It’s the start of a new school year and 2 of my children are happy to be going to school, 1 is irate at having to go to school and 1 is happy to be starting online-schooling just as soon as his computer arrives. My irate child went to school last year, was miserable and comforted himself with the idea that he would not, would not, would not go back again. But I sent him back anyway. I think he could do well in school. I think he could make friends. I can’t believe that there isn’t one other kid in the school who would like my son as a friend. And everything he is complaining about is pretty normal: dumb rules, unfair teachers, kids who are obnoxious and mean.
Here’s the dilemma I am wrestling with: these are all normal parts of middle school, but are they acceptable? Is my son who is having a hissy fit saying, “I don’t care if this is normal for these people. It’s stupid and idiotic and I don’t want anything to do with it” actually speaking out of wisdom? He gets accused all the time of not being willing to just suck it up and deal with it. Which isn’t entirely fair; he sucks it up and deals with it and keeps putting one foot in front of the other. He did it all last year. I do make him do chores and be nice to his sisters. But he just refuses to learn to do it happily or quietly. Like I told the middle school principal this morning, if he figures out a way to get him to do that, let me know because nothing I’ve done has worked. He’s gotten much less obnoxious about his protests and more willing to try things your way rather than trying to walk away from an unpleasant situation. And honestly, as he grows up, I think he will have to learn to be more realistic, tactful and less emotional, but not being willing to quietly take crap will serve him well.
So, I don’t know what to do. The kid has to learn to make peace with necessary evils at some point. And I hate to respond to his near-hysteria by just saying, “fine – whatever you want.” (He wants to be allowed to do online homeschooling.) But I really empathize with his struggle to deal with the necessary evils that are particular to middle school. They are not the sort of things which have useful parallels or would even be allowed to take place in the real world. So why is it OK for me to insist that my kid go through them just cuz that’s the way it is? I dunno . . .
This cartoon is so right for my irate child – not only does he hate school, but he taught himself to read using Calvin and Hobbes books. Perhaps reading materials with less anti-school bias would have been better? LOL