Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Parent-Teacher Conferences


Yesterday I had Walker's first parent-teacher conference for first grade. I get so nervous when these things come around. No one wants to sit and talk to someone about how their child needs to improve and their flaws, and being a child of a teacher, I know that the teachers don't too much enjoy the experience either.

So I showed up yesterday afternoon to find out the latest on my little guy and how first grade is going. I have a hard time getting him to give me details about school - I hear it's pretty common, especially with boys. I really have to drag things out of him - he's so much like his father in that manner.

The teacher says he's doing great with math, reading, etc...but evidently my little "angel" is a bit of a class clown and likes to be the center of attention. He also can't seem to wait for the teacher to call his name when he raises his hand. I think that's probably the competitive nature in him.

Also, he's being a bit too rough with a timid girl in his class, and she evidently is a bit scared of him. That's totally not something you want to hear in a parent-teacher conference.

So, this is when it gets hard. You can do what some parents do, and defend your kid and blame it on someone else, or you can shut your mouth and realize that no children are perfect and this is when parenting really starts. And then you wonder how in the heck you can work on these issues? 

So, I walked in the house (Mike and Walker were already home) and I sat them down and we talked about things in a non-confrontational manner. I say, "I hear you have a little trouble doing exactly what the teacher says and we need to work on that. She said you don't like to wait to be called on...and also that one of your classmates is a bit scared of you..."

And just by the look on his face, I knew he feels bad about his classmate, and I tell him it's OK, that sometimes you just have to be more gentle with people.

Then he says, "Fine, now y'all hate me."

Which broke my heart.

I said, "No honey, we don't hate you - we love you so much. We are just here to help you be a better kid and grow up to be an even better adult. That's what parents are for. We don't expect you to be perfect."

And we don't. And hopefully, no one expects me to be perfect either, cause I'm learning this whole parenting thing as I go. And from what I hear, it only gets harder.
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7 comments:

  1. I'm totally crying. You're a great mom and are doing great things for Walker. He's a lucky guy and I know his teacher appreciates the way you parent.

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  2. i'm a teacher, and i totally relate. i hate PTCs:(

    but sometimes it's good! you get to tell them everything that's great about their child:)

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  3. It's not easy. Parenting is about the only thing that Google doesn't have all the answers for.

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  4. We have the same issues at our house with our little guy in first grade. Many times when we discuss issues he determines that we hate him and that he is bad. We just reassure him that he is not bad and that we love him. I think it is typical of this age and they just have to learn to take direction and understand that you are not attacking them...but trying to help. Your Walker sounds a lot like my son! You are doing a wonderful job...keep at it:)

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  5. Aw this breaks my heart. The little guy - it's so hard to navigate through life, trying to be yourself and pleasing everyone around you. He's such a sensitive soul. I'm sure the next parent teacher conference will go even better.

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  6. I'm just starting on the boy-school journey too, as you know. No conferences yet but I'm bracing. We've already had an eye lid lifting incident gone wrong, window blind swinging in the cafeteria, hitting in the privates (also in the cafeteria) and cutting of a shirt during art class. Your approach and sweet words to Walker are inspiring.

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  7. I am getting ready to have a parent-teacher conference on Thursday and I can so understand your worry! I'm completely nervous even though I know that I don't expect perfection from my child...like you said...it's hard to hear all the things they need to work on. AND even harder to know how to make them work on them! Your a great momma! Walker is a lucky man! And can I just say...he looks so grown up in this picture!!!! Still such a sweet and innocent face though!

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