When your child isn't like you - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
fairejour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I was originally going to post this in "Special Needs Parenting" but then I figured that it is actually an issue that many parents might have.

 

Right now I am struggling with accepting my 8 year old DD for who she is. She is a strong, funny, creative, loving kiddo who really struggles with academics. It's not that she isn't smart (we had some IQ testing done for special ed reasons, and she scores above average) but she has a hard time with memory and reading, and just general "school stuff". My problem is that this was always EASY for me and I don't know how to help her.

 

I get that there are "other learning styles" and other important skills to be successful in life, but the realist in me says that it isn't likely that she is going to get very far in life if she has a great personality but is unable to read. I know I need to embrace who my child IS as opposed to who I want her to be, but I feel like she is lacking in the one area that determines where you end up in life!

 

Help!

fairejour is offline  
#2 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 08:18 AM
 
McGucks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: among the wildflowers
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This is not exactly what you were looking for, but I saw that you hadn't had responses yet and wanted to say hi.

 

I have a 16 year old son from a previous marriage.  Without getting into specifics, I want to say that this older son and I are NOT much alike.  Some of it is values stuff and much is personality.  I always wonder if his dad sees "me" in our son the way I see his dad in him.  Our son has so many mannerisms, habits, and beliefs that are so consistent with his dad's, and sometimes it is really disheartening and I wonder whether any of the "good" stuff I feel I've shared with him has stuck or will become part of his way as he grows and matures.  It seems like the older he gets, the more he is like his dad, and sometimes it kind of wrecks me greensad.gif.  I have to work hard on myself not to hold things against him that remind me of his dad and it is a continual struggle for me.  So unfair to him, I know.  I live with a lot of guilt about that.

 

I look forward to seeing what other moms have to say about this.


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

McGucks is offline  
#3 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 08:27 AM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Have you looked into different learning styles? Asynchronous development, visual-spacial learning as opposed to audio-sequential... Get familiar with the styles. Getting a good understanding of what learning style your DD DOES HAVE, will give you tools to help her learn in the way she does best. As opposed to only seeing what learning style she DOES NOT HAVE (yours). Knowing only what she is "failing" in, even if you try to cover it up, she will pick up as your frustration, anger, dissapointment.... And this disappointment will not help your DD in any way. 

 

Ask me how I know. I was adopted and had a VERY VERY VERY different learning style than my mom and dad did. So they could not really relate, and were constantly angry/frustrated/disappointed in me. How could I write my own poem, paint a fantastic painting, but not remember that 3 times 3 was 9, no matter how many times they drilled it into me? Was I lazy, or stupid, or disfunctional...? None of the above. My parents are very audio learners. They learn A, then B, then C... They learn by listening. And memorization. I have very, very limited memorizationskills. I am an incredibly visual learner. I learn by seeing the shape, the line between things... and I skip A and B and look like I am behind, until one day I have not only learned C and D, but also how they interact with A and B and E and am so far ahead it is amazing. Then I am behind, then I am ahead... repeat. And my parents thinking I was lazy and a dissapointment really hurt. I sat so many hours trying to memorize 3 times 3 was 9, and hurting myself when I failed, because this was the only way I knew, and they knew, how to learn. But there are other ways. Repeating orally, over and over, and memorization, was never going to work with me. Starting with the simple A and then move on to B and then move on to C was never, ever, ever going to work with me. I am too bored to concentrate on the simple A. That is how my brain is wired. If my parents had had the access to info we have today about learning styles, perhaps they could have accepted my learning style as it was. 

 

When my son was young, I also became angry. Why could I tell him 20 times that all the stars were suns, and he not know it? Was he deaf? NO. I just wasn't understanding his learning style, which I darn well should have, since we are the same! Then I started reading and learning, and it really changed the chemistry between DS and I. One day I took a soccer ball, a tennis ball and a pebble out to the soccer field and placed the soccer ball in the goal post and the tennis ball in the center of the field and the pebble close to it. I then said the soccer ball was the sun, and the tennis ball was the earth, the pebble the moon, and that this was proportionally their sizes. He saw this, and he got it. He really understood it, and was instantly able to interpolate from it - night and day, the vastness of the universe, how the other stars out there were suns very far away, and some of them had planets around them.... I could have read this info to him, or told him in words, 500 times, and he would never have been able to understand it. But to show him, that works! 

 

That was long. I hope some of this helps.

AllisonR is offline  
#4 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 08:59 AM
 
sewchris2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego county, CA
Posts: 1,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

As the other posters have said, learn the different learning styles; what your learning style is and what your dd's style is.  You have to teach through her learning style, not yours or the teacher's.  Here's a good place to start:  http://people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/index.html

 

I'm a visual learner and my son is an auditory/kinesthetic learner.  I look for videos on his school subjects and discuss what he reads in his textbooks before he does his homework.  That way his school work more closely reflects what he actually knows instead of the little he retains just by reading it to himself.  Instead of the 4 hours it took to home school my dds (none of whom are auditory learners), it takes my son and me 6 or more hours a day to get through his school work.  Most of that time is spent in discussing the various subjects and watching videos on the computer (history and science mostly) and in doing hands-on experiments in science and math.

 


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
sewchris2642 is offline  
#5 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:01 AM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

I'm seeing two concerns in your OP. One is when your child isn't like you and one is how to help a child who is struggling academically.

 

As far as the first, when your child isn't like you — my dd1 isn't like me or my DH. She's most like my MIL (who drives me and DH crazy at times, but is generally a like-able person). I struggled with this at times, especially when dd1 was younger, and especially after dd2 was born because I felt like MIL favored dd1 (still think she does a little) over dd2. They do have a special bond, but dd2 is such a strong person now and secure in my and DH's love and knows MIL loves her, too, that the special bond between dd1 and MIL is really a blessing and not a cause for concern. 

 

As a kid I was pretty easy going and did well in school, loved to play outside and climb trees (tomboy), hated wearing dresses. My mom had to bribe me to wear one to school once. And then when I had dd1 I got this girly girl who wanted to wear pink and sparkles and take dance classes. It was so not me! And then there was the thing with MIL. At times I felt that dd1 preferred MIL to me! Ouch! I did resent that for awhile, but I came around on the pink and sparkles and dance class. I could just see how much dd1 enjoyed all that stuff and I found ways for her to revel in it that were acceptable to me (no knights in shining armor coming to rescue the poor helpless princess) and honored her feelings.

 

The reason I'm going back this far is because dealing with all this helped set me up to deal with dd1's academic challenges as well. Dd1 is very smart and has an incredible memory, but she struggles with organization and focus and anxiety. It's worst in math, but she struggled with reading for a long time. For her it was anxiety getting in the way of the reading. We wondered if something was going on with her eyes (visual tracking problems) or if she was dyslexic, but it was really all anxiety (another of MIL's traits) that was getting in the way. She would completely refuse to attempt to read all through K-2nd grade and often broke down in tears (great wracking sobs that lasted hours) over it both at home and at school. Finally in 3rd grade she began to do a little bit and then in 4th grade she picked up the Harry Potter books and now in 5th grade she's reading above grade level with excellent comprehension. 

 

We were in private school for K-4th for dd1 (K & 1st for dd2) and we chose that because we knew dd1 could not cope with a traditional public school setting even though the public schools in our area are generally regarded as excellent (probably the best system in the state).  I do think it was the right thing for her. This is her first year in public school and math in particular is really challenging for her in the public school setting. There's just not a lot of wiggle room with the teacher that she has right now and since she has anxiety issues anyway it's not a good combination. Focus continues to be challenging for her, too. She exhibits some ADD behaviors, but I really think those are a result of her anxiety. She's anxious about the problem so she can't focus. When she can focus she can usually understand the problem. We can help her focus (sometimes) at home, but at school it's a different story. It's a dangerous cycle because if she doesn't do well in math then she thinks she CAN'T do well in math which then makes her more anxious about math which makes her have a hard time focusing which makes her do poorly. 

 

I just try to meet her where she is and go from there. That's one of the things I love about her homeroom/science/reading teacher. He meets kids where they are. Her math teacher unfortunately expects the kids to meet her where she is and that's just really hard for dd1. Dd2 does much better with that kind of teacher. She's doing really well academically and through little effort on her parents' part. 

 

A book that I think helped me early on with some of the differences between dd1 and me  and between dd1 and the rest of the world (excepting MIL) is "Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. If you can get your hands on it, it might be helpful. I don't really like the title because it's not about Power Struggles so much as it is about becoming aware of differences in temperament between you and your child. It doesn't deal with academics specifically, but IIRC there is some mention of it in there. It's definitely not a one-size-fits-all book and that's what I liked about it so much. Kurcinka recognizes the differences and unique qualities inherent in each child and parent and offers tips to facilitate connection between parents/kids with very different styles. I used to say about my dd1 that I know all kids are unique, but some are more unique than others. This was the first (and one of the only) books that resonated with me and I felt like described my uniquer-than-most kid. 

 

For the specific academic challenges your dd is facing there are a lot of different approaches. Is she really struggling with reading? It could be a dyslexia issue, a visual tracking issue, or any number of things. There are some specific physical tools she can use as well as teaching techniques if that's really a problem. 

 

Sometimes, though, kids do make those leaps like my dd1 and like AllisonR did and it's a matter of keeping on plugging away and encouraging and trying not to push too hard, but push just enough and suddenly — pow — there they are zooming past that milestone.

 

good luck!


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is online now  
#6 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
fairejour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I understand that there are different learning styles, but none of them seem to help my daughter. She works really hard to learn the very basic academic material (she is 8, and is at about the level of an early 1st grader) and some of that may be due to diffuse brain damage from a traumatic birth. How do I accept that my beautiful, smart girl may never read well enough to go to college? Do I lower my expectations so that she doesn't feel like she is disappointing me? 

fairejour is offline  
#7 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:05 AM
 
McGucks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: among the wildflowers
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had a boyfriend with a master's degree in social work who couldn't read a word.  The only word he could write was his own signature.  He had a profound learning disability and made it through college with tremendous accommodations.  Accommodations are mandatory in public universities and public schools.

 

He was a LCSW by trade and nobody at his office had any idea he couldn't read.  He had a private secretary who did his transcription work.

 

Reading is terribly important, I agree; however, if your daughter has a brain-based, real-deal reading disability, there are options and paths to take.  I know the example I shared is extreme, but it is true and pretty impressive.


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

McGucks is offline  
#8 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
fairejour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

I had a boyfriend with a master's degree in social work who couldn't read a word.  The only word he could write was his own signature.  He had a profound learning disability and made it through college with tremendous accommodations.  Accommodations are mandatory in public universities and public schools.

 

He was a LCSW by trade and nobody at his office had any idea he couldn't read.  He had a private secretary who did his transcription work.

 

Reading is terribly important, I agree; however, if your daughter has a brain-based, real-deal reading disability, there are options and paths to take.  I know the example I shared is extreme, but it is true and pretty impressive.


Wow. Thank you. My daughter is deaf and now it appears that she could have some other memory issues that make traditional academics extremely hard. She really excels socially and is extremely creative and clever but I have a hard time separating "good grades", "academics" and reading and writing from being a successful adult someday. I see that she is amazing in so many different ways....all but the one that I fear is most important in the long run.

 

fairejour is offline  
#9 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Mom31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: America
Posts: 3,634
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I was adopted and very different from my adoptive parents. They were disappointed in me to.  Frustrated that I was not more like them. I just was not and am not.

I think it has more to do with you then your dd. I would work hard to see her good attributes and build on those.


mdcblog5.gifsaynovax.giffambedsingle2.gifhomebirth.jpg

 

 

Mom31 is offline  
#10 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:35 AM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

fairejour, if you're really wanting help with specific academic goals this thread might be better placed in special needs or learning at school. Is she in school or are you homeschooling? In school she should have an IEP. Is she 2nd grade or 3rd grade?

 

Academics aren't everything and yes, I think you might need to adjust your expectations. If she doesn't excel academically like you did that doesn't mean she won't be successful. She might be a successful and famous artist, musician, chef, etc. Maybe she'll be a teacher to deaf children when she's grown. She might not be a neuro-surgeon, but maybe she'll be happy and successful and fulfilled some other way. 

 

I don't think being on a 1st grade level even in 3rd grade means that she won't be able to make it on her own, but even if that's what happens you grieve and go on. Our niece is severely-moderately autistic and she will never be able to function on her own. It's hard, and it's a long and continually hard adjustment for a parent to make, but what you've described doesn't sound like that to me. I think you may need to adjust your expectations somewhat, but that doesn't mean you don't continue to encourage her and challenge her and advocate for her at school. I would encourage you to take advantage of everything the public schools have to offer you. They are mandated to provide an appropriate education for her and even if she's not enrolled they have to provide services for her. We've had private school friends and homeschool friends who use the public schools for interventions like speech therapy, etc. If she's making some progress and working hard that's great. Keep on keeping on and best of luck to you.


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is online now  
#11 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
fairejour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think the help I need is in accepting that the things I know she IS good at are just as important and worthwhile as the things I see that she isn't. 

 

I was raised to believe that you grow up, do good in school, go to college and get a good job. That is how a person is successful. If you didn't do well in school, you were either lazy or (god forbid!) the worst kind of person...dumb.

fairejour is offline  
#12 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 11:29 AM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

I think the help I need is in accepting that the things I know she IS good at are just as important and worthwhile as the things I see that she isn't. 

 

I was raised to believe that you grow up, do good in school, go to college and get a good job. That is how a person is successful. If you didn't do well in school, you were either lazy or (god forbid!) the worst kind of person...dumb.


I'll approach this head on. Sometimes life throws you such a curve ball, that you have to admit, then grieve, then accept. Only then can you truely enjoy and achieve - ACHIEVE in your own way. Not someone else way. Not some stereotype of hard work = good grades = good job = security and happiness. You need to get through these steps. And it will take some time. But you have got to get rid of the stereotypes and prejudices. Because that is what you have. And in the long run it will only harm you, and your daughter, and your relationship.

 

I have always, always worked - in high school, in university, ever since. I have always made good money and been responsible and put food on the table, because that is what a mature adult does. Even when the job sucked, and I suffered, so bad, I stuck with it, until there was another job. That's what a mature, responsible adult does. When I was young I was on the honor role and always at least a 3.5 average. Blah blah blah.... Until my job made me so sick, mentally and physically, that I had to hit it face on. I could be the responsible one, and be dead from heart attack in the next 2 years, and leave my two small children with a dead mother; or end up permanently damaged mentally, and leaving my children with a damaged, harmful mother. Or I could accept that RIGHT NOW, the best I can do is to not have the good, successful job. To take care of me, so my children have a mother. I did not want sick leave, "no, I am not sick, sick leave is for fat, lazy people who just don't want to work." That is a horrid, ingrained stereotype I had. Except sick leave is not meant for the 5% that are too lazy to work, it is meant to help the 95% who really are to sick to work. Point is, to get to where I really needed to be, and to do what was really best for me and my family, I had to get rid of the stereotypes. They just get in the way. And they are damaging. You need to get over your long engrained stereotypes. I don't know how, or how long, and I'm sure it won't happen by reading a few posts on line, but if at least it gets you started in the right direction, that will be positive. 

AllisonR is offline  
#13 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 12:22 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

I think the help I need is in accepting that the things I know she IS good at are just as important and worthwhile as the things I see that she isn't. 

 

I was raised to believe that you grow up, do good in school, go to college and get a good job. That is how a person is successful. If you didn't do well in school, you were either lazy or (god forbid!) the worst kind of person...dumb.



Well, see, you're headed in the right direction right there!

 

My brother is very smart, like never had to bring a book home in high school smart and still aced all the tests. He did well in college and graduate school, too. He is also one of the most unhappy people I know. He has a good job, makes a lot of money, and is married to a very patient, kind woman, but he's one miserable cuss. His happiness in life doesn't have anything to do with his smarts or how successful he is at his job. Sometimes it takes knowing someone who has done all the "right" things but is still not fulfilled or happy to see that the "right" things aren't all they're cracked up to be. 

 

Your dd may just need some more time to get her academics going. She may never be valedictorian, but she may be truly happy and make the world a better place. Encourage her and love her for who she is. Meet her where she is right now and set her up for success in her areas of strength and celebrate her for being wonderful!


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is online now  
#14 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 12:31 PM
 
sewchris2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego county, CA
Posts: 1,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

I understand that there are different learning styles, but none of them seem to help my daughter. She works really hard to learn the very basic academic material (she is 8, and is at about the level of an early 1st grader) and some of that may be due to diffuse brain damage from a traumatic birth. How do I accept that my beautiful, smart girl may never read well enough to go to college? Do I lower my expectations so that she doesn't feel like she is disappointing me? 



If this is more than late reading or different learning styles, you need to have your dd tested.  With a learning disorder diagnosis, an IEP can be made and the school will have to abide by it (with probably a lot of pushing on your part).  If it's just that she reads below grade level, that could change in next couple of years.  I home schooled all three of my girls and used the same reading curriculum (modified to each learning style).  The first was reading in 1st grade, the 3rd at age 4 (had to scrap my entire 2 year K program for her) and the 2nd didn't really get it until grade 4.  It didn't really click until 5th grade for my son.  While he could read, it was with great difficultly and with lots of pauses to decode the words.  His main problem was that he was not interested in any of the early education reading material.  He loves non-fiction books on history, not touchy/feely stories about grandma's quilt or fishing with grandpa.

 

To go back to your first post, my son also doesn't demonstration any steps between not knowing and mastery.  He wrote his name for the first time the first day of K.  His daycare provider does pre-K work to get the kids ready for k the summer before they start.  he never showed any interest in even trying to write letter, never mind his name.  The first picture of a person he ever grew had all the features--hair, eyes, nose, ears, torso, arms and legs, fingers and clothes.  He waits until he has it all figured out in head before going ahead.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
sewchris2642 is offline  
#15 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 12:35 PM
 
sewchris2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego county, CA
Posts: 1,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Deafness will slow down reading and by extention, learning.  So much of it is based on hearing the words and connecting them to the written words.  Do you sign?  I have absolutely no experience in this area but just throw it so take it for whatever worth it has.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
sewchris2642 is offline  
#16 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
fairejour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Again, it isn't that she needs better services or a better IEP (she attends a world class private deaf school that we moved across the country for). It is a problem in ME being able to accept the fact that it is ok that things that are easy for me are hard for her, and that maybe her talents are in an area that I previously didn't respect as being important. That maybe being the smartest kid in the class isn't the only way to be a successful person.

fairejour is offline  
#17 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 01:11 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

Well, start with people you know, and ask yourself if you think highly of them. Surely all the people you know and admire and respect aren't CEOs or doctors or lawyers or academics. Are there perhaps some musicians you admire? Is there a cool stay at home mom in your circle of friends. Think about what makes the real people you know admirable. When you can move past the idea that "being the smartest kid in the class is the only way to be a successful person" (which I'm sure you know intellectually isn't true) with real people you know — teachers, restauranteurs, business people, artists, etc, then try applying it to your child. Also, don't project too far into the future. Don't count your chickens before they hatch or cross your bridges before you come to 'em. She might surprise you yet!


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is online now  
#18 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 02:21 PM
 
nextcommercial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm one of those who believes that you work with your kid's weaknesses, but you pour your greatest energy into her strengths.

 

I was a very poor student.  I can't learn numbers at all.  I am very dyslexic, and still can't print anything.  (cursive is fine, printing notsomuch)

 

But, I LOVED kids and animals.  So, my parents put me in everything to give me a chance to work with kids.  My Mom... who never fought for me in any way (because she expected me to stand up for myself) fought to get me into all the early childhood  education programs she could find.  Even when my high school teachers felt like I was not going to be a good early childhood educator, my mom and a few teachers backed me up.  They were right, it was MY niche.  I can't learn higher math, but I could teach preschoolers, and I was awesome and very successful at it.

 

You know what her strengths are already.  So, every chance you get, tell someone in front of her.  If her strength is in art, tell everybody you know what a creative artist she is... send her pictures to friends and relatives.  If she loves photography and film making, buy her an inexpensive video camera and let her make films.  

 

Celebrate her strengths, while never giving up on her weaknesses.  Nobody is good at all things, but most of us are amazing at one or two things.   

nextcommercial is offline  
#19 of 22 Old 11-19-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Peony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 25,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I understand. I also have an 8y DD1 who struggles academically, and more then likely always will She is severely dyslexic,  she is also above average IQ but due to the many problems that can come along with dyslexia, poor memory, etc...  school is never going to be something that she excels at. We are doing all the "right" stuff, she has daily private therapists and tutors, goes to a small private school with other students like her, she has for years, on and on, we can't so anything more then we are. I look at her and I do see a bright child. A bright child that I doubt will go on to college. 

 

 

I skipped several grades, graduated high school at right at 16, was finished with college at 19. School has always been very easy for me. I can't wait to go back and get more degrees when my kids are older. I don't always understand DD1. What does come very easy to her that I can NOT do it sports. The child loves sports and excels at them. I have 2 left feet and can barely walk most days. So knowing her issues and what her talents are, we allow and encourage any interest in sports. She is on numerous competitive teams and honestly has a decent chance of making it someday as as adult athlete. Is it the life I would of chosen for her ? No. I know she can't snowboard her entire life and make money off of it, but maybe it will get her through a few years. Quite a few people we know have voiced the opinion that she shouldn't do as much as she does, and should focus on her school work more. We won't. She already goes to school all day and does an hour a day of extra tutoring that we do year around. She has a disability. One that I can not begin to understand how difficult it must just to read a simple book, I can't live her life for her. While I get my joy from reading a great novel, she gets it from dancing or cruising down a mountain or mastering a back flip in gymnastics. That is what keeps her going, not school work. And so I will continue to do anything I can to allow her to do what she is good at, knowing that if she turns out to be the classic local ski bum, that will be ok. 


There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
Peony is offline  
#20 of 22 Old 11-20-2011, 12:49 AM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This is a timely thread for me.

 

I'm a voracious reader, have a PhD in the humanities, excelled at school, and have a passion for books. My son (8) is currently being diagnosed as dyslexic. He loves *looking* at books, but reading is just not his thing. It's hard for me to know that he's most likely not going to be a great academic achiever. His talents are in the arts. He's incredibly creative and has a lot of natural talent. He's also shown some interest in music (neither DH nor I are at all musical, though we love to listen to it), and we're going to have some trial lessons to see how that goes.

 

I've had to mourn a bit, as silly as that sounds. I know I'm so lucky to have a healthy, happy, polite, friendly boy who is smart and kind and funny and, as I wrote above, has all these talents. But it's hard for me to relate to the talents he does have, though DH and I have been fantastic about fostering them (buying supplies, praise, lessons, etc). But he's not going to be reading above grade level (we'll be lucky to keep him at grade level with extra help!), he's not going to be checking out stacks of books to read from the library, and he's not likely to be the academic super star I was. That's all ok. I know that. I love my DS with all my heart. But it's hard to adjust to.

 

OP, all I can say is that it's ok to mourn for the child you thought you might have, as long as you cherish the one you do have. As a PP said, focus on all the things your DD does well and all the ways in which she does excel. Think about all the people who have excelled in spite of school (we watch films on you tube about famous dyslexics, for instance, to bolster DS'  confidence -- and our own!), and explore why academic excellence is so important to you. Talk to non-judgmental friends or a therapist. Accept how you feel but keep on letting your DD know how proud you are of her. Hugs ... this is hard . . .

DariusMom is online now  
#21 of 22 Old 11-20-2011, 09:09 AM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

OP, you mentioned that your dd is deaf — surely that's a way that she's not like you. Have you had trouble accepting that difference? I imagine it's been a hard row to hoe, but you've done and are doing it. The academic stuff is the same way, just less visible. It'll be okay. It's obvious that you are a caring mom and want the best for her. She knows that, too. And you know that you have to accept her for who she is rather than who you hoped she might be or you wouldn't be posting here.

 

Kids are their own people — even when they don't have any disabilities. I know very few adults who are just like their mom or dad. My sibs and I are not that much like our mom and dad and neither are DH or his brother and sister like his parents. His parents were/are well educated, both with college degrees and his dad with a law degree. Neither his brother nor his sister went to college. His brother is incredibly smart, but in a dysfunctional way. He couldn't deal with any more school and is lucky to have made it out of high school alive, literally. DH is the only kid to have any college. In my family, my dad struggled in college and all of us exceeded his achievements—my brother and sister, especially. My mom did okay in college, but struggled with some subjects. My brother (the miserable unhappy one) far exceeded both parents academically, but that really hasn't made him fulfilled. I'm rambling, but my point is that even if your dd didn't have the challenges she has to face she wouldn't have been just like you. I'm sure you know that intellectually, but sometimes it can be hard to internalize.

 

Maybe I've been lucky in that regard with two kids who each have an exceptionally strong sense of self, although that certainly has been a challenge for me at times. Often I've wondered what it would be like to have a more compliant child, but they have—from birth—let me know that they were their own people and had their own ideas about things. I've had to let go a lot of (usually small in the scheme of things) hopes and expectations and wants for them and let them be who they are. 

 

I do agree with the above posters about playing to your dd's strengths. Set her up where she can succeed and let her go to town!

 

Good luck,


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is online now  
#22 of 22 Old 11-20-2011, 09:51 AM
 
sewchris2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego county, CA
Posts: 1,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

I understand that there are different learning styles, but none of them seem to help my daughter. She works really hard to learn the very basic academic material (she is 8, and is at about the level of an early 1st grader) and some of that may be due to diffuse brain damage from a traumatic birth. How do I accept that my beautiful, smart girl may never read well enough to go to college? Do I lower my expectations so that she doesn't feel like she is disappointing me? 



Start with this:  both Einstein and Edison failed in school.  Neither one of them was anywhere near the top of their class yet both of them were successful.  Bill Gates didn't finish college; neither did Stephen Spielberg.  There are other examples throughout history and modern times.  Those are just the ones I came up with without researching.  In my own life, my dad dropped out of college on the advice of the school councilors because he was failing basic algebra.  Yet some of his company patents (electrical engineering) went to the moon on the Apollo missions.

 

 


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
sewchris2642 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off