pick on him more if he talks. I just don't know what to do - what to say to encourage him, how to help.

This first-born parenting thing is tuff.


Wendy said...

My heart just hurts for C... Life is so hard for everybody... why do they feel the need to knock each other down to build themselves up? This is one of my biggest fears of sending Jonah to school. One of the things I love about him is that he's sensitive... but it feels a little like sticking Nemo in a pool of piranah...

Cheri said...

Karen....we've been there. Middle School is really tough...and hard to know when to step in and when not to.
If I may make a suggestion...go to bat for your kid....talk to the teacher yourself and see what he/she observes...in Cole, and the other kids.
The other thing....empathize with Cole. Tell him how bad you feel and how crummy this is....and agree to work on it together.

You are doing great....this too will pass.


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