Yesterday I had Walker's first parent-teacher conference for first grade. I get so nervous when these things come around. No one wants to sit and talk to someone about how their child needs to improve and their flaws, and being a child of a teacher, I know that the teachers don't too much enjoy the experience either.
So I showed up yesterday afternoon to find out the latest on my little guy and how first grade is going. I have a hard time getting him to give me details about school - I hear it's pretty common, especially with boys. I really have to drag things out of him - he's so much like his father in that manner.
The teacher says he's doing great with math, reading, etc...but evidently my little "angel" is a bit of a class clown and likes to be the center of attention. He also can't seem to wait for the teacher to call his name when he raises his hand. I think that's probably the competitive nature in him.
Also, he's being a bit too rough with a timid girl in his class, and she evidently is a bit scared of him. That's totally not something you want to hear in a parent-teacher conference.
So, this is when it gets hard. You can do what some parents do, and defend your kid and blame it on someone else, or you can shut your mouth and realize that no children are perfect and this is when parenting really starts. And then you wonder how in the heck you can work on these issues?
So, I walked in the house (Mike and Walker were already home) and I sat them down and we talked about things in a non-confrontational manner. I say, "I hear you have a little trouble doing exactly what the teacher says and we need to work on that. She said you don't like to wait to be called on...and also that one of your classmates is a bit scared of you..."
And just by the look on his face, I knew he feels bad about his classmate, and I tell him it's OK, that sometimes you just have to be more gentle with people.
Then he says, "Fine, now y'all hate me."
Which broke my heart.
I said, "No honey, we don't hate you - we love you so much. We are just here to help you be a better kid and grow up to be an even better adult. That's what parents are for. We don't expect you to be perfect."
And we don't. And hopefully, no one expects me to be perfect either, cause I'm learning this whole parenting thing as I go. And from what I hear, it only gets harder.