Since I have two kids in big school, I think I’ll start a series of their experience and my experiences as well. I’ll use the hashtag #DIDISchoolDiaries. I just hope that I’ll be able to sustain this, hopefully good stories will come out. Hahaha!! Since school started for Kailee, things have been different. She is already spending what is considered a whole day in school. She brings lunch and has it in school, she doesn’t come home until in the afternoon – so that means there are no afternoon naps. She would come home energized wanting to spend time playing – but of course, there are home works. For the first week, there was still no home works, just reminders. You can say the first week was quite easy not as demanding. But, I noticed every morning, she would still be quite sleepy when I wake her up. There’s a pinch in my heart every time I see her standing up waiting to be dressed (by me) with her eyes closed. I know the feeling, I went through that feeling – but it’s something she needs to go through. I’m really lucky that there has been no meltdowns in the morning. When I call her to wake up, she does – without crying nor drama, so I guess I’m quite lucky in that department. But something’s quite amiss. Since Kailee is in Grade 2 – a lot of things have changed. She would have more subjects. That means – more books. Her schedule is different (whole day) and the time she gets home is quite later that what she has been used to for the past two years. I would notice the difference like she would yearn to play when she gets home (to de-stress, I think) or is more tired that usual because she looks it. But despite those, she’s been a trooper and I admire her for that. As for school work, well – she’s quite excited. Well, she has been enjoying school and I’m honestly happy that she is. Academically, she’s doing well – unlike me when I was younger. Hahaha! One major difference though now that she is in Grade 2, is that they need to copy their reminders on the HSCN (Home School Communication Notebook) during my time, it was simply called an *assignment notebook*. Everyday, they would have noted on them – one thing I noticed is her penmanship. Her handwriting is very nice! I am so proud! Hahaha.. But then, there is a downside – for the past three weeks, there are been instances that she would have incomplete reminders on her HSCN. The first time it happened, she told me immediately when she got home *Mommy, can you ask the Mommy of my classmate for the homework? I didn’t get to finish copying mine* This first time, struck me as funny – and smart, because she knew which mommy of the classmate to ask. But then it happened again. I said that I would help her, but only until the 1st week of school. That if she didn’t get to finish – she will need to suffer the consequence of not bringing what she needed to bring to school. I would like to think she understood what it meant, I mean – I explained it as clearly as I could that time. But it happened again and again. And I was getting frustrated. She would come to me with those begging eyes asking for help. As a parent, how can you say no, right? But I had to stand my ground. She will never learn – and I don’t like that. I don’t like my kids to be part of the generation of always assuming that there will be someone to help them. I need them strong, determined and resilient. But how do you teach that right? We parents (especially now) have the tendency to try and shield our kids from any form of hardships – our reasoning, because they’re kids! Yesterday was different. When she got home, she immediately tried to de-stress. It was something odd because she usually opens her bag and shows me her HSCN. So what was different now? I had to ask – if she copied properly and if it was complete. She looked at me with sad eyes, not knowing how to answer correctly. She then showed me instead.
It’s not complete, AGAIN. It’s quite frustrating you see – when you constantly remind her of what she needs to do in school. Her reason all the time is that there wasn’t enough time – which made me think, how come her classmates finish copying theirs? What’s so special with Kailee? This made me ask fellow moms to ask their daughters to observe Kailee when they are copying from the blackboard. One classmate said that Kailee does copy – but is quite slow (maybe because she wants her handwriting perfect). But that’s not a good enough reason for me. Kailee keeps blaming the time for her not finishing. I would totally understand if she came home EVERY DAY with incomplete notes, but she doesn’t. There are more times that her notes are complete, than her notes being incomplete. I knew I had to put my foot down and stand my ground. I had to teach her this lesson in responsibility. No matter how much I wanted to give in and help her, I know that when I do – it’ll just make her think that I will do it every single time. Mind you, I would like to help her, my heart says to help – but my mind told me to not help. It’s quite confusing, but I’m sure you know what I mean. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. So, I told her – tomorrow, your envelope #3 will be empty because nothing is written there. She then started to cry and ask for help. I wanted to hug her, but I stopped myself – I just told her, how would we know what to put in since nothing is written after the words envelope #3. She then told me, ask the mommies of my classmates. SHORT CUT. This is why millennials are the way they are – parents have been indulging them, rescuing them from consequences and punishment. I would like to stop the cycle by doing what I can – hard as it may be, I know I MUST do it – para sa ikakabuti ng anak ko. So, I stood my ground – and said No. She cried. Buckets. She even told me *You don’t love me because you don’t want to help me* This broke my heart – but what was I to do? I didn’t want to be at her mercy (even if my heart was bleeding) I needed to be firm. I needed to be strong. She repeated this over and over again – to which I replied that if I loved her and wanted to help her, I am helping her to be lazy – and you know how much I hate LAZY. After a while, she stopped and sat down on the sofa with a sad face. She kept on looking at her bag – worried and tensed, she didn’t know what she needed to do. I then told her, that she needed to figure out by herself that she needed to do. Before dinner, I reminded her to fix her bag. She knew what she needed to do and started to do it. When she got to envelope #3, she came to me with begging eyes saying *What should I put on my Envelope #3?* I then looked at her and said *Nothing, it’s supposed to be empty because you didn’t copy it completely. Look at your HSCN – envelope #3 is black – nothing follows it*. She began to cry. Tears running down her face. She looked so sad and helpless. I wanted to hug her but I had to practice self control. I can’t – I chose not to help her – I can’t buckle, not now. So I just told her ‘That is what happens, Kailee – you need to face the consequences of not copying the notes completely* She then cried harder and louder – telling me that I don’t love her because I REFUSE to help her even if I can. No matter how much I explained to her, she couldn’t understand why her mommy didn’t want to help her. But I let her cry it out, she needs to cry it out. I was honestly thinking – a 7 year old might not understand the situation well – but I was already there, I stood my ground – back tracking will only make her realize that when she turns the waterworks – mommy will start helping. It was a real struggle – believe me. My heart was breaking, I wanted to shield her from the pain and embarrassment in class, but I thought – she needed this, she needed to learn something out of this situation. Then she suddenly stopped and went out of my room. I thought, maybe she realized I was of no help to her Now that I was all alone and I started thinking – was what I did too much? Was I over the top? Was I that evil? A part of me said – it had to happen eventually – it was now or next time. I then decided to go down for dinner. As I was going down the stairs, Kailee met me halfway on the stairs, she looked up at me and said: ‘Mommy, I have an idea – I just put all my books in the bag so I have it all complete’ When I heard this, I hugged her so very hard telling her ‘That is a BRILLIANT idea’ She then hugged me back and sobbing. My heart was breaking and rejoicing at the same time. It was like my heart was bursting with PRIDE! She was able to think clearly despite her fear and helplessness. And WITHOUT MY HELP! I was so proud! I then told her, that her bag will be heavy – she said it was okay, as long as she had all the books there, she’s okay with it. It was such a proud mommy moment. It was a teaching moment SUCCESS on all kinds of level. What I needed her to be and do – she did and even went beyond and impressed me. I am so proud of her idea and proud that I didn’t need to back down! Hahaha… This is what I wanted her to learn, to be resilient – this is what will make her have grit in the future. I am so proud that she even thought of that. My Panget was impressed too – he said he saw her come down and Kailee started packing her bag with books, he thought I backed down and started to help her. I swear, I wanted to cry out of happiness and pride – but I had to stop myself. Kailee impressed me with her idea, I am so proud of her idea. That despite her VERY LIMITED resources, she knew what she had do to uplift the situation. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! Kailee is on the right track – she’s winning in LIFE. Hahahaha!! I know there are parents out there that would go over and beyond to help their kids. But I feel that we should only do so much. Helping them in EVERYTHING is not helping them in the future. It will just make them dependent on us and on others. I say this because during my time – parents were not pro-active in their child’s daily homeworks. There was no mommy breakfast getting to know you sessions, no viber, no phones with cameras to take pictures of home works. We were on our own. Our parents didn’t call other parents to ask for assignments. If we missed copying details then we had to suffer the consequences. We had to be resourceful, we needed to do it ourselves (call classmates) since there were no cellphones then nor the internet. I feel that parents nowadays have this tendency to overly protect their kids – I want to break that cycle. If I survived, I want my kids to survive it too. I do understand that it’s just a parental thing to try and help and protect – but in the end, what kind of human beings do we want to our kids to be? I seriously want my kids to be strong and resourceful and resilient. I want them to make mistakes, accept responsibility for their mistakes and learn from their mistakes. I feel now, the norm is to blame other people – it’s the traffic, he or she didn’t give me a chance, it’s their fault – it’s always someone else and never them. I realized that I am strict. Even stricter compared to my mom – but I feel I need to be a strict mom/aunt. This will benefit them in the future. I am not unreasonable nor unfair – but I want to be a certain way so that my kids don’t act up in the future. I don’t want to reason out that my kids are they way they are because they’re kids – kids need guidance and without proper guidance, well – what will happen to them? They will just be part of the generation that is tolerant to everything and anything. It’s a very long journey to be honest – but what happened is a good start to that journey. And I couldn’t be any prouder of Kailee and how she resolved her issue. And that’s why I wanted to share this – Kailee at 7 years old impressed me with how she broke through the process and resolved the problem. Imagine if her thought process was like this at 7 years old, what more can she accomplish when she gets older? Much much more.