Never Quite Sure What To Say

I really like hearing from a teacher about some unique facet (the good kind!) of my child’s abilities, but I’m never quite sure how to respond.  If I take it as a compliment, then I feel the need to downplay.  Which is illogical, because it’s not meant as a compliment to me.  Nor is it meant as a compliment at all.  I think I need to thank the teacher for showing me something my child is good at, that I probably haven’t noticed as something out of the ordinary compared to other children.  Cryptic enough?

Maybe I should take the time for the specifics.  Once over the summer, at the end of his summer arts program, the drawing teacher told me he has a very good understanding of colour, more advanced than the older kids he’s working with.  As in, he has a real talent.  Such a proud knitting mama I am about that one!  I’m sure it has everything to do with all the yarn around the house.  (yes, mom, and the fabric you two play with!)  I kid, I kid.  And again, last night, one of the after school program teachers told me that my son has a very good memory (he set up a chess board on his own), especially for his age.

I need to figure out how to respond in a way that shows my appreciation for the teachers, my pride in my son’s abilities, and yet keeps me from sounding conceited and pompous.  (Yes, I’m very proud of him!  And excited to see artistic abilities!  Hurrah!)

I should probably say something along the lines of, “thank you for pointing that out to me.  I’m so close to him, it’s hard for me to see.”  Or just, “thank you.”  What do you think?

While I’m asking, how the h e doublehockeysticks do we deal reasonably with homework?!?  I want him to be able to deal with these things in a better way than I do myself (backload of charting, anyone?).  I sat with him while he moaned and groaned and cried and whined for nearly an hour last night (and still didn’t finish).  I was thinking how much he sounds out loud like I sound in my own mind, as I try to make myself do something.  With about the same effectiveness.  Granted, it was a late night.  We really shouldn’t have bothered starting the homework, considering the hour.  But I really didn’t want it all to do the next night still.

Maybe tonight I’ll tell him he can have ten five two minutes to fuss and whine if he needs to, then he should focus right in on the work and get it done.  Because it doesn’t take long to do.  Maybe I should try that right now with my own work?



Filed under Kid Stories

3 responses to “Never Quite Sure What To Say

  1. Ah, yes, the kid compliment thing. I, too, tend to downplay, which is rather sad, really. In some ways it’s easier to handle when one of the girls is right there — I feel then (for no good reason) that it’s OK to say, “We’re really proud of her.” or something like that, because if she’s there, then it’s about her. But when the child in question isn’t there, it does somehow feel more like it’s about me as a parent, and I treat it that way. Does that make sense? Let me know if anyone comes up with a good way to handle it!!

  2. Janet

    You should be proud of your little guy and, yes, it does reflect upon you as a parent. If you didn’t encourage the expression of his particular talents the teacher may never have noticed them and worst of all, you would have a very frustrated child.

    As far as homework goes. . . .well, let’s just ignore the blizzard that is on my desk.

  3. Kathryn

    “Why thank you! That’s so nice to hear. It’s so good of you to tell me.” And smile hugely.

    Homework going better now? As I recall, last year getting through the first evenings’ homeworks was tough but became easier pretty quickly. Not that I was there to see it all.

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