Teaching the Teachers

We’re in the 5th week of school already and it’s been an absolutely rollercoaster.

The first two weeks were brilliant. Half days only and then, wollop, in to the full week of full days from week three. The first full day ended in disaster. So did the second day. And the third, fourth and fifth. By the first weekend after a full week of school I was a wreck, never mind Pickle!

The second week wasn’t any better and, by Wednesday pick up, I was on the verge of having one of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had. Pickle has been hitting, pursuing, pinching, poking. I felt uncomfortable about it because I didn’t think, for a moment, it was her instigating it and I was worried that she wasn’t being taken care of. I stepped in pretty quickly and talked to the teacher about strategies, I’d told her some of the history to try and gain some empathy and understanding and I’d sent them a 56 page document about adoption, trauma, anxiety, starting school and how adopted children cope differently and present their feelings differently. The school, as of now, are slowly catching on. But it’s taken a while and, regrettably, I now feel I didn’t do enough to make them understand before she started. The trouble is you don’t want to have to go in to things in such detail if there’s no need for it.

You want your child to be treated the same and you don’t want them singled out as different. But, you know what, they are. Fundamentally they are different and they need to be treated differently. Our children are fragile and vulnerable. Not in a way that means they can’t look after themselves and they’re not independent. But they’re vulnerable to other situations and feelings that other children may never ever experience. Our children are special. They’ve fight hard to survive. They’ve fight hard to overcome their fears and learned to love and be close to people again. That can all be undone in a heartbeat if you don’t have the people, who are with your children for 7 hours a day, onboard, on side and totally on the same page as you, the mother, father, adopter, expert.

School will not damage my daughter.

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