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January 29, 2016

{8th Grade Round 2}

As most of you know, if you've been following me for any amount of time, Dawn has been our "trouble child" for as long as I've been with D. First it was behavior just at home, then it became obvious we weren't special anymore and she branched out to bad behavior at school also. The fits thrown were unlike any fit I'd ever seen a child throw in my life (and if you know my little sister, this is hard to imagine lol). She spent most of her time grounded or unable to participate in things because of her behavior. I even ended up taking Christmas and Easter from her (Easter twice). It was insane. Having babysat through most of my teen years and growing up with three siblings I thought I knew quite a bit about kids. But she was a new breed for me. And I was at my whits end with her most of the time.

Last year was probably the roughest year we've ever had when it came to school. She was in detention and sitting in the office more than she was in class. She refused to do homework, refused to listen to teachers, refused to behave. She tortured her classmates simply by refusing to do as she was asked on a regular basis. It was mortifying as her mother to end up in the office every afternoon and to have people look at me when I said I was her mother like you must be the worst mom ever to have a kid who behaves like her. But I just didn't know what to do. And no one could give me any insight into what was happening!

I have to admit that this year has been so much better. She's had a couple rough days but nothing compared to the hell she put us all through last year in 7th grade.

But even so, D and I have began discussing maybe high school might be a little much for her next year.

When I look at the girls on her friends list and the girls that come out of her school in the afternoon, all of them seem so much more mature than her. Like she's not supposed to even be in their grade because they're so much more mature.

So today D brought up maybe holding her back? Her maturity and her mentality are not that of a freshman in high school. To be completely honest, they're not even that of 8th grader. But we can't put her back in 7th grade (which I'm wondering now if maybe we shouldn't have gone ahead and done that last year) so having her repeat 8th grade is really as much as we can do.

I'd never heard of someone being held back in 8th grade but apparently it's becoming common. Mainly with athletics (which Dawn is not a part of) but some parents are seeing their children as we see her, not mature enough to navigate high school.

D also brought up the fact that she doesn't really have any friends. She doesn't have anything in common with girls her age. They want to talk about boys and play with makeup and do their hair. But she's not into that stuff. She wants to make those rubber band bracelets and play games on her phone. She's not shy, she's just not...mature. We think maybe she might benefit from having a new group of girls to become friends with. Maybe by next year she will have had time to mature and she'll have a little more in common with the girls in that class.

On another note, D brought up boys. The thing every parent of a girl dreads the most. She's so naive and we're afraid that she might not be quite ready to deal with high school boys. We don't want to push her into high school and then have an older boy see how naive she is and take advantage (it happens). It's something we are both worried about.

Aside from the lack of maturity, her grades are just not what they need to be for her to have a successful freshman year. I know from experience that if middle school is rough for you, high school is going to be twice as bad. She is a smart kid but when she gets it in her head that she doesn't like a class or that a teacher is mean, she will flat out refuse to do her work. Or she will do it and half ass it so that she barely gets credit for it at all. I know she can pull A's and B's but she's all but failing two of her classes. And I think it has to do with the fact that she just was not ready for middle school.

I wish we would have seen it in 6th grade and held her back then. But we didn't. We thought she would adjust and do just fine. But she's not. Sure she isn't throwing massive fits because she doesn't understand the work this year or because she doesn't want to be there, but she isn't living up to her potential either. *Sigh*

I wish there was some kind of parenting handbook for all this crap. Something that said what to do in ever scenario imaginable. 

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