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Jen, Kristen, and Patience

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Really Listen To Me

Posted by Patience on September 15, 2009 at 7:19 AM in School
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He was late again. Getting back into the school routine is hard for everybody but especially Jack. There were so many interesting things to distract him from the living room to the bathroom where he was going to brush his teeth. It might have been the lint on the floor that caught his eye. It's just hard to be focused on the task at hand when your mind takes you so many places.

This was driving me crazy. School was calling, the little box that lists the tardies on the report card has become my own report card of sorts. Truth be told, I failed miserably last year so I'm trying to not let the tardies get in the double digits this year. I sent Jack to get his socks on, it was my third attempt with no success, I was frustrated and went into drill sargeant mode. It was taking awhile so I went up stairs to lay into him, he started to explain but I wasn't having it. I went into a tirade about responsibility and schedules, he started to cry.

"Mom, I was upstairs thinking about how you weren't really listening to me, I really didn't hear you mom, I didn't know..." he cried in a sad whimper.
I stopped, this child has a way of exposing his heart and mine in the most thought provoking and tender way. He will tell me the truth in almost any circumstance, and I hear it, I see it, I will listen, even if I didn't before. We exchanged apologies and I got my first tardy of the year but it was worth it, I think I'm looking at a different report card now.


Eleanor writes...

Oh, Patience. I have one just like that. He's home for his second sick day already (which just kills me because it's only the 2nd week of school and he probably could have gone). But when he gave me his rationalization and a few tears, I knew he was right that another day of rest would be best for all concerned. And, hey, at least Jack has fewer teeth to worry about brushing (for a little while anyway :-)

anne writes...

I had one like this, he's all grown up now and gets himself up for college classes, even 8:20 classes. BUT, back in the early days....omg what a struggle. One thing that saved us a bit of time for quite awhile was giving him his bath at night, dressing him in what he was going to wear to school the next day and putting him to bed. Worked better with shorts and t-shirts, jeans aren't that comfortable to sleep in. There are some children that you just cannot rush. Hang in there :)

Kelly writes...

Oh Jackie're so dear. You know, I think there is plenty of time to learn about schedules and deadlines and being on time. Hell, I'm STILL learning! Being heard instead of being on time was
just what everybody needed in that moment, I think. Punctuality fail; parenting win.

Jess writes...

Did you see the Alfie Kohn article in yesterday's NYT? Of all the things he says, I think the most important advice is for parents to really consider things from their child's point of view. Give yourself an A+, mama.

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