The Trials and Errors of Life Right Now
I don't have a lot to complain about, life throws you curveballs and challenges and I don't mind facing them head-on. We are blessed beyond words, we are healthy and happy and I am very thankful. However (yes, there it is), we have been struggling a bit here in the Chunk house, trying to figure out how to handle and deal with this circumstance, and how we can all change and improve how we are doing things.
As we've talked about in previous posts, we are learning and discovering Jackson's different areas of giftedness and challenges, and we plan to spend this next year homeschooling him to try and determine what he's all about and what our plan is going forward.
If this is all new for you, just to catch you up, Jackson was assessed back in December as reading at an end of year grade four level student - he just turned five in February. We put him in kindergarten this year as he JUST made the cut off by a matter of weeks and was the youngest child in his class, which provided some social issues which we overcame after a few short weeks. We've spent the year discussing what we could do with Jackson to many different sources and decided to homeschool him next year as we as his parents can see it's not just reading he is gifted in.
In December when meeting with his teacher, she asked me if I had looked much into how gifted children function and the challenges they generally face. She began to tell me that often times, gifted children have extremely intense emotions, which I said something like "Huh!" and sort of shrugged it off. I knew he was smart, but the title of gifted I wasn't sure yet.
As I started to look back on Jackson's life as a toddler from the view of right now, it all started to come together. I have struggled with Jackson for years in many different settings, and I seemed to struggle more than other moms with their kids in terrible twos and threes and yes, even the terrible fours. Sure, every other mama has struggled with temper tantrums, but Jackson's seemed to be more than that. It was so bad to the point where we had to pull him from preschool, however, at that time we had a death in the family and we were all struggling with a lot so I blamed his behavior on the changes we were all facing. I have blamed myself for his behavior, not my parenting skills, but I have been blaming my weakness and questioning why I can't seem to handle these stages as well as other moms. I consider myself quite a strong individual, so this has puzzled me for literally years. Why play dates terrify me, why I'm always on edge if he's going to overreact to something or a situation, but I thought this was maybe a normal thing every mom went through. I'm sure to some extent, yes, but we are on the extreme side. Somehow I didn't realize any of this until recently when Jackson has shown that changes need to be made.
As I quickly mentioned in a post on Instagram, we've had a rough week. Hubs went to pick up Jackson from school and my worries had finally come true, he had a "bad day". I won't go too deep into details, but the day ended with the vice principal being involved, which just crushed me to my core. Anyone who knows Jackson, even if you don't, can see what a handsome, loving, KIND, well behaved and sensitive kid he is, and the fact that it got to that level is shocking. Something upset him, and he unraveled. It happened again on Saturday while at his grandparent's house. I'm exhausted, worried, confused, frustrated, and so many more emotions.
Jackson and I were sitting at the counter the next day, and he said to me "mom I only am a bad boy when you're not around." I asked him why that was and he said: "because you aren't there and I want you to be there always". He has always done this, but especially since this last week I have been getting more random hugs and "I love you, mom" and "you're the best mom in North America" - not too sure about that one.
I asked a friend of mine who is a psychologist, what to do about this and if this somehow related to what his teacher was saying about gifted kids - 100% accurate. We have now been suggested books on how we can better deal with his reactions, emotions etc. and also a curriculum we can add to his homeschool teaching him about his emotions and how to handle them.
I just want to put this out there - I am not writing this for any other reason than to receive advice and encouragement if anyone has gone through this, and possibly help others know that they are not alone in this. I think social media has its massive drawbacks and negative attachments with it, but I also see the HUGE BENEFITS we have in being able to communicate as parents and individuals to help and encourage each other through trials and difficult parts of life!
I am trying to stay positive, hopeful and encouraged. I am exhausted from worrying, bringing Jackson to school again on Monday had me almost sick, scared the same events would happen and knowing they will again in another setting. We are enrolling him in activities outside the home to make sure he is well socialized and with other people, however, we are more aware now of his social and separation anxieties and we have to find ways to deal with that. If you or someone you know has gone through any of this, I would love to hear from you about ideas, thoughts and any encouragement you can send our way. This will be a long journey with him, keeping him uplifted, challenged, and hopefully less anxious and overall help him to remember he is loved beyond measure. Because this kid - I wouldn't change him for the world.