What happens to you when your children leave one phase of life and move on to another? What happens to parents when babies become students? Can’t say that I have thought much about this. After nearly 9 years of being a parent of very small children I have over the last year, become a parent of still small but not as very small children.
My oldest is in second grade, so this hypothetically could have happened at least two years ago. But for whatever reason it hasn’t hit me until our middle child got half-way through kindergarten. This has its explanations (the learning problems that our second grader has, the move from the Swedish school system to an American international school) yet explanations only take me so far.
What I find more interesting has to do with my reaction to the change. My partner seems rather stressed by the shift, as though we now have greater obligations towards our children, that their success or failure in school (academically and socially) depends upon our ability to make them do their homework, that they don’t fall behind with their sight words, etc.
I don’t feel that stress. I thought (think, we have a 3 year old still) the constant maintenance work associated with babies and toddlers was stressful. To think of someone first, then yourself second is not something that came naturally to me.
But school, I got that covered. I always liked school, even if I didn’t get perfect grades all the time. I like the forced social aspect of school: everyone had to be there, every day. I didn’t much like weekends and summer vacation because there wasn’t school. (Who was I going to play with? Maybe that’s why I played with small, violent action figures until I was in middle school.)I think the kids are going to do fine in school.
Those children that suffer in school usually suffer at home as well. I think statistics are on our side in this case. Not that it is not going to take work on our part, it is that I find the work more manageable.
That said, we are only at the beginning. RAT is exactly one year behind everyone in her class which means that she has some catching up to do. But even that is a sign of success, she was even farther behind before. NAT is teaching himself to read, so I can’t take any credit for that (or can I, we did spawn him after all). And BAT, well she is turning 4 soon, but showing good signs with regards to school regimens ( I like that word, regimens, mainly because it seems to describe what success in school is all about, following regimens. Not exactly so great for those who think outside of regimens, like RAT for example. Vaddå, skulle jag göra nåt nu, eller? Jag fattar ingenting). In all, its going to be fun to see what happens next.