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Thursday, March 30, 2017

3 Parenting Wins This Week

Oh man, sometimes y'all...sometimes things go RIGHT. I think I forgot.

This week all kinds of things have gone right.

1. I had a morning where the kids were ready with enough time to spare that we took our time walking to the bus. I know, shocking, right? We stomped on ice and then it was snowing so we stopped and caught flakes on our mittens and examined them. It. was. magical.

2. I had an evening where the kids helped. I made a list of the chores we needed done and promised to play trouble with them if we got the list done and we all set to work. They actually helped. I don't mean I stalked their every move while they "helped." I mean, I asked them to do things like "take your boots to the mudroom," and they DID IT. We cleaned the house. Well, sorta. We made it significantly less gross. There are still four of us.

3. The last one has a longer explanation. Here goes.

My son painted his nails with his gramma. Then kids at school told him painting nails was for girls. He has been faking sick a lot and said it was because of this. I suspected there was a little more to it but since that was what I had to go on, I texted the moms of the kids he's friends with who supposedly said this.

I waited nervously. What if this was kids echoing the message they heard at home? I don't know these familie's values super clearly. Maybe they think painting nails IS for girls, I worried. I waited.

But then they started responding. The moms and I chatted back and forth and all of our boys have been faking sick and having trouble with their feelings about disagreements and fall-outs with each other. I contacted the teacher and she set up a friendship group for them with the counselor.

I suspected it was more than just the nails and we talked and handled the bigger piece of learning how to be friends and handle disagreements.

With regard to the fingernails, the moms each talked to their sons. One of the boys has longer hair and he understood how my son felt because kids have told him his hair is for girls in the past. He cried to think he'd caused my son hurt feelings about something he understood so well. He was confused about why my son didn't tell him how upset he was. The other mom talked with her son as well and then texted me a photo of his fingernails painted green last night.

They'll make great friends. I'm so happy for them. I'm also so happy for me that the moms in my community and I can communicate and find solutions and support each other. Finally, I'm glad we live in a digital age where it was easy for me to text my concerns to the teacher so she could respond quickly AND that she did respond quickly. I'm glad my son goes to a school where he has such a great teacher and support network.

Life is hard and worth the effort. Life is good.

P.S. I almost spilled my coffee by elbowing it off my standing desk station but then, I caught it in midair. I can't be stopped! (please don't let this jinx me.)