Thursday, 19 May 2011

Happy nose kissing moments

Confidence in your own decisions must be an amazing thing.

A mere moment ago, I kissed the nose of my germy Princess as she played a "choose your own adventure game" on the iPod. (about Dragon's of course. It is important for Princess to know as much as they can about their natural enemy/potential ally as possible.) It was an app that her English Tutor had found for her. Like many other apps, games, books and activities that she has found or lent to us during the 9 months our Princess has been tutored.
During that happy nose kissing moment, a feeling of contented confidence filled me, as I watched the Princess learn, knowing that after all the fighting with her school, the drama that had revolved around her learning difficulties and even the stress involved in deciding that I was allowed to take her out of school for tutoring each week had been so worth it.

Her tutors seek out things that will interest her and are in the form that she can most readily absorb. Audio/visual. Activities which include drawing as well as writing. When her maths tutor explained that forming numbers was art and her english tutor had her drawing letters on my back so that I had to try and draw what she was drawing, her handwriting became readable in one week. Because it was now art. Just one amazing example of the benefits of personalised teaching.

She has blossomed. In confidence. In belief in herself. She has been sharing the things her tutors have taught her with her friends, as a parent told me. We are on the right path. She IS brilliant, rather than having a learning disability. We just didn't know how she learnt before this.

And from this magic moment, I am taking two lessons.

Information is power. Without it, how do you know what to choose to do?

Don't try to hard to fit in with everyone else's ideals and needs. It will stifle you and not end up pleasing anyone else.

Once I had the knowledge that I could legally remove my child from the school one day a week without any repercussions to us or the school, as much as they disapproved of the idea, I did it. It worked. If it hadn't worked, then I would have adapted again and tried something new, putting that action in the "gaining information" box.

I stressed so much about that. I worried what the school would think. I tried to make it all smooth. I couldn't. I worried I was doing irreparable damage to her education. However, now I just go in, smile and say I am taking Princess, and it is all no fuss. They are used to it. I am confident. They have seen it working in her rapidly increasing abilities.

One old High School acquaintance (the teacher who informed me of the lack of truancy laws if it is one day a week) messaged me to say how she had always envied my confidence to do what I believed in. I was stunned, to say the least. I had never seen myself in that light.

Part of that, I am sure, was due to ten years of struggling to figure out how to let my Princess' light shine. So many "one step forward, two steps back" life situations. (edit: I just read getoveritidid's blog post for today and we must be channelling these frustrations) Not enough delight taken in the step forward, letting the steps back eat away at my Maternal Confidence.

Many Parents are struggling with helping their children be the best "themselves" that they can be and to you, who are searching, trying things, cuddling during the down times and dancing gleefully during the up times, I want to say, "WELL DONE! Believe in yourself - YOU know YOUR child the best! Chalk the failures up to 'gaining information' and the successes up to 'sheer determination'."

I must go and kiss the little freckled nose again. It's attached to a pretty amazing Princess.

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