We had our meeting this morning with Teagan and her 1st grade teacher.
It went very well.
I believe that I will always be the parent who believes my child, who comes to the aid of my child, who stand up for my child. It can sometimes be difficult to think in that place because my child plays games that play on that trust.
I'm not saying she's a devious little 6 year old who is plotting out ways to destroy her parent. That will come in about 6 or 7 years, I think.
But she was playing an attention game.
The anxiety is there and it is real. But it is not specifically related to anything going on at school.
She likes her school, her teachers, her friends, her activities.
She is doing extremely well in her school work. She knows classroom procedures inside and out. She is a leader in the classroom because she knows all of those rules and she encourages others to follow them.
She still wants clear expectations, she still wants to do everything right and perfect. If she doesn't do it right and perfect, then she throws in the towel for the day.
Now Jeff and I have to figure out how we manage this side of her personality. Jeff is being very vocal about realizing that she "gets this from him." But he doesn't seem to have much to input as to how to make it better, how to best serve her, parent her, and help her.
My daughter is a perfectionist.
I've said before that one of the best examples I can give of her personality is that we don't have funny stories to share about things she said as a kid. She never utters a "darndest thing." Because she isn't going to talk about something if she doesn't think she's got it exactly right. We didn't fully realize that until Zach came along and he says funny, off the cuff stuff all the time (like telling us the moon is made out of Buzz Lightyear's butt). If she isn't sure it's right, she's not going to say it, communicate it, act on it.
Another example is something we are seeing in her homework and her teacher has seen in her schoolwork. She does a fantastic job when she knows exactly what the expectation is and there are specific problems or questions to work through. When the assignments rely more on your own creativity, she struggles. Show her a picture of a beach, ask her to write something about it- she struggles. She doesn't know what she's supposed to write. She has a weekly poetry homework where she reads a poem and then is supposed to draw something about that poem. She wants us to tell her what to draw, how to draw it and has to really be encouraged to just draw what she wants to draw.
She's concerned she's going to do it wrong and she'd rather just not do it at all. It's that level of caution that we have seen in her since birth.
As parents, we have a lot of learning to do in order to best help her personality grow and also to help her avoid the pitfalls of perfection. She could easily go down a road of being a bully again or end up with an eating disorder or take the drive for perfection in the complete opposite direction and go to full on failure.
Now she knows that home and school are all on the same page. Now she knows that she can be the same at school as she is at home. Now she knows that we will talk to her teacher and her teacher will talk to us anytime there is a concern.
She feels more delicate and fragile to me than she ever has before.