Monday, April 5, 2010

my guts hurt

sometimes my guts hurt from parenting brooke. she can be the most absurdly challenging human being i've ever met. school especially seems to exasperate her issues & cause us both unending quantities of misery. spelling seems to push her beyond her capabilities. just writing the words down on paper or spelling them out loud makes her cry. she's working on writing each word 5 times right now & so far we've spent at least half an hour & accomplished very little except for weeping & gnashing of teeth. i try to be understanding and patient & kind. i try to give her some room to make decisions about her school work in areas where flexibility is ok, but still the weeping continues. i've tried being strict & tough when she does this, but it seems to make it worse. like then she's trying to deal w/ the stress of a disappointed parent & frustration over discipline as well as trying to do something that's too hard.

i try to make testing either non-existent or so subtle that she hardly knows it's happening, because to me, the grade is inconsequential, it's the information sticking in her brain that matters. i have never punished her for spelling a word wrong or ridiculed or criticized her. i only make her practice them more so that they'll hopefully stick. and yet still we're sitting here with her hardly able to breathe while she writes this stuff. she's gotten up about 6 times for tissues because her snot is dripping onto her paper, her head is pounding from all the crying. how the hell am i supposed to accomplish anything? how can i get through her schooling with a smart, educated daughter at the end of it if so many days are filled with this crap? she's begging for medicine and a nap and a hug and punishment, but i think none of those things will make her better. they're just stall techniques from a kid who doesn't seem to be able to perform the most basic of tasks some days. how can one person be both so smart & capable & independent in some areas & so totally helpless & miserable in others? she can spout out science information like a scientist & work the technology in the house like she was born w/ a remote in her hand, but she can't spell bread without wanting to beat her own head in.

finally she finished & then i had her draw a picture of how she felt to hopefully get it out, move past it & allow us to get on with our day. i rocked her & squeezed her & let her blow snot bubbles onto my chest for a few minutes & now we'll go outside & try to find some dirt so we can plant some flowers in pots. maybe the dirt will soothe our souls.

this girl is a mystery to me. a completely exhausting, infuriating, wonderful mystery. i'm glad i only have one kid. God knew.


  1. Don't know if you've seen this, It helped when I was having issues with Ally and her spelling. She thought she was getting extra computer time at first, and then turned into an understanding that it was still spelling, but she was ok with it at that point. We rarely use it now, and it seems that she "out grew" her spelling fears, issues, insanity....whatever it was. Hope it helps (oh, and I only use the free option).

  2. thanks for that. i'll definitely need to check it out & see if we can get over this insane spelling phobia.

  3. We have this problem too.. with math, writing and English.. and is one reason we are not where I want to be. I have spent many a day in tears over my child. She can be so stubborn but I know she is more than capable of learning it if she just wanted to. All that to say, I feel your pain. We spend a lot of time with heart issues.

  4. And that is one of the very reasons why some of us choose to homeschool our children. If the frustration levels for the child are that bad at home, where there is personal attention, personalized encouragement, flexibility, and lots of opportunities for trying new methods, imagine how impossibly frustrated the child would be in a classroom setting where everyone is required to learn the same way and at the same pace or else receive bad grades. And what teacher could ever love a child the way Mom does? No matter how hard it is for both of you, a bad day of school at home for Brooke is still probably better than the best she could get in a classroom. Every day is a chance to start over.


don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!