Life on the Frontline – Week 4



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.


Small has beef with his new Head, the one at the support centre not at his mainstream school. During their first encounter he voiced the reason for not wanting to attend the centre. “He had not chosen it; it had not been his choice”.

Her response to this was “you are a child, what you want does not matter, the adults have made the choice for you”.

This did not go down well with the manic controller, who took an instant dislike to the person who held no value in his rights to choose and have an opinion. He retold the event to me with a lot of agitation and indignation. I later retold the event to my mum with the knowing addition of, “well that isn’t how to get Small on side”.

We talked about the many things we do to let him think he is somehow in control, when actually he’s not.

For Example

Sleeping on the cushions in his bedroom – he thinks he’s not sleeping in his bed, I think he’s gone up to bed, result.

Or, eating breakfast in front of the television –he thinks he’s getting to watch television before school, I think he’s eating breakfast, result.

It made me realise how blurred the roles of authority are in our home sometimes. Don’t get me wrong there is no chaos, we the parents are most definitely in charge. However that role is not earned by our age or our position within the family, as it would naturally fall in many families. Instead here we negotiate to gain the parenting advantage or we us sneaky underhand plans (see examples above) to gain the upper hand. The only problem with this is that the children do still sometimes believe that they are in charge. Well Small most definitely believes this, at times.

I also retold the event to a friend who is a school teacher. Whilst she sympathised with Small’s dilemma she reminded me that as a Head of a school, all be it a small school with only a handful of pupils, she still needed to maintain a level of authority. I questioned this, “Even in a school where all the children have reasons for finding mainstream education  a struggle? Shouldn’t this Head have an understanding of the children’s individual needs?”

Discussing it further, I was reminded that how we operate in the home environment is not how the real world operates and all children have to learn a regard for authority if they are to live within this real world.

Having contemplated this, I have come to see that Small needs to see that someone is in charge and that at times that person in authority will not always consider his needs first, because that is reality.

I suppose we all want our children’s needs to be met as best as possible, in all environments and actually at the centre the other staff are striving to achieve this. However, the line of authority stops with the head and that needs to be understood.

So whilst I will make the right sounds around how he dislikes this person, I will be carefully reminding him that she is in charge. I will allow this Head to be the line of authority that is in Small’s life, that exists for no other reason than because it is so. I however will continue to negotiate and use sneaky underhand methods of authority at home, because I would like an easy life.

In Other News

After a meeting this week it has been decided that Small is only attend the afternoon support centre at present until we feel he is ready to be integrated back in to mainstream. I am currently responsible for encouraging him to complete some school work in the mornings. So far this has had varying success, not attending the centre, me being a teacher.

Tall has had a great week at school and everyone working with him, are very impressed with his progress.

Tall is such a whizz in the kitchen, this weekend I’ve taught him how to make a cooked breakfast, won’t be long until he can do it all himself. Good planning don’t you think.

Unable to resist shiny things, Tall investigated my new expensive lipstick which I treated myself to last week. All this expensive new lipstick is now squashed into the shiny lid, as he forgot to swizzle it down before forcing the top back on. And breathe.

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