It turns out that my oldest has the same teacher as last year - Which is what he wanted…But now he has come to realize that none of his old friends are in his class. At first I thought that he was just bummed out about having to go back to school, as the night went on, it became clear that he was very disappointed to be without his friends from last year.
As a parent I struggle with this sometimes. I understand his frustration and have a knot in my stomach just as he does. I want to sit and cry too for him. But I need to remind myself that as the parent, I should set an example and try to take an unfortunate circumstance and turn it into something positive. Try really hard to swing this into a positive light.
As the night continued, he became more and more upset – typical 10 year old tunnel vision. He could see that his sister got into a class with all of her friends, and his youngest brother starting for the first time in Kindergarten was hard to compare.
Finally bedtime rolled around. This is the time that I will sit or lay with each of the kids and rehash a little of the day together. They tell me things that normally wouldn’t be talked about at the dinner table. It could be something that happened earlier in the day and it bothered them, or embarrassed them – or just something on their mind. We usually get a lot out during these moments of togetherness and I knew that lying with my oldest this night would be difficult. I had been trying to think of a way to swing his sadness into something more positive.
We started talking about wants versus needs and how they can be very different at times. Sometimes what you want is the complete opposite from what you need. My son struggles in school, which is no secret. So we talked about his time in the classroom and how it will be easier for him to learn without anyone around to distract or bug him. Focusing on friends during recess and lunch and how he will have more fun with his friends in other classes. He is also a very social guy, and I am sure by the end of the week, he will have a whole new group of buddies. But the best part of his new school year was that he got to be with the teacher he really wanted in the first place - Which is a good thing.
Things happen for a reason - Sometimes it’s hard to see the reason when we are confronted with the situation at first, but soon afterwards it becomes clear why we were put into that situation in the first place. This is a hard concept for my 10 year old to understand, but it sure does make me feel better knowing we talked it through.