So not too long ago, I got a request for a parent teacher conference for my daughter. Her dad and I went to pretty much hear mostly what we already knew about her (and me in some ways, lol).
Apparently she thinks school is more of a place for her to socialize. She likes to “do hair” at gym. She got a comb stuck in her friend’s hair to where it took the teacher over 15 minutes to get it out and almost traumatized her friend with the thoughts of them having to cut it out. My daughter was brought to tears. I think a friend of mine and I did something similar with a roll brush and my bangs, but I wasn’t so lucky. It did end up having to be cut out.
She likes to talk about “boys”. It doesn’t matter that I told her that all boys are the same and that they are no different than the two brothers that you already have. She still thinks it’s fun to talk about them and will be the first to tell you that Justin Bieber is going to marry Hannah Montana.
She doesn’t like following directions. Ummmm, I get some of this from her at home. Like when I ask her to put on an outfit that makes sense to the seasonal weather outside and she comes out ready to go to the beach in mid December.
She likes to daydream. I have to admit, this one got me. As serious as I was trying to be with the teacher and my daughter’s father (who had brought a notepad to take notes and who had already told the teacher about him taking all of her toys away) I almost laughed. That was sort of the kicker for me. While I didn’t have any pop star boy or girl that I cared enough to talk about, nor was that concerned with fashion at her age (she’s only 6), I sure had the same indifference concerning school. There was no way if I was put near a window at school that I wouldn’t be called out for daydreaming. She indeed is my offspring. And the older I got, the worse it got and the less I cared for school. The more I cared about friends and also used it as a place to “socialize” as my mother would have put it. But with strict guidelines on grades and my social life, I did make pretty good grades all throughout school. I never made A honor roll, but I did enough to get by and so I wouldn’t be grounded.
So while I understand the importance of my daughter knowing how to read and write and don’t want her to steer too far from the beaten path, I also know how flawed our institution of learning is and where it fails children like her and so many others. She is very creative (just like her mama!) and enjoys acting, drawing and being social. She doesn’t care too much for following directions and isn’t exactly excited when it comes to reading. Her brother on the other hand likes books, thankfully. But rather than embracing and having her in an environment that will teach her the fundamentals but also acknowledge what may appear to be weaknesses to some as actual strengths, and help to support and grow them, she will be told that those things are bad/wrong or less desirable attributes and traits than others. Her toys will be taken away by her father again and again. So I guess like me, she will just have to work around the system and in her own time and way come about her own development.
It just really sucks when we can see our children for who they truly are and appreciate that, yet see them sort of stuck in a system that tries to fit them into some cookie cutter mold that not only stifles their individual growth and happiness, but short changes the world as a whole.