My Gram used to use that word a lot – I’m not sure why it sticks out in my head, but it does. She was an amazing lady – smart, beautiful, and kind. Conundrum is exactly the word she would use to describe the ongoing challenge we’ve had with Ethan and Kindergarten.
Before school started way back in August, Ethan was super excited to learn to read. He’s always been a book lover and couldn’t wait to be able to read on his own. But within a few weeks of school, we found he was frustrated and discouraged. As time has gone on, he’s become even more frustrated and disinterested.
Que the big warning bells for Mr. Juggling Act and me!
During parent/teacher conferences, his wonderful teacher told us what we already knew – he’s a smart kid who doesn’t seem to want to put in the effort. And he’s afraid of being wrong to boot.
There’s nothing that seems to motivate him – no amount of begging, pleading, coaxing, rewarding or even bribing seems to work. He is the most stubborn child I’ve ever met.
First grade registration is Friday and with that new reality starting us in the face, I’m more anxious now than ever for Ethan. He’ll be going from his small daycare school with a kindergarten program, to a much larger elementary school. Many of his friends of the last three years will be dispersed to other schools around the city or surrounding area, making the change all that much more scarier in my mind.
While Ethan continues to be his lively happy self during times of play and rest, he’s completely “checked out” when it comes to curriculum in the classroom and homework.
The questions swirl in my head and I’m terrified of the answers. Why does my smart, funny, inquisitive almost 6-year old shut down when it comes to learning? Have I raised a child that is afraid to fail? Have we somehow taught him it’s not ok to make mistakes? Is there something wrong with him – some minor learning disability that we’re not seeing? How do we motivate him?
And the worst question of all -the one that keeps me up at night – Am I not a good parent?