Last week we had Mia’s parents evening at school – a meeting where we get to discuss how she’s progressing academically, if there are any causes for concern, if we need to make heart-felt apologies for any damage to persons and/or property.
We were the smug parents when Dan went through the first school system. The only negative comment we ever got was that he was so keen to share an answer in class he’d forget to put his hand up and blurt the answer out. We secretly knew he didn’t forget at all and that his competitive nature had leaked over from the sports pitches into the classroom.
Mia is not that child.
Now the husband and I slink into the classroom with an almost embarrassed ‘we’re so sorry’ look about our faces.
We brace ourselves. Our sympathy is palpable.
That’s not to say Mia isn’t doing well at school. She’s doing REALLY well. She practices her times tables at home without anyone asking her to because “it’s fun”. She disappears into her room for hours at a time and produces a project no one expects her to do because she quite fancies researching something. She reads ALL the time.
She is a bright spark, of that there is no doubt. She is way beyond her eight years.
BUT. For yes there is a but.
Teacher: “Mia tells the most amazing stories. She’s very creative.”
Us: *Knowing look*
Teacher: “She’s such a caring child. Very helpful to younger ones; very compassionate. But there does seems to be an awful lot of ‘accidents’ which happen in the playground which Mia is involved in. When we ask her about them, she swears blind it’s not her doing. It’s always an accident. I’ve talked to her about accidents and asked her if she really understand what it means and she totally does. But her stories get more and more elaborate. She has been with the head teacher talking incidents through and she totally convinces even her of her tale; it’s only because I know a different story that we realised just how convincing she is.”
Us: *Sink a fraction lower into our seats*
Teacher: “It’s all I can do not to laugh sometimes. She is SO convincing.”
Us: *Wondering if we should share this story of how she was like this even at the age of 4*
Teacher: “She really has made an art form out of fibbing!”
She’s saying it jovially, but we are squirming in our seats, which suddenly feel extremely small.
Basically what she’s saying is that my child is a liar. And we know it. But when does the fabricating stop?
Today I have been called into school to talk about it further.
I am actually at a loss. I have NO idea why she does it. We’ve talked about it, she’s apologised, said she recognises it’s not a grown up thing to do, that she must not hurt other children and that her good work will be undone because everyone will assume she’s not telling the whole truth. And she totally gets it. Then BOOM, in I am at school again discussing this strange thing that looms over us all.
She really likes her teacher (she mimics her every night when she gets home from school and goes to her room to ‘take class’). She’s had issues with some friends in the playground in the past, but it’s just regular girl stuff (“I want to be the horse trainer today”. “No I want to be the horse trainer today”).
But nothing I can put my finger on that would cause her to behave in this way.
I’m putting it down to a phase and she will outgrow it and move on and probably replace it with another, equally galling phase.
But right now, if anyone has experienced anything similar I’d love your feedback. I just don’t want her to get a reputation at such a young age.