I ignored my gut and it hurt my kid
I can't recall a single time in my life where I looked back and said, "Gee, I wish I hadn't gone with my gut on that on!". Seriously, it's never happened. And this is the thought I come back to over and over every time I ignore my instinct and something bad happens.
It's part of my personality type. A key of my personality is I am intuitive but I also over analyze and over think and generally talk my self out of going with my instincts.
I know this so it's frustrating that when I got a bad vibe from my child's teacher at her open house I again ignored it. My gut was telling me that something was off. I couldn't place it or explain it but I knew something was not right, like womans teaching style and manner would not be a good fit for my kid but since I had no real way of knowing that , naturally I pushed it aside.
Then on the first day of school my daughter got put on the wrong bus. It happens, thankfully it came to the same neighborhood but the teacher called me from a blocked phone number to tell me my kid was on the wrong bus and gave no other info and I couldn't reach her back! I later was informed that she doesn't like to give out her personal number or deal with school stuff after 3pm. I had to wonder what could cause a teacher to be so leary of taking calls she wouldn't even provide her number in an emergency situation? I thought briefly she must have had some major issues with parents to do that. This was my red flag... that I ignored.
There were instances like this all year long. My daughter who has never had a behavior issue moved her clip down. When I asked why she said the teacher does group punishments. This means is one kid speaks they all get in trouble. My gifted student suddenly started having lower grades too. When I'd review her tests or work the errors felt more like the teacher was trying to find things to count off even when the answers themselves were correct. Things like my daughter putting a little curl on the bottom of her g, j, q, and y. I tried to tell her it doesn't matter what she wants to write. If the teacher says no curls, don't do curls. When she was absent the teacher refused to give her the assignments telling her to get it from another student. But after talking to other parents who had the same complaints it was clear my daughter wasn't being singled out (and she even said the teacher didn't single her out, she was like this to everyone). I again did nothing not wanting to potentially make things worse for my kid.
But around this time my child, my perfect attendance, citizenship, honor roll child started feeling sick every day. EVERY DAY. She has always been a sensitive and empathetic child but not a faker. She's had some anxiety issues in the past, fear of me dying or getting lost, night terrors, and things like that but we worked through them and for a long time she's been great. The only thing different in her life was this teacher and surely the teacher can't be triggering her anxiety?!?! I kept telling myself this though I knew at this point I was trying to convince myself. It must be something else.
My daughter has a few medical issues such as blood pressure problems that are triggered from certain activities or emotions but these generally cause her to faint. Not get physically ill. Not hyperventilate until she blacks out. Yet here she was, coming home from school vomiting. She'd get home and within an hour felt fine. She wasn't faking but she wasn't "sick". She couldn't sleep. She was distraught in the mornings even crying some days and when she realized one day she missed a homework assignment she went into a hysterical fit and nearly fainted. She had headaches and would come home sick from vomiting every day for several days. She was clingy in a way she never was even as a toddler. She was begging to be homeschooled because she didn't want away from me. At that point not only were the red flags up but all the alarms were sounding.
I took her to doctors and they were quick to diagnose what I had felt in my gut... my young child had anxiety. Near debilitating, crippling anxiety and we were making an appointment with psychologist. My instinct screamed to get her out of that class but after discussing with my husband we decided to wait and see how therapy helped, afterall, you will meet people in life that you have to deal with that may be difficult. We would get her help and use this as a teaching moment . As my husband said... it's good practice for her. I felt like as her mom I should protect her. I felt like we should switch classes but I deferred to him. Again, I doubted my instinct and thought maybe this was good for her in the long run. So we met with the teacher to discuss all this and honestly it changed nothing.
So therapy began and she was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The therapy began working and I could see a huge change in my child's stress level but I also saw a change in her personality. This was a kid who until now really cared about grades and strived for perfection and approval and loved everyone without reason. Now she allowed herself to make mistakes and was less critical of herself but with that she became more critical of adults. Teachers were now human and flawed and not some great protector of kids and sharers of knowledge she can put on a pedestal but just grown ups who don't always know or do what's best.
She's endured a teacher who has made her apprehensive about something she has always loved... school and learning. And really, that's the worst thing a teacher can do to a child. I'm not saying this teacher gave my daughter anxiety. It's something she's had below the surface and it would have come out eventually but this teacher didn't help it, I'm not saying she is a bad teacher but I will say with absolute certainty that she was not a good teacher for my child. I will also say I failed. I did and I own it and I regret it. I didn't want to be "that mom". The one that won't let her kid face challenges, the one that demands a participation trophy when she didn't try, the one that enables her kid to be entitled and not have to struggle. But again... I was wrong. Some struggles kids need to face but some as a parent we need to protect them from. And having my child with her personality and anxiety face this before she was even in the double digits of age was wrong and not fair to her.
See, for me the problem is when your gut is constantly screaming things at you sometimes you second guess it And when you second guess things that often you often over analyze things. And when you over analyze you start to doubt yourself. And then when your gut tells you something you just over think and ignor
e. And the cycle continues. But now that it has impacted my child I am breaking it.
This year my daughter and I both learned a lot. She has learned how to deal with difficult people and situations and how to let things go and I have learned once again that I NEED TO TRUST MY INTUITION. The challenge for us both will be taking what we learned and applying it in real life.