Naughty or Nice? (Parent-Teacher Conference Day)


Is it too early to start telling our kids whether they’re on the Naughty or Nice lists? Surely not since Wal-mart has the nerve to already have a digital sign by the door counting down til Christmas. I walked in the other day and it said 68 days… what? Don’t tell me that! Ugh. Just let me know when I’m down to one paycheck I can blow in a last ditch effort to make some magic.

I do like that website “Portable North Pole“… you can tell your kids that they’re on the Naughty list, and boy does that make for some fun! There’s nothing nearly as amusing as watching children try to redeem themselves. Santa will even send them birthday wishes to keep them on track, gotta love those reminders! Which is why I told them Parent-Teacher conferences were for seeing who goes on the Naughty list!!

I don’t know whether I’m over-joyed that I didn’t get any negative feedback or if possibly there isn’t just a little part of me that wanted to see at least one of them squirm!

I’ve said before that I believe ADD/ADHD is a gift (click here to read that post). There is something special about these kids who have an abundance of energy, and the ability to sometimes hyper-focus on a problem. That’s why Einstein was who he was!  Still, in years past I heard so many comments about “he’s out of his seat” or “he’s in lala land” that I often felt as though these teachers were resigned to write these kids off.

I’ve had some great teachers who just didn’t seem to understand the difference ADD/ADHD makes in the life of  a child. At some points, I’ve almost felt like giving up.  But somehow the tide has turned! Maybe people are learning to tolerate differences more. Maybe people are learning not to sweat the small stuff with these kinds of kids. Or maybe, the rumor has spread that this mama is a force to be reckoned with, I’m not really sure, but yesterday was the absolute best parent-teacher conference day I have ever experienced!

KK, our youngest, has quit doing handstands in her chair! That was good news. And I heard that the little ones are very proud of their big brother’s football playing and their sissy’s halftime dances! It warms my heart to know they brag on each other. Every teacher told me that my children were respectful, kind, good-hearted kids. Talk about relief! These same kids refused to hold their own pencils a year ago. I also heard that they typically lose focus and have trouble staying on task, but hey, I live in this house full of ADD/ADHD kids, so I already knew that! I’m the mama who spent 3 days saying “pick up your pants off the bathroom floor”, not because I couldn’t have just done it myself, but because I know I won’t be around forever, and they have got to learn how to pick up their pants!

You see, Daddy used to know such things, but I spoiled him and he forgot, so if I die first, heaven help the person who has to tell him to pick up his own pants! He’ll be walking around in his tighty-whitey’s waiting for my ghost to come do the laundry!

I could write an entire post about each of my kids and how proud I am for the growth I see, but I think you all would get bored reading that this one had all A’s and that one quit foaming at the mouth. So in the spirit of keeping it simple, I’ll spare you the paragraphs of individual achievements that have this mommy bubbling over. I am overjoyed that our union as a family seems to be giving each of these children a platform for success. The things I heard yesterday were a far cry from the lost and hurting children I was desperately trying to save a year ago. These kids are normal kids! They laugh, they cry, they throw food in the cafeteria and normal, well that is right where we were hoping to be!

I’ll leave you with the best thing I heard a teacher say yesterday, and she said it to my 13 year old son at a time in his life when I think her words might carry great weight. “I can’t measure how smart you are. Some of the things you know, some of the talents you have, I have no tools to evaluate. I can only evaluate what you put on paper. So don’t confuse your grade in this class for how smart you are or what you are capable of because you are capable of so much more than what this number knows.”

I love that! I love meeting a teacher who realizes that the world does not begin or end in her classroom; it is exactly that kind of person who will inspire kids to explore and change the world!  Maybe I am a little biased, but when it comes to creating change, well I think I have a few kids that just might blaze the trails!

Only time will tell….

Wait, what’s that you say? There’s gum in KK”s hair? No way!!


5 responses »

  1. As a teacher, I appreciate parents that come and talk to me about their children. Sadly, it doesn’t happen often at the high school where I teach, but when it does, it means the world to me and the child! 🙂 You are a great mom – keep being the momma lion when necessary!

    • Thank you! I went to every conference, from PreK to 12th grade, because until they graduate, it’s my job to keep them on track. After working at a high school for so long, I see a lot of parents shocked at the end of the year when someone can’t walk, and it should never be a surprise. You gotta stay involved with teenagers, their brains are still developing and changing, you can’t leave them hanging, they’ll hang themselves. At least that’s my take on it… and so far, it seems to be working. If I could learn to squeeze in some naps I’d have this mom thing down!

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