For the past few weeks, the lil’ dragonlady would try ways and means to avoid going to school. She would sob sadly and refuse to get out of the car when my folks send her to school. On some days, her grandparents let her get away with it which drives me crazy. I tried to find out why but she wouldn’t say. Unlike her brother, she doesn’t like to share what she did for the day with me when we have our bedtime chat. I was rather exasperated and upset with her for trying to skip school every day and not telling me why when I asked her!
We attributed her change in attitude towards school to the new teachers because she takes very long to warm up to unfamiliar people around her. Even her previous teachers thought so too. When I went to the school to give out Christmas presents to the kids’ teachers from the past to present, I realized the lil’ dragonlady is more vocal and affectionate with her ex-teachers. I shared with her current and previous teachers and got them to help monitor and update me on how she’s adjusting in school. Feedback I received was pretty positive – she would just cry at drop off but becomes all fine and dandy soon after. I thought it’s only more time she needs to get to know her new teachers better before things improve.
Just before bedtime tonight though, I sensed my daughter acting a little strange. It seemed like she wanted to tell me something but was hesitant to share. I felt guilty that at the tender age of three, she finds it hard to share her feelings with her mother.
After some cuddles and gentle persuasion, she finally opened up a little to share about what’s making her avoid school. Apparently, one of her classmates had hit her. From past parent-teacher-meetings, I’ve learned from the teachers that my littlest one is a very different person in school. She might be the one who starts fights at home most of the time, but in school, she likes to take the lead to look after her classmates. If she gets hit at, she would take it quietly and not tell the teachers if they didn’t notice.
Upon further prodding did she shared more details of how and when her classmate hit her. The cub and I advised her to always tell the teacher if she gets hit or bullied by her classmates, and she nodded. She finally smiled and and looked somewhat happier to get this issue that had been bothering her off her chest. Told her I will share with her teachers what she told me and hope that this will help to make her less reluctant to go to school.
As I sit here and recount our conversation, I reflect on how I’ve been parenting her and realized it’s a lot of tough love for her. The independent and competitive streaks in her have caused me to be much less sensitive to her emotional needs. My lil’ dragonlady is a strong-willed and stubborn child, and I’ve been honestly, very harsh with my methods to discipline her. The two of us are always trying to test each other’s level of tolerance and would go 硬碰硬 most of the time.
Was just watching 《开讲啦》and 陶晶莹 shared that she had felt very hurt in the past because of insensitive comments her mum made on her appearance and competence. I can totally relate to that because I face the same issues with my mum. I told myself I shall have to take extra care with my mother-daughter relationship with the lil’ dragonlady, but it seems like I need more work than expected.
Need to keep reminding myself to do better as a mother to my babies