mercredi, novembre 09, 2011

A post I hoped I'd never have to write

More than ten years of parent-teacher conferences.

Application after application for special services.

School after school...pursued with the evanescent hope that somewhere, somehow, she would learn to care about scholarly achievement.

Yesterday something in me died. I had reached the end of what I can accomplish, at least for the present.

Tuesday was the day that I gave up hope of making a constructive contribution to my daughter's education.

My ex and I went to a meeting yesterday with her IEP team. With her ADD diagnosis, such meetings happen often. This one was to plan goals for the next year.

Our daughter straight up refused to attend the meeting. She seems to look at most of the counselors and learning support team as adversaries.

In recent years, that has come to include me.

The women gathered at the table, with one exception, recommended that given our daughter's resentment, we back off.

Because she's so bright, she does well on tests. But she has an awful record of handing in homework. So the school will be satisfied with "C" grades.

I don't fault the counselors. The school has done all they can.

It's a stunning indictment, instead, of us as parents.

We could never agree on boundaries, or standards, or discipline.

I was always pushing for order, for consistency, for consequences.

Again and again, I found myself pitted against both my daughter and her dad -- I became the enemy. I had so little space to be a mother.

Yesterday I surrendered.

No more monitoring. No more calls to teachers. No more taking the lead. No more trying to keep it all together as it fell apart again and again.

She and her dad are in charge.

I have done nothing to help my daughter become a productive citizen. And I failed at the one of the most basic tasks of parenting - helping to raise a disciplined and hopeful child.

Yesterday was a grim one, indeed. And the reverberations have only just begun.

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