I don’t feel like I’m an overprotective mother (okay, some of my friends are probably rolling on an actual floor laughing right now). I let the girls try new things, I encourage their independence, I let them fall down so they can learn. I give them opportunities to earn trust and reward them when they do. I don’t feel like I sweep in and make everything all better all the time. I really don’t.
Which is why I’m struggling with school for Olivia this year, a little bit. To be clear, I am not talking about her relationship with her teachers, her work load, or anything like that. I actually love her teachers and feel they do a fantastic job of getting in all the required academics while still making sure the kids have plenty of down time, fun, and opportunities to be, well, kindergarteners. Love.
A few weeks ago, she came home on library day without a book. I asked her why she didn’t check one out and she said her name was never called. She asked me to email her teacher about it, so I did. As it turns out, her name had been called — and more than once — but she was too distracted chatting with friends (my kid) so she lost the chance to choose. Her teacher said she’d try to get her to the library later that week to get a book and I thanked her but said if it was all the same to her, that I’d prefer she didn’t. Olivia needed to learn that by tuning out, she misses out. Same page, we’re good. That’s not the problem.
For the next three weeks she continued to come home without a book. Each week when I asked her why, she said that the librarian told her she needed to turn in her old book before she could borrow a new one. Each week I reminded Olivia that she had returned her old book a month before, but hadn’t checked a new one out. Each week she replied that she knew that but didn’t want to make a fuss.
Would you have emailed the teacher? I didn’t, but I wanted to. I wasn’t angry — I wanted to clear up a misunderstanding.
Earlier this week she came home with a story about an altercation between her and another student. The word “punched” was involved and I was really upset about it. Is that an overreaction?? I had her tell me the entire story twice and then recount it for my husband. He didn’t seem to think it was handled inappropriately and I received neither a note nor saw any physical marks on her, though she told me she needed an ice pack and the other child was reprimanded. Would you have emailed for clarification on this? Again, I did not (but we agreed to keep our eyes and ears open for this type of behavior from this other child), but I WANTED TO.
Her teacher encouraged open communication with us and has been an absolute pleasure to speak with. Again, I have no issues at all with her and I don’t feel like there isn’t anything more than information that I want as a result of these emails I want to send.
She’s five. Should I be letting go a little bit more? I am tough, I can take it.