Preparing Your Child For The Path

Ed and I parent our children differently, as they have very different needs, but the philosophy that best matches our point of view is preparing our child for the path. In other words, giving them support, but letting them both know that the world isn't going to view them as speshul snowflakes-they will have to pull their fair share to get good grades and good jobs.

Chef has taken some lumps on that front, because we don't nag him to do homework or study. We ask and take him at his word when he has none. This has resulted in two trips to summer school, which is something he does not want to repeat. In this sense, the message was received that it's not Mom or Dad that has to do the work-it is completely up to him.

With GameTeen, it's quite another story. We might as well be talking to a brick wall, as the child is convinced the world revolves around HIM. There are battles about showering properly, cleaning, doing his chores, and pretty much everything. The battle royale every night is bedtime. "I don't like bedtime", "I hate bedtime", "I'm not ready for bed", "You're not listening to what I say-I don't want to go to bed".

This topic has come up in this space before. Benedryl doesn't work, Melatonin doesn't work, and the prescription strength sleep inducers that are safe with his other medications don't really work. He just does not sleep at night-so he falls asleep in class.

Our response to this is to take away the coveted games. We usually are able to partner with teachers, to tell them to inform him that he loses his games. During the IEP meeting earlier in the month, we explained this in GameTeen's presence.

This teacher seems to think she has a better answer. She told GameTeen today "tell your Mom and Dad they should drive you to school, so that you can get a little more sleep."


He has a special bus that comes to pick him up, so that any potential bullying situations are avoided on the mainstream bus (and to keep Chef from having to be his brother's bodyguard). It picks him up one hour before classes begin. If I were to drop him off on my way to work, it'd give him an extra FIFTEEN minutes of sleep.

How about when the kid goes to sleep, you tell him that he needs to go to bed earlier, maybe reinforce what the parents are already saying to the kid? No, this one seems to think that we should rearrange our schedule and skip using the school provided bus and let the revolve around the child.

It took three drafts of the email to send one that wasn't extremely rude and obnoxious. This child needs to learn that we're not going to be there forever, his brother is not going to be there for him, he needs to take personal responsibility. Telling him to have his parents drive him to school flies in the face of that.

I can't wait to see what her rationale was for telling the kid that the path will be modified for him...


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