My youngest, who recently received an IEP, has found that I was not joking.
She is the most charming child – her wide vocabulary gives her an amusing turn of phrase, she is an engaging, lively person, she is fun to watch and kind to others. These things have combined to allow her to slide through school problems with very few consequences. No one has really wanted to hold her accountable; she has received many more “second chances” than most children, certainly WAY more than I would give her. If she had been born a different gender and race, all her issues would likely have come home to roost long ago.
Last Friday I received a call from the SpEd person at the school. Kidlet had not been using her “need a break” times in the classroom, had not been showing up in the SpEd center to do work, and had been rude and disrespectful to a substitute. (This touches on her choice in friends, but that’s a whole different kettle of snails.) Kidlet, I was told, owed the SpEd teacher some time, and would have to make it up after school.
My response was, “Absolutely… keep her as long as you need to, I support your effort.”
Some people in this “stick it to the man” culture we seem to be in may be appalled that I would not side with my precious special snowflake on this. It was Friday! She had had a hard week! I don’t, however, believe that such an attitude would help her at all. I have been saying for ages that you don’t get to just not do what you’re asked to do without consequences. That is not the way the world works. I feel somewhat vindicated.
So she had to stay after school. The first part of the time was spent with her crabbing, resisting, even crying because she didn’t want to do the work that needed doing. (So, so familiar!!!) Eventually, however, she gave in and got her stuff done! And she only had to stay 2 hours late to do it – the original term was about a half hour, but she used a lot of time with the resisting, howling, and unpleasantness.
It is my sincere hope that we are on the road to breaking through to the other side of these struggles. I am so glad that the school is finally forcing the issue. It needed to be done, and no one knew that better than I.