Recently, I attended a parents’ meeting to learn of graduation requirements and course selections for next year for my older Princess. I likened the meeting to the Stars Hollow town meetings (a la Gilmore Girls). Only this time, Taylor (the mayor, and most annoying resident of town) was not heading the meeting; he was actually several of the meeting attendees, i.e. parents. Luke, the diner owner who is challenged by Taylor’s desire to keep the town steeped in traditions that are, to Luke, inane.
I will say this much. My kiddo is worth it. I can say that my bride and I are acclimating to the lives of public school parents. However, these people are high maintenance. As my one time roommate would have said, “The only thing worse than people [sic] who are high maintenance are people [sic] who are high maintenance and think they are low maintenance.”
The meeting actually started on time and probably ended on time. I could have been a bit more, um, disruptive had I chosen to ask my question regarding end of the year testing during the main meeting (where upwards of 100 parents were present). My question would probably have thrown the meeting waaaaaaay off balance. Essentially, I wanted to know which set of end-of-the-year exams I could opt my daughter out of by providing a written notification?
I didn’t ask in the meeting, though. Why? You may have met me (or not) and see me as a disruptive individual, so what held me back? The fact that my older Princess (the reason I attended the meeting) is 13 and I wisely considered that she has 4 years of high school and I’m going to need every bit of parenting capital I have to help her through those years – as well as her sister.
I advised the same child a few weeks ago that, if she did not like her teacher’s grading or wanted to challenge it on an assignment, she was free to do so, respectfully. I, however, advised her of the same thing – she may need a better grade from that teacher on an assignment or test with more weight on her average. She ended up being pleased knowing that a) I would back her up and b) she got the correct answers even if her grade didn’t reflect it.
I ended up asking her guidance counselor the question at an opportunity after the main portion of the meeting while out in the hallway. I got my answer and appreciated the delicate position into which I could have put the school staff (and potentially, my daughter).
While I don’t always get it right – or I rarely do – I think I did something worth mentioning. How do you work to put your child’s needs and the needs to respect others above your own need or desire to be right? And what kinds of battles have you put on hold for the sake of loved ones as a means of prioritizing and strategizing with the big picture in mind?