There are certain aspects about your own children that I’m sure sometimes surprise you. For example, perhaps your child has a completely different personality then you. Luckily, both my children, like me, are super laid back. But when it comes to my 9-year-old daughter, there is one thing I’m constantly surprised about. She just does not like school.
When I was a child, I loved school. I loved high school. I loved university. I loved writing essays and taking tests. I even loved studying. My daughter however does not like anything about school. She doesn’t like homework. She doesn’t even seem to like learning in a classroom setting. She would rather read books on her own. Ask her any fact about any animal and she will be able to tell you. In short, she does not like school!
She loves her teacher and her friends and for someone who doesn’t like doing homework or studying, she gets away pretty much with grades that are better than average, even acing tests.
Now that summer is almost upon us, I say to her each and every morning, “You only have six more weeks to go!” because she is constantly moaning about hating school. It’s pretty much the only thing that will get her out of bed.
When I take my daughter out of school to get a shot at the doctors or to go to the dentist, she gets so excited. It’s almost as if I have told her that I am taking her to Disneyland. The girl would rather get a fucking shot than go to class.
Because I knew I was going to write this post, I asked her point blank how she feels every day when she has to go to school.
“I feel terrible,” she answered.
It’s not that she doesn’t have friends. She has a lot of them. And, like I said, she loves her teacher. She just doesn’t like school.
While I was always a good student and loved going to school, both for the social aspect and the learning aspect, my daughter has a different way of thinking about school. She knows she has to go. But if I left it up to her, she would be more than happy to just stay home.
“Why don’t you like school,” I asked her.
“Because I want to be a singer on Broadway so I don’t understand why I have to learn math and science and everything else!”
To which I responded that she is going to probably need a manager and agent and she needs to at least know math to know what she’s earning and that someone isn’t taking money from her.
I actually think that school is not for everyone, even though I am a firm believer in education. For example, I don’t think that everyone NEEDS to go to university or college. Some sort of education is necessary, for example, if you want to be an electrician or a plumber. I’m assuming that some sort of learning is needed for those skills. But college? Not so much.
It’s not easy being a parent of a child who doesn’t like school. It’s not just getting her up in the morning, which takes almost as long and is as painful as a root canal, but it’s also dropping her off. She just looks so sad that it’s heartbreaking for me to watch her walk in looking as dejected as if she had just lost her dog.
The best part of her school day? When I pick her up! She can’t wait to go to camp. Will she be excited to go back to school? Um, no.
As a child, she MUST go to school and graduate high school. Ideally, I would love for her to go on to a higher education. Maybe she will change and eventually start enjoying learning in a scholastic environment. Maybe not. I rarely have heard any mothers complain that their children don’t like school. Most like to brag about how well their children do in school. Me? I openly tell my friends that my daughter could take or leave school.
Perhaps times have just changed. When I was her age, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up (and still don’t.) But she is pretty damn adamant about what she wants to be.
My parents forced me to go to college. It was not an option in my family to not go on to get at LEAST one degree. But, unlike my parents, I am different and laid back and, as I’ve said, school is not for everyone. I don’t think I will ever force her to sit in a college lecture hall with 400 other students if she doesn’t want to. My daughter may look exactly like me, but she is NOT me. And that’s just something I need to accept.