School Daze

ex•plore It’s finally happened.

The Little Prince has decided he doesn’t like school.

Oh, he has a crush on his teacher, and he has a best friend and a couple other friends he wouldn’t mind seeing every weekday. He likes the adults there. It’s the other kids he’s frustrated with, especially the ones who misbehave frequently. The Prince’s orderly little soul writhes within him when classmates make Disappointing Behavioral Choices. I try to tell him that he’s going to see disappointing behavioral choices around him all his life (and even commit a few himself) but it still gives rise to a tangle of complicated feelings for him. He wants people to feel good and cooperate, he prizes consensus, and disruptive kids are his personal grit to be covered with nacre, I guess.

Of course, whenever we talk about this, I end up thinking well, Lili, guess where he got THIS from? I’m good at dealing with disruptive people, but not because I like it. Quite the opposite, I just learned how to deal so I could be done with them in the shortest possible time. The Little Prince’s frustration will no doubt bring him to other coping strategies, since mine don’t seem to work for him. I wish I could model something that would ease his irritation, but I’m all out of ideas.

It’s kind of sad–he used to love going to school, for his teachers and the sheer joy of finding stuff out. I don’t blame the teachers–overworked and underpaid, expected to effectively “parent” large groups of kids at a time with little support and much Monday-morning quarterbacking from the actual parents, it’s a wonder things aren’t worse. These are highly dedicated people, and it makes me sad that they aren’t paid well. Instead, we as a country waste our money on “defense” and corporate welfare. It’s maddening. It also doesn’t seem like it’s going to change anytime soon.

Of course the Little Prince’s sunny nature (which he emphatically did NOT get from me, we can all agree on THAT) predisposes him to think that sooner or later, even the most disruptive kids will calm down and get some work done.

Maybe he’ll end up a teacher…

photo by: Alan Smythee
  • Ash

    Haha, that kind of reminds me of when I was in Elementary school, and the other kids would be misbehaving, and I’d bee sitting there wondering what I was supposed to do: be loud with the others or listen to the teacher? I usually picked the latter. I was always a quiet kid, reading Harry Potter during recess instead of playing with imagination games with the others.

  • martianmooncrab

    You are a good parent to even recognize what is going on… so many are clueless..

  • I was generally quiet too, and found the imagination games of other kids lacking in colour and flavour. I’d much rather play in my own head–something that has only solidified in adulthood. 😛

  • Ash

    Yes, I got very bored very quickly with their imagination games because they were extremely realistic. I remember quite distinctly in first grade some of the little girls invited me over to play their imagination game, which was limited to “This is my dog right here. Hes a dalmatian, I’m going to feed him now.” And even today I still get lost in my head for hours, imagining wild, magical adventures. I actually considered being an author for a while, but couldn’t seem to sit there long enough to get anything done. So now I’ve found another passion to attempt to get some of those imaginings out– movie making. Still hard to do but I love it.