Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teach Your Children Well

In the Tales From the Testosterone Zone she writes today about a quote from Tampa Mom.

"Why do we enable our children to mediocrity and/or coddle them into becoming emotional cripples? Our children are so smart and amazing, but so many times we’re caught up in our own emotions and make their challenges all about us instead of just handing them back and saying, “How are you going to handle this?”

We’d have a lot more motivated, capable young adults in this world if we didn’t solve our kids’ problems for them and instead gave them guidance to help them solve their own. That’s what I’m working on and it’s just awesome seeing exactly how capable and smart my kids are.

If you guide your children and allow them the freedom to make the choices, they learn from the good and the bad and are far more capable, decisive, sympathetic, and empathetic. Keeping them safe is one thing, keeping them smothered is something else entirely!"

I believe there are times to let children to have freedom to make choices and learn from the good and the bad. I let my girls have freedom to explore our town without my restraints and they have both learned a lot from it.

The problem I have with giving my girls the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to their education is having two kids with two very different learning differences, I need to teach both of them how to advocate for themselves and how to make sure they have the accommodations they need and stuff like that.

With Horse Girl it isn't a problem she has known she has a learning difference all her life. She didn't talk until she was three years old and with help of a speech therapist. So she is excepting and willing to learn what she needs to do so she can show what she knows. Horse Girl knows how to advocate for herself and the special services teachers and her regular teachers always tell me they have never seen a 9 year old advocate as well as Horse Girl does. I am very proud of that and I know I can step back and just guide her a bit at this point and help her where she needs help because of her learning differences.

History Girl on the other hand she is new to this whole learning differences thing. She goes between loving it and finding characters on TV that she looks up to or laugh with who have the same issues she has. Shelden from The Big Bang Theory, he makes her laugh often. Then there is Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan on Bones. History Girl is always amazed with Bones and sees herself in the character so much so she now doesn't know if she wants to be an Imagineer for Disney or an anthropologist.

She then goes to hating it. Not wanting the extra help, viewing the extra help as making her stupid some how. This makes me want to scream. I think I finally got her to realize that is not the case. I explained to her that my IQ is in the 95th percentile (well depending on the test 93rd to 97th, so 95th is in the middle and a good number to go with), which means I am smart, but there is no way in this world that I would have been able to do half of the stuff I have done in my life without the extra help that I have received. We all need extra help once and awhile and knowing to except it makes a big difference in quality of life. So History Girl is finally somewhat willing to except some help which has made a big difference.

I have to admit I find helping Horse Girl a lot easier because I can understand her and I have been there done that. With History Girl her needs are very different then mine ever have been and it frustrates me. I wish I could understand stand her needs as well as I do Horse Girl's but I don't and it causes fights and stress because I just don't get it as well as I should.

The biggest academic issue History Girl has is getting school work from point A to point B to point C and then passed in. I have tried to teacher her difference organizational styles and nothing works. I also don't understand needing to be taught organization, I created my own system in 7th grade and modified it as needed through high school and college. Luckily there is a person at History Girl's school who is working with her on this because this has cause too much stress between us. I don't understand how she can finish a project and not turn it in I just don't get it. Fly Guy points out the rest of the world don't get Horse Girl and my issues, so I guess this is the feeling he has when he looking in on Horse Girl working on her homework and stuff.

I guess what I am trying to say is as much as I would like to let this all go and let the girls make and learn from their own mistakes, this isn't the time for it, not yet. History Girl's Social Worker and I have talked. Our goal is that when History Girl starts her Junior year in High School I should be hands off, but since this is such a late diagnoses and at such a hard time in a girl's life because she is figuring out who she is and tossing this new thing in doesn't make it easy for her.
So this is just another way life is different for a parent with kids with learning differences. Not that I would change things for anything in the world, I see the amazing gifts that my girls have gotten from their learning differences so they are worth the difficultly. Just it means I can't parent the way I would like 100% of the time, I need to guide more because the school as good as it is can't do everything and it is my job to take care of it.

1 comment:

Alto2 said...

Thanks for the reference.

Marcia pointed out to me that a boy, at age 13, is not an adult and is incapable of making educated decisions. Therefore, it is still my job to help him think things through and guide him in the process. She's right, and WG is too, I suppose. Ugh.