Thursday, February 2, 2012

The downside of kindergarten

Eli has totally kicked butt in the transition to a bigger, more standardized kindergarten. Every single thing that I worried about was a non-issue. He loves it. His teachers say he's one of the brightest, most polite kids. He keeps getting in trouble for talking over people. He has a ton of friends, homework, and a special snack bag.

BUT. There are a lot more kids in the class. 99.999999% of the time, this is great. The kid is a social butterfly and he loves having all these kids around. He is also a follow-their-lead kind of kid. And today that bit me smack in the ass.

I came home and Eli met me with a huge grin. "Mama, I learned a funny song from a friend today!" And then he burst into a short, catchy rhyme, with actions, that was probably funny. In the 50s. To middle class white men. And never around anyone they didn't know to be of like minds.

I love that he's getting old enough that I can go beyond, "We don't say things like that." It dovetailed with conversations we've been having about how he and his sister are mixed race and that they have several cultures to identify with. I think he got it, and later he apologized to me, his dad, and the people he might have offended. We talked about how he needs to think for himself and decide what's right based on what he knows and believes in. All very valuable lessons. But combined with the fact that we had to talk, yet again, about physical boundaries, good touches/bad touches, and in a moment of frustration, why some of the men Mama works with have to live in prison/there are bad people in the world, I seriously contemplated home-schooling. This shit is hard.

It's an area where I wonder how much is me being shrink-y and how much is me being a concerned parent. Am I over reaching? Should I stick with, "We don't do that." And how do I handle the fact that it is one kid that he seems to be picking most of these new things up from? I'd love to hear from other moms (and dads) who've had similar experiences. How do you handle this kind of thing?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, if wasn't for the year age gap & gender thing I would seriously be wondering if we were raising the same kid. We are dealing with exactly the same kind of stuff. L is also a total social butterfly, gets along with everyone, not shy in the least but completely a follow the lead kind if kid. It drives me nuts.

    L has a best friend, who's mom is a good friend of mine. And unfortunately this little girl is the one that is causing the exact conversations at our house as you described. It is SO frustrating and cyclical. I handle it the same as you. Which led to a recent conversation in which L asked, "if good people do bad things sometimes what makes the
    different from bad people?"

    I feel your pain. I so want L to know what is right & stick up for it. I cringe when she picks up the bad attitudes or sayings of this girl.

    I think at this point we can only dialogue with them, reiterate what is right & why, along with helping them handle the situation when it a rises again. We do a lot of role playing with her dolls. I keep telling myself that it is better to learn how to set boundaries now than latter but really I just want to protect her from all that is messed up in the world.