When it comes to our children, the things we worry about are endless. I’m sure the media doesn’t help. If I see one more article with the headline ‘Is your child too…?’ I am going to…um…not read it. We don’t need any help to worry about our kids thank you very much, but the media gleefully continues to pathologise the slightest deviation from the generic.
So we either worry about our child because he is:
‘really odd, not like the other kids. He doesn’t seem to fit in. He gets everything wrong. I’m sure they all think he’s strange’
or we worry because:
‘He’s so influenced by his peers. He doesn’t seem to have a mind of his own. He can’t seem to resist peer-pressure. I just want him to be himself.’
The slightest deviation from some non-existent ‘average’ or ‘normal’ behaviour gets added so easily to our list of things we worry about.
This week, after a few months of the Positive Behaviour Alert emails from my daughter’s school, entering my inbox at a steady rate of one a week, I found myself beginning to worry about her. I started to think she might be TOO good and maybe I had brought her up to be scared of stepping out of line, and too eager to please. So, I don’t want you to think me irresponsible or anything, but when I finally received a solemn notification that she had been LOGGED for bad behaviour, and had her camera confiscated, my automatic reaction was one of relief. She obviously doesn’t feel too much pressure to be perfect.
Reading the email with growing delight, I exclaimed to Oldest Son ‘Hey, guess what, Daughter has been logged for FILMING A SUPPLY TEACHER..!!’
We both collapsed helpless with laughter. ‘HIGH FIVE!’ he yelped with mirth, ‘WAY TO GO!’ (Or something like that. He’s not actually American).
When Daughter got home I spluttered ‘I got an email! You’ve been LOGGED! Your camera has been…’
Collapsed in giggles she pointed across the room. There was her camera, sitting in full view on the table.
‘It wasn’t my camera mum. And it wasn’t me’
‘But you were INVOLVED..?’
‘Yeah, but it wasn’t me who actually did it’
‘Could you just pretend it was..?’
When we’d stopped hanging on to each other shaking with helpless mirth, she set off for her room and as she went in she said airily ‘Told you you shouldn’t take any notice of the emails they send from school mum’.
Honestly, the things we worry about!
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