No Do Overs

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

October 8, 2012

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She kept repeating herself, as I tried to watch the game.

“There are no do-overs.”

Mmm, I nodded. She’s right.

“There are no do-overs. They get one teacher per year, every year. One school, then another. There are no-do-overs.”

Mmm, as realization sinks.

“There are no do-overs.”

And, I look upon the field. I’m not sure what I was thinking when she first said it. But, I got it then.

There are no do-overs.

We have one Levi. He has one mommy and one daddy. He has one teacher per year, generally all different. He has one principal per school. He has friends that come and go.

We have one of him, every year.

There are no do-overs.

My husband and I have and continue to make very conscious choices to not parent like our parents parented. Sure, we recognize that we’ll screw up in our own right, and maybe that will send Levi to a therapist one of these days to discuss the crushing ways in which Mommy and Daddy inhibited his creative being. I generally accept that, while recognizing he needs to be given the room to be all that he can be.

Why? Because…

There are no do-overs.

Our son is curious, kind, considerate, and he likes to play. He’s a pretty “normal” five year old. And, he’s having trouble in school. Literally.

My beautiful, kind, sweet boy has been sent to the principal’s office no less than 3 times this year. All for hitting. Two occasions happened on one day. I believe we have it figured out that he is acting out on some unknown-to-adults frustration, without using his words, and instead choosing the more immediate action of hitting. Unfortunately, he’s chosen to hit his classmates.

I don’t think we’re endanger of him being thrown out of school. He’s quite cognizant of the repercussions of these choices. He understand why it wasn’t a “good” choice. He tells us when he does something wrong, and when he didn’t.

They seem more aware at this school. That is, they seem more willing to engage in dialogue and discuss the whys. The kindergarten teacher is sweet, though young. And, I often wonder if they expect Angels in the Classroom rather than rough-and-tumble five year old boys, some of whom are in disequilibreum.

I’m not sure how this behavior will pan out. My son is perfectly reasonable to me when I help him understand how he’s feeling. So, what about this classroom setting is causing this angst? What can we do to help mitigate these frustrations and help them be dealt with healthily?

Coincidentally, my chiropractor heard me discussing this as I was paying. She’s referred us to a behaviorist she knows. We’ll see her on Wednesday. I kind of feel like this is “consult the experts” to prove our kid is “normal’.

But, there are no do-overs. And, we want our kid to have the best experience we can afford.

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