|Dot when she was easier to handle|
I’m at a bit of a loss parenting-wise. I know being a parent is hard work – and children don’t come with a manual for how to get it right – but this time, coming up to her 12th birthday, seems to me to be the hardest bit so far.
Her terrible twos were terrible and her troublesome threes none the less so. She has always been very strong willed and I didn’t cope so well with the toddler years – the tantrums, screaming and all that comes with them. When they’re that age though you can scoop them up and carry them away with you to wherever it is you want to go and they don’t. You can’t do that when they’re almost teenagers.
Dot is very nearly as tall as I am, she is healthy and strong – and if she doesn’t want to do something how in the hell do I get her to do it? Add hormones into the mix and I’m on a hiding to nothing.
She’s bored – school is boring, her creative writing club is boring, lessons are boring. She decided she wasn’t going to school this morning because she has maths and geography and – yes, that’s right, they’re boring.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had this refusal to go to school and it is becoming more frequent. I have tried reasoning with her, ended up shouting at her, grounding her, taking away her computer/DS/XBox/tablet privileges. So far, eventually, I’ve got her there. But what happens the day none of that works?
We came close this morning I think. I didn’t lose my temper I’m glad to say. I did reason with her and at several points I thought I was getting through, then the tears came – hers. After the crying the stubbornness and point blank refusal to go. I threatened to ring the school and tell them she refused to attend and I tried to explain to her what the results of that phone call could be – meetings with the head, possible intervention by education officials...
I have no idea if that would happen, but I don’t want to get to the point of finding out.
She is growing up, but at the same time she’s still a little girl. Her mood is all over the place and I know that’s because of puberty. She doesn’t need me as much, but doesn’t realise how much she still does need me. There’s a lot of upheaval at home at the moment also, which doesn’t help and which is affecting her. But despite all of this, she still has to go to school.
So as I said, I’m at a bit of a loss…
If you have children of a similar age or older, are you having or did you have the same issues we are having and if so, how did you cope with the situation? Am I worrying about nothing? I want somebody to tell me it will all be alright in the end. I’m very conscious this is a vulnerable time for Dot and I want to get it right – but I don’t know what to do for the best much of the time.