So this is where I was with my son back in April. Transcribing this voice recording was gut wrenching for me. In April, my struggle to get my son back to class after multiple absences came to a crisis point. He fell farther and farther behind in his challenging honors curriculum. He was overwhelmed. I was at my wits’ end.
Since then, we had him assessed for special accommodations which never went into place because he did not go back to his regular high school in the fall. We then enrolled him in online classes which didn’t work out because he needs teacher feedback. Finally this week, he started one-on-one private school. Each day, he attends 50 minutes of one-on-one teaching for which he does one week of homework either independently at home or on campus where a tutor is available.
For those who don’t want to listen to seven minutes of me bemoaning the situation back in April, here’s a transcript of my voice recording.
Parenting Fail Self Care Fail Transcript
Okay, today has been a complete parenting fail and failure to take care of myself so that I can be a better parent.
My son’s been sick a lot recently. Every winter, every spring, he gets sick A LOT. I’ve taken him to doctors. Still, he gets sick. Every year he starts out in the fall getting straight A’s, and then in the spring he has to do a whole bunch of catch up because of his absences.
Well, now he’s in high school, and he’s in like hard core International Baccalaureate and AP classes. I mean all honors classes. And, today… last week he was sick.
Yesterday he went to school, but he didn’t do all of his homework. He said he had it under control. He didn’t. He asked to wake up early this morning to complete an English project. Wasn’t able to do the project. Curled up in a ball. Didn’t want to do it. Said he was tired.
My husband said he was up all night awake. I don’t know what the deal is there. But, he kept on falling asleep, curling up in a ball, wouldn’t get up, wouldn’t wake up, wouldn’t do the homework, wouldn’t get ready for school.
So, I just smacked him with my hand. Wrong. Abusive. I gave him a smack sideways. Hit his arm. He started to cry. Okay, you’re awake. Do your homework. Get ready for school. We’ve got to go. You can’t miss school. Not doing your homework is not an excused absence. I can’t take you to the doctor for an excuse for not doing your homework. Because at this point I have to take him to the doctor every FUCKING time he is absent from school because he is beyond the allotted absences.
Okay. He cries. He crawls up into a more tighter… he is in a little fetal ball. I swat his bottom. I hit him again. I say, you’ve got to go to school. I don’t care you’re not done with this project. I’m going to print it out as is. I don’t care if it’s not done. You can’t not go to school. You can’t miss your first period in order to do the homework for your second period. You have to go to school.
So I took him to school. He’s distraught. He ignores me. He…
I walk, because I want to go to see the guidance counselor or somebody about the whole situation because I’m just out of my wits. I go.
He ignores me all the way to class walking from the car. He walks a different way.
I go to the guidance counselor. I tell her the situation, the history. We take a look at what his teachers recommended for next year.
Two teachers recommended honors classes – in the classes that aren’t even his best classes, like English, his class that he just… is really hard for him to do, is like pulling teeth. He writes beautifully, but getting up in front of people and reading what he writes and writing very intense, metaphorical stuff – not so easy for him. So, he’s in this, like, advanced class, that he probably doesn’t belong. So he’s… They recommend that. They recommend another AP History. They recommend the honors English. Math, though, his best subject, now recommended regular Algebra 2. Because he’s getting a C because he’s been absent.
Fuck. I don’t actually care. He can be in all regular classes. But it makes no sense for him to be in honors classes on the classes that are most difficult for him, or at least not in the classes that he has the most passion for, but has missed the most.
Oh, he’s missed them all. But, you know, I mean, you can read something, you can do your history. But, you really, if the teacher teaches something differently than the book is. And, honors geometry, he keeps on saying the teacher teaches it differently than the technique in the book. And, when my husband tries to teach it, my husband’s an engineer, the way that he teaches it to people… Whatever.
So, major fail. I’m completely distraught. I blew up this evening at my husband over this whole situation.
Guidance counselor says maybe independent study, maybe a smaller private school, maybe, you know, whatever different options. Get him assessed by the psychologist. Get him special ed…
Kid has been in treatment since he was four years old. I’m fed up. I’m fed up. Fed up with taking him to doctors.
I will keep on taking him to his psychiatrist and to a psychologist. I will do what I can to try and get him well, but I am so fed up. I am so fed up with trying to drag this kid to school. I am so fed up with trying to drag him to do homework. I am so fed up with setting limits around video playing when he gets so obsessed.
I’m just done.