My Struggle With My Struggling Child
As a Mom, helping our kids is second nature. It’s something we do without a second thought. It’s what moms do, right? I’ve never even considered there might be a time when I wouldn’t be able to help.
But #3 is having a tough time at school and suddenly I’ve found myself thrust into a situation where I have no skills to help my struggling child. None. Zip. Nada.
And it sucks.
I get This Child
Parenting often comes naturally. As parents we just “get” our kids. It’s easy to peek into their minds because they share our genes – both the good and the bad. They are in many ways, mini-me’s. Take my #3…
I understand his love of sports, of football, soccer, swimming, diving, all things I love!
I understand his inability to sit still – as an adult I still can’t sit still.
I understand his love of the outdoors – there’s no place I’d rather be.
I understand his paralyzing drive for perfection – something I’m still trying to get over.
I understand these things because he is my child, he shares my DNA. But only half of that DNA is mine. A fact that’s become painfully obvious right now.
I don’t get This child
There are so many things I understand about my #3, but this is not one of them. This struggle with school – it’s totally foreign to me.
I was the kid who school came easy to…and he’s not.
I was the kid who got pulled out of class because I was gifted…and he’s not (at least at school).
I was the kid who excelled at school…and he’s not.
I was the kid that loved school…and he’s not.
And that’s totally okay. We are different people and I’ve always loved him for who he is; and I always will. In fact, I couldn’t possibly love him anymore than I do. But my heart aches, it breaks, watching him struggle so…
And I’m struggling too: I feel so helpless, so guilty, so inadequate, so badly, so sad.
I’m so sorry #3. I’m so sorry that I lack the capacity to help you, to understand your struggles, to help you navigate school. Why? I guess because we are SO different, at least when it comes to this.
what I’m doing To help My Struggling Child
But sorry doesn’t cut it, does it? I’ve got to do something more than apologize. But what do you do when you lack the skills to help your child?
I always know what to do, that’s who this Momma is, but not this time. This time I’m at a loss and I don’t know where to turn.
God knows I’m trying: I’m talking to his Dad; I’m Googling ideas to help a struggling child; I’m talking to his teachers; I’m talking to S – my go to education specialist; I’m listening to him…I’m trying. I’m doing the best I can. But I’m still at a loss.
And I feel guilty. I feel like I’ve failed him. I feel like a terrible mom.
But none of that matters. This shouldn’t be about me and my struggle, it should be about my struggling child.
While I’d love nothing more than to understand his struggle, I have to accept the fact that I might never understand this one thing about him.
So, I keep on keeping on. I’ll keep digging, asking questions and supporting #3. I’ll find a way to accept his struggle. I’ll find a way to quit feeling guilty, to quit feeling inadequate, to quit feeling like a failure. I’ll find a way to help him succeed. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but I promise you, we’ll figure it out. Because that’s my job, that’s what moms are supposed to do, it’s what moms do. I’ll find a way to help this struggling child of mine because frankly, I cannot bear not to. After all, this is his struggle not mine.