Life on the Frontline – Week 34


A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

It would have been easier for Small if the half term break had come immediately after the SATs week. All that compliance has left him thin on patience with the rule book and explains why he called his teaching assistant a “F*****g stupid b***h” on Tuesday.

I love that moment (sarcasm warning) when they repeat to you what your child has said and then look at you in a knowing way. Nodding head and sympathetic eyes, sure in the knowledge that your husband must be calling you this on a regular bases because where else would he get language like that from.

When he struggles the next day too, I suggest to her that Small is trying to communicate something to her. “The behaviour is telling you he’s had too much of all the work he’s doing, this is the point where you need to flexible for him. “

“I understand” she replies, and then shows quite clearly that she doesn’t “but we feel we need to be consistent and that means we consistently need to ask him to do the work”. She hands me the uncompleted work form his day, expecting me to ask him to complete it at home. I feel like ripping it into small pieces and walking away. Instead we take it home and together do some of it, I work out the sums, and he writes it down, 5 minutes, done.

The analogue I continue to hear and use is, schools are trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes. Instead of the system being flexible to best support and accommodate our children, our children have to be squeezed into their rigid structure. Realistically schools need square holes, round holes, star shaped holes, diamond shaped holes, you get the idea, to accommodate our children. I’m increasingly seeing that this flexibility just doesn’t exist in a mainstream setting, well not one we are part of.

The word “flexible” just seems to panic some educators, conjuring hideous nightmares of undisciplined, free falling, and unstructured learning.

What I was asking for was a foot of the work load pressure and a little more nurture based activities, to encourage him to feel more positive about his school environment. You know, covering those basic needs of feeling safe and anxiety free, to ensure greater learning in the long run.

Not to be, unfortunately for Small, operation consistent would continue with a consistent work load. This resulted in a lot more morning battles at home and noncompliance around bedtime. I always know when he’s really struggling because he’s still awake at 11 o’clock at night, fighting to keep at bay the inevitable next day.

So it was with much pride and admiration that I collected him on the last day of this half term, after a full week in mainstream school, his first this school year. I knew that it was down to his own incredible resilience, tenacity and bravery that he had got there relatively unscathed and not due to the schools being consistent. Oh yes and his unbelievable ability to extort treats from, blackmail and manipulate his mother.

In Other News

Tall made fruit salad in his first food tech lesson. Fruit Salad??? I mean please, that’s just chopping fruit and for Tall, the super cook, a little easy. It was very nice though.

Tall refused to go to his play therapy session this week. He got very worked up before school and I really thought we were going to have an “episode”. But, hat’s off to him, he turned it around.

I’m looking forward to our week off, although I’ll maybe just whisper that. Last time we were on holiday I think we were two days in before it all went quite epically wrong.

One thought on “Life on the Frontline – Week 34

  1. RachelB

    I always relate to your posts so much! Inflexibility from school is the bane of our life too. And the look in the eye from staff who just don’t believe your child could possibly have learned that language somewhere outside the home. In the playground perhaps???? Congrats to Small, Tall and you for getting through it all.




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