“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” ~Mia Hamm
This is a hard topic. I know there are harder topics out there…but this is hard.
Parenting is hard. I love my kids. I would bend over backwards for them, kill for them, die for them. I love how intelligent they are. They have this way of just knowing, even if I don’t say anything, if I am having a bad day or feeling a bit down. But this current situation is hard and it hurts and I feel, as a mother, as though I have failed my son.
My son. My son is a smart, funny, compassionate, sweet, adorable, goofy, distracted, geeky, nerdy but in a cute way, suffering from ADD teenager. Honestly he is so much more than that, but I am not here to wax poetic about how amazing my kid is (which he is). My son is dealing with some school stuff that we have all been struggling with since the first day, honestly. As a parent, it is my job to push him, to challenge him, to make sure he understands how to follow through with his responsibilities. Follow through at school is such a struggle for him. With his ADD, medicine might help…or it might turn him into a zombie with no appetite again and that is the last thing we need. But he gets distracted. forgets things. Loses track of when items are due. No amount of organization attempts have really helped him. School meetings, action plans, parent/teacher conferences…nothing seems to help.
We did home based online school for a while. At his request, I re-enrolled him into public school as he missed the social aspect of it. We were confident after his semester in a home school situation, with his grades up, he would be great in public school. We were wrong. He has struggled since the beginning. And we are facing a bitter truth: this won’t be the year he passes this grade level. At least, that is what it is looking like.
Failure is a bitter pill to swallow. Thinking back over everything that could have been done as a parent, and realizing you did everything you could only to end up with the outcome you were dreading and trying to prevent is a very frustrating experience. And as defeated as I feel, I can only imagine how defeated my son must feel. This directly affects HIM. In the past, I would simply make the decision I thought best for him and be done with it. As his father and I are divorced, and as my kids live with me, I would make that ultimate decision and not accept feedback from his father or anything else. But I need support on this. I need back up. I need to know I am not the only one frustrated with this situation and I am not the only one grasping at straws trying to help my son. So I made that hard phone call to his father, who is well aware of our son’s struggles, and I am dreading his response.
I don’t do conflict well.
Failure is scary. It hurts, stings, reminds you of your fallibility and that sometimes, things don’t always work out the way we want them to. I refuse to look at this as a dead end, though, This is not the end for my son. He has many years of school, mistakes, proud moments, failures, and successes left to him. My job, as his parent, is to encourage and support him through all of these moments. His failures are not my failures and his successes are not my successes. But I can love him through all of it and that is the best, as his mom and biggest cheerleader, that I can do.
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” C. S. Lewis