Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Why we don't always talk about the good bits...

It's sometimes hard to think about the best bits, because when you're in the middle of a good period, everything is a 'best bit'. I guess I only really write when things are tough, because that's when I need support, or have something I want to get off my chest. And that's quite normal in all sorts of scenarios and situations, not just adoptive parenting.

You may have noticed that I've stopped blogging as much on The Boy's Behaviour and that is really for the reason above. Things have been going well, and I don't really feel the need to shout about it too much, I'm just getting on and enjoying a relatively calm family life, but also I'm having to work bloody hard to maintain that calm family life and so have less time to write than I used to.

I do know though that if you're considering adoption, or are in the early days of a placement, then reading blogs like mine can be scary and depressing. You want to hear about the good bits, the family times, and the reasons why you should continue with adoption. And equally, if you're in the middle of a shit time with your own adoptive family, then reading about good times *can* give encouragement. I have of course, written positive posts before. In the darkest times, recording those little moments of goodness did help, but I do want to try and share a few more of the best bits now we're starting to have more of them...and hopefully I can bank them, and they'll see us through some of the tougher times that come and go.

So this post is for #thebestbits week on The Adoption Social and I'll be linking up (like old times) to Memory Box.

Last week I took Mini to the theatre for a special Mummy/Mini date for his first ever musical - Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat to be precise.
He loves music, and I love Joseph, so when the opportunity came up to get tickets - good tickets at that - I jumped at it.
I was nervous I must admit, we were only a handful of rows from the front so it was going to be loud and I was concerned that it might be too much for him. He was nervous because he was sitting on an aisle seat and was worried people might knock him as they went past.

But...

We had a fantastic time. It wasn't the same as those times I saw it at the London Palladium as a child, but it was good nevertheless and Mini LOVED it. He has a great memory for song, and was singing them on the way home, and even whilst he brushed his teeth. (And that's another thing, he actually brushed his teeth without question or argument!).
His #bestbit? At the end, some of the cast came out into the audience and danced to the Joseph Megamix, and because Mini was sitting by the aisle, he got a high five from one of the brothers. He declared that he had the best seat in the house after that!

Next time he wants to take Daddy, and he's definitely up for more theatre shows with Mummy too.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Homework: should he? shouldn't he?

So we're back into the swings of things now with school. Mini is still getting on well, although homework still proves to be a struggle...

I get how he feels, I really do. He doesn't want to do his homework because there are other fun things to do at home. He worries about doing certain homework - usually handwriting projects because he is ashamed of his handwriting and worries it will be wrong/unreadable. Sometimes he gets so stressed out that it makes me stressed out and I have to walk away...usually before I get cross, but sometimes after which isn't helpful. The thing is - he's capable, and with a little support from us and from school, he can do it - and very well at that.

I *know* a lot of the time the shame thing is the biggest factor. He really does worry about his writing, not helped by his substitute teacher telling him that his writing was too big, then ridiculously tiny and she couldn't read it, rather than giving him some practical help like lined paper! (Why do they still give them plain paper to write on? Surely lines would help keep it neat and the right size?!).

The trouble is, he's also an 8 year old boy, and so we go back to that 'all children do that' thing. Typically 8 year old boys don't enjoy doing their homework. And, as I said before, I understand why he feels like that too and I know there is an element of that with Mini. But this is the line that the teacher understands, this is an explanation that makes her feel comfortable, this is what she sees in lots of the boys in her class, and all the classes she's taught before that. She admits that not all 8 year old boys are like this, but because it's typical behaviour, she sees that over and above any other explanation.
Which means the way it's dealt with is the way that she feels comfortable with too - firmness is the key. If he doesn't do it at home, he misses out on breaktime/lunchtime (the rest time he needs to chill and de-stress) to do it at school. Just like all the other 8 year old boys that don't do their homework.

I find it very frustrating. Part of me says 'sod it, we'll just allow him to avoid doing homework because it's so stressful for him' but the other part of me says, 'I don't want him missing out on vital de-stressing time during school, so he'd best get it done at home, even if meltdowns occur'. And undoubtedly, he does better at school if he's doing his homework at home to support his learning.

For now, we're being careful about the time of day that Mini does his homework - how full his tummy is when he does it, whether there are distractions etc, but I think next school year, this is going to have to be tackled with school, and we're going to have to find strategies that work.