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…