Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My week with the boys

Well, Dean is back and my stint of single parenting is over until July!  It's amazing how having him around in the morning makes all the difference in getting these boys out the door. When I'm trying to get them off to school I feel as though I am a broken record saying 'please get dressed. or get your shoes and socks on. or where is your back pack?' several times over.  Yesterday I finally made a list for my oldest son to follow with all the steps written out (why hadn't I thought of this sooner?) and he managed to complete all the tasks on his own.  I think that will be my strategy from now on, so much easier on my patience level. 
When I had young toddlers I thought that once the boys got into school things would get so much easier for me as a parent.  I don't think that any more.  It's been a challenging year with my oldest in school.  His ability to retain information in school has been quite slow and he was recommended to the school learning psychologist to sort out why he is having trouble retaining/retrieving information.  After filling out 2 long surveys about my son's behavior, I started to wonder what kind of issues he has that will affect his time in school and in life from here on in.  We meet with the psychologist next week to find out what the results from all these tests will be.  
The one thing I've thought about in all this is that I really need to step it up in terms of finding an outlet that my son is really good at so that school doesn't feel so painful.  He is amazing at sports, and I've really hesitated to want to put him in organized sports because of the time commitment and over-scheduling that I resist against.  I can't stand the thought of driving my kid around from soccer to baseball practice, eating fast food in the car because we don't have time to sit down and have a proper meal.  I also don't like the thought of our kids being so over-scheduled that they don't have time for 'free play'.  Like the photo above, where the boys took a whole Saturday to find boxes and build themselves a fort on the drive way.  If we had soccer practice and swimming lessons on Saturdays, that wouldn't have happened.  As I think about this next school year, I'm already thinking about how to sort out this dilemma- the innate talent I see in my son for all things sports-like and my resistance to want to sign the whole family up for all the practices and games that organized sports requires one to commit to.  Well, I have the summer to think about it and hopefully in the end I won't have any guilty feelings either way...

4 comments:

Candied Fabrics said...

I totally hear you on the whole wanting to avoid the whole overscheduling thing...but it is so worthwhile to have your child really excel at something. With my older guy its music, and it's really allowing him to fit in more at school (he's finishing up 7th grade and he's in the advanced group which is a small jazz band, so he's finally in a small enough setting with enough time and shared experiences to begin to relate to his peers). Liam has had SO MANY music opportunities this year, it was a little nuts, but he's getting wonderful self confidence from it. And though we're able to avoid the drive thru dinners, there's plenty of snack eating in the car.

Good luck in figuring this out...and of course, the good news is that these things can change from season to season. Being a family, raising kids, it's always a work in progress! (Hey, I need to remember this myself - thanks for the prompt Heather!)

dahlhaus said...

Thanks for the advice, Candy. I do agree that he needs something he can really excel at and feel good at!
I think if it was music/art or drama I'd be a little more up for it because those are things I'm more naturally inclined towards. Standing outside in the pouring rain watching a 2 hour soccer practice, well that just doesn't feel like my kind of Saturday morning. I know that I've got to get over that and I may appreciate the sport a whole lot more if my son was playing it, but I may need baby steps.

vicki hartman said...

heather, that sounds hard. and scary. it is so hard to know if what you are doing as a parent is the right thing. and there are so many choices out there, so it's easy to wonder if you're missing the 'next best thing'. i really appreciate hearing your thoughts and about what you're going through. good luck with it all.

dahlhaus said...

Yeah Vicki, it's been a bit of a roller-coaster ride as far a school is concerned. At least he's great at making friends and is behaving fairly well in school. The concern becomes when he actually starts noticing that he's really behind and struggling at his work compared to his peers. Most kids who struggle at schol start recognizing their weaknesses in about grade 3 (J's in gr. 2) and often that's when they start playing the 'class clown' or retreating into their own shell as they really lose confidence. I guess it's good to sort through these kind of issues earlier than later. I don't think he has a diagnosable learning disability but we will see what the issues seem to be and hopefully get some help with his learning style from the psychologist.