Another parenting milestone


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.

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23 Responses to Another parenting milestone

  1. Kara says:

    yey – go Mia!!!
    We haven’t turned the corner yet but Isaac is almost 7 so hopefully we have some time! We had a real low point this year when he was excluded for an afternoon but hopefully he is coming out the other side and the school are working with us to help him through
    Kara recently posted…The Book of Life Viewing Party & CompetitionMy Profile

  2. Oh what a heart-raising, high five post! Love it. Go you for hanging in there, go Mia and go her teacher for seeing her real potential.
    Siobhan @ Everyone Else is Normal recently posted…Light (at the end of the winter tunnel): The Photo GalleryMy Profile

  3. Brilliant news Tara!

    I remember the day that I was told that my previously very far behind little boy had not only caught up with his peers but was now exceeding most of them – I walked out of the school, sat in the car and cried. I’d been so worried about him and the relief was amazing.

    The school’s support was the thing that swung it for us – one particular teacher saw something in him and arranged all sorts to help him catch up. Without her, I don’t know where we’d be because the confidence he got from the praise at school changed him at home too.
    Cass@frugalfamily recently posted…Fabulously Frugal Linky {15 February 2015}….My Profile

  4. AnnHawkins says:

    My son is 28 years old so I’m no longer involved in parental agonising but I’m dismayed at reading so many parents talk about their children as “difficult” just because they don’t fit in to what is essentially an outdated school system.
    I can understand a parent’s desire for a child to get on well at school and follow an accepted path into the world of work but the world of work is changing rapidly. There’s a lovely bit of research by Professor Angela Lee Duckworth who found that successful entrepreneurs are deliberate creators whose prosperity depends on what they generate inside of them, rather than what happens outside of them.
    Rather than please people, respect the status quo or abide by the rules, those who make their mark in the world seek first to satisfy their soul.
    Isn’t it better to give your child the confidence to know they can shape the world rather than be shaped by it?
    Duckworth’s TED talk is here:

    • Tara Cain says:

      The world of work is changing Ann and we do need to ‘future proof’ our kids. However, even if we think the school system is outdated and flawed, our kids still have to go through it. And I’d much rather my kids go through it happy than struggling to fit in.
      And I’m afraid kids do need to obey the rules at school, which I actually think is an important part of growing up and learning to live in society amongst other very different people.
      I celebrate my daughter’s differences and the fact that she’s prepared to speak out for herself BUT she still has to conform and certainly at the age of 9 because she needs to learn and pass exams and get herself into a position that means she will be able to shape the world in the future
      Tara Cain recently posted…Another parenting milestoneMy Profile

  5. Ahh, that’s lovely, so pleased for you xx
    Jean (notsupermum) recently posted…A one-pot recipe ~ chicken jambalayaMy Profile

  6. English Mum says:

    Just catching up after a week away, but this is fab. Finding the right teacher has been so important with us as well. We always have parents evenings where you could easily imagine the teachers weren’t talking about the same boy: everything from ‘he’s disruptive and doesn’t concentrate’ to ‘he’s a lovely lad, a pleasure to teach and he’ll easily get an A’. Onwards and upwards, my friend. You’re doing a great job xx

  7. That’s absolutely brilliant news. All kids are different with their own strengths and their own way of doing things. But it’s unfortunate if that isn’t the way the school wants them to be. Very well done to Mia for getting there at just the right time, you must be so proud! 🙂
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Silent Sunday 15.2.15My Profile

  8. LauraCYMFT says:

    That’s amazing, well done Mia.
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  9. teacuptoria says:

    Hip hip hooray! That’s such great news to hear Tara. My boy is 9 too and it’s getting a bit scary as school work is starting to count more and more. He’ll have to start prepping for 11+ this year and it all seems too serious. I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂 and huge well done to Mia. xx
    teacuptoria recently posted…Release a……..LOVE BOMB!My Profile

  10. Susan Mann says:

    Way to go Mia, she’s so like you and I love that she is her own wee self. Glad she’s doing well and way to go Mum and dad xx
    Susan Mann recently posted…Silent Sunday Week 7My Profile

  11. Sam says:

    Fab post. Big high five for Mia!
    Sam recently posted…Pancake DayMy Profile

  12. I’m so pleased to read this – I struggle with my own determined, stubborn girls but to know that one day they will find the right teacher and the right place gives me hope that it will all be ok and just holding the line and trying to do the right thing is in of itself the right thing
    Muddling Along recently posted…How do you know what you want to be when you grow up?My Profile

  13. Louise says:

    What a lovely post. I keep coming out of parents evening in tears so I’m hoping for the same one day. Nothing bad but they don’t see what I see. Your girl clearly has a strong mind and I can’t see anything wrong with that. I bet she was over the moon that you were over the moon x
    Louise recently posted…Lushice Sorbet and Lime ShortbreadMy Profile

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