You know every now and again you see social media flooded with proud parents evening messages?
“So very proud of my son’s school report”
“Teacher says he’s a delight to teach; could not be prouder”
“Teacher says my girl is a total delight”
We’ve never had that with Mia.
They’ve never said anything bad but there has always been an underlying ‘she doesn’t try hard’, ‘she’s disruptive’, ‘friendship issues get in the way’, ‘she’s just so stubborn’.
Husband and I enter the classroom on parents evening with our shoulders down, dreading the worst and always being rather pleased when it’s not as bad as we feared.
Mia is not a people pleaser. If she’s not ready to do something, she absolutely won’t do it.
She questions authority if she feels it’s the slightest bit unreasonable and she will dig her heels in so firmly there is absolutely no budging her.
She has really clashed with teachers who didn’t get her.
She is stubborn or determined (depending on which teacher you ask).
On Wednesday this week the husband and I attended Mia’s parents evening at school.
We always find ourselves shoulders down and on the defensive.
We’ve not met Mia’s new teacher before. I’ve seen her at the school gate and she hasn’t made me do the walk of shame as I’m called to come and have a talk at the end of the school day and have to walk past all the other parents who know exactly why I’ve been called over. I silently thank her for that all the time.
Mia adores homework, but she doesn’t always want to do what has been set. She wants to do her own version.
So she works studiously and thoroughly but I never know if it’s what she’s been asked to do. And now she’s in Year 4 and all set to go to middle school next year, we as parents aren’t informed of what they’re working on; the pupils are expected to think for themselves and remember their work.
Mia’s teacher is an older lady; direct, no nonsense, passionate about teaching. I really like her.
We sit down and her opening line is: “You have absolutely nothing to worry about with Mia. Her work and her work ethic is fabulous. She gets her head down, is focussed and is charging through her work. She’s a real high flier”.
Husband and I look at each other, slightly dazed. I am floored.
I feel like crying. I actually feel like crying.
It’s taken her five years of school but finally Mia has found her place. She’s discovered that when she gets her head down and works she’s actually very clever. Just as clever as her older brother who has always overshadowed her, simply because he’s the oldest and has been through it all first.
I am absolutely delighted – not for me, but for her.
We have been through some really tough times with her and things are by no means perfect. But I really do feel like she’s turning a corner; reaching her own personal milestone.
I know many of you readers have difficult daughters – difficult children – and feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall.
Well so did I, but the one thing we have always done is be consistent and even though at times it felt like I was wasting my time and nothing would ever come right and I would be beating my head against that bloody brick wall until, well, forever, it’s finally paying off.
So I wanted to write this to tell you there is hope. It’s taken us until the age of 9, but I feel like we’re entering a new chapter with Mia.
And I’m really really excited for her.
And to all those who give me a virtual high five on Twitter when I whooped with joy over there, thank you thank you thank you.
@tara_cain Ah that's so wonderful. Did you really have no idea? Still waiting for mine….she's 13!
— Suzanne (@3childrenandit) February 11, 2015
@tara_cain that's brilliant, for you and her. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new chapter x
— tiddlyompompom (@tiddlyompompom) February 11, 2015
@tara_cain so wonderful, it makes everything in parenting so worthwhile! @3childrenandit
— Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill) February 11, 2015
@tara_cain *high fives* well done gorgeous girl (and gorgeous mama) x
— Rachael Lucas (@karamina) February 11, 2015
@tara_cain Fab news Tara, well done Mia and an encouragement to me that my contrary 7 Yo might get there one day!
— Michelle Twin Mum (@michelletwinmum) February 11, 2015
— Rosie Woodhouse (@portraitsskye) February 11, 2015
@tara_cain go Mia!
— Sian To (@geekisnewchic) February 12, 2015
@tara_cain *high five* yay!
— Hannah Brewer (@MuddlingAlong) February 12, 2015