This is what I asked of my son this week.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child, EVERY decision I have made has been based on the best interest of my children.
Whether choosing a doctor or a snack or accepting a work contract or making house rules or choosing summer camps or deciding when they could cross the street alone or planning a trip, we consider the best interest of our children.
The term "best interest of a child" is a legal standard used by the courts in determining what is most beneficial to a child, generally used in terms of custody arrangements, adoption and guardianships. In this case, I use it loosely in regards to making decisions affecting my family.
I have always been a strong advocate for my children. I do not apologize for this.
And I have always been very straightforward about this point with all my sons' teachers, doctors and caregivers. While I sincerely hope that I like them and they like me, if they don't like me because I am standing up for my child's best interests, that's fine with me.
The most important thing to me is my child is not left behind, pushed down or put aside just because he is not like everyone else when it comes to learning styles and personality types.
My son has wonderful, creative, interesting talents. Talents I want to see fostered and broadened and appreciated.
Not everyone can see these talents. Some do.
Last week, his teacher told me that she could see his "potential." This, along with numerous other issues from the last four months, stoked a smoldering anger deep in my soul and confirmed for me that she is one of those people who will never see his talents or understand him or how to teach him.
Potential is defined as, "existing in possibility; capable of development into actuality."
His creative spirit and large vocabulary and vivid imagination are not just potential – he possesses these talents now. These are talents that can be lost though without appreciation and proper tending to.
That was enough for me. I had tried to work with her since the first day of school. I put my foot down. We had already given it time and more chances and met with the principal.
I called the principal and demanded a classroom change.
There were a number other issues that I will not go into here, but what it comes down to is knowing when something is NOT in the best interest of your child and doing what you need to do to change that situation.
I asked my son to trust me. To know with his whole heart that I would never do anything that I don't believe to be in his best interest.
And we are excited to embark on a new adventure with a different teacher today.
I love my kids more than anything in this world. I'm not always the best parent, but I ALWAYS advocate for them and make decisions that are in their best interest. I believe in them, and I believe in me.
I met with the principal in the month before my son started kindergarten, two and a half years ago. I told him, "I need my son to love school. If the teacher is a good fit, you won't hear from me. If it's not working, you'll get to know me pretty well." I think within the last month he has come to realize I meant what I said.
Never feel guilty or apologize for making waves or taking a stand when it comes to your children and what is best for them. If you don't, who will? You know your child better than anyone else.
Trust Me. Over and out…