An Update on July and Possum at School

Possum is 6 years and 2 months

Bandicoot is 4 years

Little Possum is 1 year and 6 months (18 months)

 

It has been so long since I have blogged  you must be wondering if I am even still about.  We have had a tough time lately.

Since I last wrote we have had a birthday (and party), been very, very sick with a nasty flu, despite our flu shots (for example DH has been sick for about six weeks.  He is finally started to mend, but he still has pleurisy.)  We have also had some rather un-fun school holidays (see previous point), taken on the endurance event of the Tour de France (only as TV spectators, but 4 hours in the middle of the night, every night is tough going!) and now, finally, have major issues with Possum at school.

That is what this post is about.

Poor little Possum.  I wish I trusted my Mother’s Instinct more.  This is not the first time that I have known there was a problem for a long time, but it has taken getting virtually to crisis point before something can be done.

As you know, Possum suffers from anxiety.  He started the school year quite reluctantly, a little anxious and as a sensitive kid.  During the first term he was identified as special needs due to his anxiety, but our particularly useless school counsellor observed him for a very short time and put the stops on that.  Now, after two terms of school, the poor child is traumatised and pretty much mentally ill.

This has come to a head, now.  His behaviour at home is out of hand, he can’t handle social events, especially visitors to our home, or talking to people he does not know really well.  He has also deteriorated to almost non-functional at school.  On top of that, he is crying himself to sleep and shaking in fear if he thinks it might be a school day.

On Thursday I attended a session in his classroom (a class that was open to parents).  I was horrified by how he was treated.  I was horrified by the way some things were said to the class in general, too.  I was not surprised when he left school crying that day and declaring he would not be back.  (Not in the way we all have done at the end of a bad day, but really, really meaning it.)  We cried together.  I nearly pulled him out of school right then, I was so upset.

On Friday, I decided to chat to his teacher.  I felt the need to be polite – she isn’t a bad person, although it seems she is ill-suited to teaching kindy.  Also, should we stay at the school, who knows when we will come across her again?

I am not good at confrontation, but I tried hard to fight my corner.  I am not happy with the outcome, but at least I understand her intentions, now.  I don’t agree with them, but I understand them.

DH and I have talked about this a lot since then.  We are going to try and get him into another class (they have four kindy classes at his school).  That prospect frightens me.  He will need to start again, getting to know all the kids, making friends etc.  He won’t have his mates with him anymore.  We also have to try and get him over his complete fear of the school.  Of school in general.  I, too, will need to start again.  I will need to get to know all the parents and find my spot in the class-mums.  I will need to explain what is happening without bad-mouthing anyone.  It will be tough.

And am I happy about this decision?  Well, no.  I believe it is probably necessary, but I am not happy.

I think it is necessary because we need to try and make school work.  I also think it is necessary because I want him to overcome this horrific fear he is experiencing, not just walk away from it.  But I don’t think it is the best thing for him in the long run.

As this has been unfolding in the last two weeks (all this term), I just keep seeing homeschooling as the answer more and more.  DH’s concerns are still there and are still valid.  I just can see this need for Possum, to heal his frazzled nerves, that would be filled by homeschooling.

Something that I have realised this week, something I always knew, but couldn’t fully grasp, is that this is not about me.  This is not about me as one with my cub.  This is not even about what I should do.  This is not about bringing him up to face my fears, even when his are the same.  This is firmly about Possum.  My job is to protect him and provide him with a safe environment.  This is not happening, so it is up to me to get it changed for him.  I don’t have to face my fears, I have to completely put them aside and get my bear cub to safety.

I don’t know what to do with this one.  It has to be one step at a time, but that is a real test of Faith.  I want a plan, a direction out of this mire.  I want to see the outcome, but I can’t.

I am so glad that I have had God on my side this week.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  __ Matt 11:28-30

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