I Am Perplexed..need Insights

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Sweety2016, Oct 13, 2023.

  1. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear ILites,

    Today was my daughter's (grade 2) PTM session. She had made ample silly mistakes in all subjects, resulting in her marks going down. She could have easily done much better. She was bright and focused earlier, and nowadays, it's a hassle dealing with her on any task. Of late, she has started doing talks like, 'wish I am a couple with that X guy,' we are boyfriend girlfriend, middle finger, shaadi, etc, with her friend whom she considers a best friend. But the girl is very shrewd. For instance, the first time I met her, She asked is **** your surname & what's your caste? my daughter is too innocent for any such talks. We don't allow her to watch TV alone. No Bollywood, crappy serials, etc..only selected youtube channels or Disney movies for her. I also don't watch any Bolly regional movies in her presence. One more bad quality she has picked up is taking others things either out of greed or out of revenge. She cries a lot and is hyper-emotional when confronted..telling twisted tales etc. I have tried all ways, speaking kindly, telling moral stories, and getting angry, but nothing has worked till now. They changed her section this year, and last year, she was too good.
    So, I expressed my concerns about my daughter's overall change in attitude and how I feel my daughter is slowly and steadily going in the wrong direction to the teacher. The convo went like this.

    Me: Maam, my kid was not like this earlier but has been picking up some not-so-good qualities of late. I feel this has aggravated after her change in section. She's not able to focus well on her studies as she was earlier. She has made so many silly mistakes. Please monitor her association with other kids, as she gets easily influenced by others.

    Teacher: She is very talkative in class. Wherever I make her sit, she keeps talking and spoils the other child.

    Me: Then kindly make her sit in the front

    Teacher: that's not possible. We rotate seating places. (TO my daughter) Can I make you sit alone?

    Me: No, don't make her sit alone. Make her sit close to the board so that she doesn't get distracted much. In fact, she has told me about children (did not name them) who say unwanted stuffs (the stuff I mentioned earlier). So how come my daughter is spoiling other children?

    Teacher: (To my daughter) You should share with me, beta..why do you tell mom? It's not possible to happen in school. She might have picked it up from somewhere. You are busy, so you are not able to give sufficient attention to her. The kids here are really good and bright.

    Me: She may find it difficult to share it with you as she is scared of teachers. Though I am busy, I ensure that we talk about everything on a daily basis. Please let me know the students who performed better than her, who are focused, etc, so that you can make her sit with them.

    Teacher: She names some children and says they perform very well. But, she spoils them also.

    Goes on to tell her version of stories, blaming my daughter on two different occasions. Inspite of knowing the instances, I lost it, did not justify my daughter's stand, instead started looking at my daughter, saying I am disappointed, baby.

    Because of this newly acquired habit of my daughter taking other's things and lying to me, I have started having trust issues in believing what she says. I started advising her you should not do like this etc..My kid kept quiet, and so was my H, who was also sitting calmly. I signed off with no definite conclusions from the talk except for an unintended blaming session of my daughter.

    I was irritated and started talking continuously about morals, etc, till we reached home and came to the office.

    Now, slowly and steadily, guilt is engulfing me. I am in a position where I am not even able to take her to any extracurricular classes she enjoys. Ever since the park incident, which I shared sometime back, I have stopped her from going to the park as well. Children outside are so notorious, clever, and smart. I don't want my daughter to get deviated at this stage as it will become very difficult for me to get her back.

    It's good to say marks don't matter, but for a middle-class family in India like mine, we don't have anything except education to sustain ourselves. I made the mistake of not going to developed nations when I had plenty of opportunities with fully paid scholarships and a handsome salary during my prime age. I said I will work for my nation and will stay close to my parents. But, when I see my career graph as well as my bank balance with zero slope and stagnation, I understand how wrong I was. But, still, I have to go to work to maintain our current way of living.

    Inspite of all this, as a mom, I want my daughter to be focused, bold, truthful, and happy. That's it. Now, I am scared of how the teacher will behave with my kid when she goes to school tomorrow. :(..
     
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  2. happyperson

    happyperson Gold IL'ite

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    @Sweety2016 hugs to you mom, can understand what you are going through. Give time to your kid slowly and steadily. If weekdays are busy, plan 1:1 with your kid in the weekends enroll her in the classes she like. She is just in grade 2, not by words let us try to lead with example. Also the mom's guilt and we always want our kids best, but we need to show patience. Take care and don't self sabotage yourself
     
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  3. lavani

    lavani Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes . Marks do not matter at G- 2. it is in innocent age to have fun , talk a lot and get in trouble. t

    But this matters and it is not acceptable. Stop focusing on her career at 24 yrs, where you have lot core moral issues popping up.
     
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Sweety2016,

    I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. Trust is everything and you may not like to lose trust of your child. In fact, your daughter sharing everything with you is most important factor. That shows how confident she is in sharing things with you. Have a weekend conversation as to what affected her academic performance and point out the mistakes she had done to lose marks. Ask her honestly what would help her to get back to her original performance. Grade 2 student would know how to articulate it.

    If I were you, I would also pay more attention to attitude, behavior and character than the academic performance. I am not saying academic performance is irrelavant but her abc is much more important. The teacher appears to be not helping to resolve the issue. Can you take it up with higher ups in the school to change her section, if required? There may not be an instant solution to what you are going through. I realize you are busy in your career. But it takes time to overcome these issues and make a slow but steady communication with your daughter on how to change. Help her to overcome this issue and disciplining her alone may not help.
     
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  5. DDream

    DDream Platinum IL'ite

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    Let her enjoy her childhood. As long as she is not creating serious issues, you dont need to be worried. Be a good listener. Learning the basics is enough now, and marks alone dont decide success. They keep on changing, be with her and help her become a confident person. Girls are emotional. If she throw tantrums, leave her for some time, dont yield. Later, when you are ready hug and correct her. If you react negatively, it backfire. Use affirmations.

    Create a schedule. Allow tv or movies only if she do her chores, like home work. You can sit with her if you prefer. Instead of blaming/ forcing her to study, try to explore what the issue is- is it lack of focus, basics, or learning issues that result in poor performance. Then correct it.

    If she misbehave, lower to her level and explaine why its wrong( very important ) as most of the time they dont understand why parent is angry or whats the problems, give consequences like taking away her most favourite thing ( toy, tv time etc). You can also, try spending together, be it watching a show together, playing or going for shopping- anything. Create an atmosphere where she can tell you anything. Be there and guide her to right path. Patience is the key. Just focus on your kid, if her roots are strong, she will be fine. Its not about quantity, but quality of time we spend with them, matters.

    You think, other kid is the problem, but teacher thinks otherwise. So, assess it and dont feel bad about. You cant hold your kid in a cage, let her play, let her learn street smartness, if other kids are smart. That help her. You need to convey what you need to convey, but dont be too strict as it can make her rebellious. Dont be too hard on you as well.

    If she do something good, appreciate and encourage. Those 'boyfriend' talks are just fun, don't take it seriously. Kids do that. With technology, they know much more than we used to do at this age. Just listen. This stage also pass. Just be there for her.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2023
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  6. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    One way to smooth things after such a meeting is to send an email in the next few days. Something along the lines of some of the following sentences, but not all of them:
    "been thinking of our conversation ...was talking about it with my mother, MIL, ... after <kid> went to sleep, husband and I were talking about our PTM..."
    "husband/mom/MIL commented that your suggestion <put in some suggestion teacher gave> was insightful, worth trying.. "
    "children and their development finds us parents at our most vulnerable .. I really appreciate you hearing me out, all my concerns and worries."
    "<kid> is very fond of <any class activity> and often talks about it at dinner time. <fill in some appreciation for the teacher's style of teaching, be specific>
    "Once again thank you for ... I will keep your suggestions in mind. Please let me know if there are steps we can take at home...I have already noted down your suggestion of giving her more 1-1 time with me."
    ----
    Keep the email short and reread to make sure it comes across as almost-sincere. If not email, a handwritten note in a sealed envelop sent with the child.
    Marks matter, they definitely matter. "Don't focus too much on marks and grades" is what I was told too right from early grades to high school. And always it turned out marks do matter, they matter for placement in honors courses and for elite summer camps, and in many more ways, and from 4th/5th grade onward itself. Yet, everyone chants the "marks don't matter" poem. I learned through experience and from other similar-minded moms that we have to be tactful when we talk about marks with child, husband, mother, mother-in-law, sibling, neighbor, friend, stranger, colleague, pet, and in any related discussion. We have to phrase the importance or marks in an appealing way with tons of sincere lip-service to "being well rounded" and other non-academic skills. We have to develop lots of patience as the default response of others will be "marks don't matter at this young age." Many times a no response is the best response. You believe marks are important (along with other things). You go about quietly doing what it takes to keep your child in the top 10 or 20 or whatever percent of the class you want, without stressing or scarring the child for life.

    There are a few things in your post that I want to respond to. Many things about the PTM are rather disturbing. But that will need another post.

    For now, my one suggestion is to be less intense and less "desperate" about the good things your want for your child. That is a mistake many dedicated moms of school-age children like you (and me a while back) make. We turn our child's progress and development into a project and manage it with the single-minded-ness of a top notch project manager or event organizer. Our love for our child makes us view each setback as life altering. If we can somehow bring ourselves to be less intense and desperate (those two words are the ones that accurately describe me at least), then we will be more composed and collected as we go about training the village that brings up our child. More specifically, that will make us talk less, rant less, lose our cool less, and it will cut down the length and frequency of lectures we give our child and husband.

    Another suggestion is that try to be a little more methodical about what you are trying to achieve. You want your child to stop lying or taking what doesn't belong to them. Read up a little on the topic. You identify the possible reasons child has started doing these. Identify steps that you can take that might help your child. As a mother you will know which steps might work and which won't. Telling moral stories doesn't work. That is a sign of desperation and trying any-which-way hook or crook. Children will listen to only so many words from parent before tuning out. Don't waste that word count on moral stories. Don't fall for the temporary "feel good" of trying every single way. Strategize and try methods that have a high possibility of the desired return value.

    Grade 2 PTM in India has student attending it with parents? I am so surprised. It is brutal for a child that young to sit through two or three adults discussing her progress and any issues.
     
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  7. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you very much for your insights @Viswamitra ji. I loved this part of your response,' Help her to overcome the issue.' As a parent, I just want to do that. Help her in all aspects of her life.I want her to grow into a happy and confident woman who knows what she wants in life. Even at 34, I am clueless and don't know what I want in this life...
    I requested the teacher once again, and now she had made my daughter sit in the front row. My dearest darling has written in her personal journal that she is not going to talk to other kids in the class when the teacher is teaching...

    Children these days are brutally bombarded in all directions...I want to be that safe haven for my girls..I want to be that human being whose flesh and breath can soothe them, whose hug can help them deal with their worst demons...
     
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  8. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    @DDream, thank you so much for your suggestions. I am sure your kids must be very lucky to have you. As rightly pointed out by you, I have to force her to come sit and study with me due to limited time at home. When she comes, she requests two things: please don't lose your temper, and please don't leave me and go do some chores. I try to adhere to both, but sometimes, I do fail miserably and feel guilty when she reminds me with a teary eye,' I said so.' I had to go do some chores primarily related to the younger one, like making dinner, making her bed, etc. My daughter doesn't like it, and she needs my undivided attention.

    Thanks for your suggestion of lowering her level to explain. I WILL do it from now on. It signifies the fact we are all humans, one and the same. And yes, no matter what, I will be there for her.
     
  9. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    @Rihana Thank you so much for your reply and insights. While I consider getting such great responses from great parents like you as the good karma that I have accumulated, not having exposure to such advice in realtime is because of my bad karma, I think.

    Thank you for resonating with me regarding marks..I don't want to scar the child, but I want her to have that feeling naturally. Yes, I am desperate to have a good life for my kid. In that process, I am losing my cool very frequently. All the issues with my child boil down to one single fact...She needs her mom to be with her..She doesn't like the fact that her mom goes to the office. The mother of her friend is a stay-at-home mom..It seems the girl tells my daughter, 'See, your mom doesn't pick you up from the bus stop in the afternoon. She won't even have lunch with you. I get to spend more time with my mother while your mom comes only in the evening'..blah blah blah. She gets hyper-emotional and takes a large chunk of time to discuss these things...When I don't give her enough attention, she becomes cranky.

    As suggested by you, I dropped a sweet message to the teacher, and yes, it worked. She has presently made my daughter sit in the front row. Hope things get better for her.
     
  10. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    @Rihana Grade 2 PTM in India has students attending it with parents? I am so surprised. It is brutal for a child that young to sit through two or three adults discussing her progress and any issues.

    Why do you consider this brutal? That is a strong word indeed.
    It's been the same even while I was in grade I.

    In my home, there used to be such sessions when my mom would discuss me and my bad behavior with her mom, brother, SIL, etc. I do remember them giving me moral lessons, which I did not like. Your post reminded me of that.

    From now onwards, I will not discuss my child in her presence with anybody. Thank you for the enlightenment!
     

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