We all hope to pass down the best parts of ourselves. I hope that King develops my love for reading. Although I don’t have much time for it these days. I hope that he has an appreciation for the arts and is creative in some way. We never intend to pass down our challenges or bad habits. I have had some challenges with depression and anxiety. Now my child is exhibiting signs of anxiety. You can’t out smart genetics and energy.
Up until now my son has been a very gregarious child. So much so, that sometimes it made me uncomfortable. My child is cute and likes to talk to strangers. Which in turn requires me to be social. I have learned to just smile and nod and then push King forward so we can continue doing whatever we were doing before he decided to make a new friend.
He is not that way anymore. This year I changed my child’s preschool because I didn’t feel like they were preparing him for kindergarten. At his new school there are fewer students. As an educator I know that the ratio for teacher to student should be low so that children can get more individualized instruction. Also his teachers look like him which I think is important in the formative years. I think I change my mind, more on that later.
King is being pushed academically. This is something he isn’t used to. King also inherited his father’s competitiveness. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when it is paired with his mother’s perfectionism things can get tricky. He has homework every night except on the weekends, his teachers are as stern as Catholic nuns and he has only one other male student his age to connect with. The other night while doing homework King asked, “is this perfect?”
WTF? Danger! Danger!
After I freaked out in my head, I calmly responded “It doesn’t have to be perfect son, just do your best.”
I was looking into a mirror, with the light shining brightly on my shadow self. Instead of learning my child, I was dictating who I wanted him to be. Unintentionally, I may have triggered the anxiety. I’m sorry King, mommy is doing the best she can.
To help him cope I started putting Rescue Remedy in his water bottle. Every morning he asks me a million times who is going to pick him up as if the certainty of this helps him get through the day easier. Sometimes he says he doesn’t want to go to school- this shreds my heart. And he asks what time is he being picked up. He can’t even tell time. Poor baby.
I can’t front, the academic gains he is making are impressive. But at what cost? But, I also want to raise a resilient child. I don’t what to rescue him every time things get hard. But, he is only four. Oy vey!
We also do yoga together. I introduced yoga by using this book. We practice breathing exercising as a way to manage when he is feeling nervous or scared.
I also give him lots hugs and kisses. I tell him I love him all the time. I want him to know he doesn’t have to earn my love. It is here for him just because. I also want him to enjoy academic rigor-I know that sounds crazy as I talk about Pre-K, but that is a pitfall of being an educator. The husband and I are discussing moving him, again. (judge yourself)
I want him to reach a few more bench marks before we do but his happiness trumps everything. I will fill in any academic gaps and King can get back to being himself.
Meanwhile, I’m doing my best to share my calm and not my crazy. Namaste.