Hard To Relate

I’m fairly sure that my son’s distaste for school is directly correlated to the fact that school isn’t easy for him.  He’s a disastrous speller, he can’t seem to memorize his math facts no matter how many flash cards or iPad math games he does, and reading is still not effortless for him.  I know he’s not dumb – he can think critically and he’s far more creative and imaginative than my husband and I ever were – he just has a hard time fitting those skills into the box that is a traditional classroom.

As someone who once defined herself as a “student,” it’s hard to understand someone who would define themselves as anything but.  As someone who cared about achieving in school more than anything else, it’s hard to understand someone who cares about it so little.  As someone who looked forward to going to school every day, it’s hard to understand someone who counts the minutes until Saturday.  And yet, he’s my son, and it’s my job to try to understand him.  

I’ve given up fighting with him.  You can’t make someone like things they don’t like, and you can’t make someone care about things they don’t care about.  All I can do is encourage the things he is interested in, and continue to cultivate the skills that he does care about.  

He likes to write song parodies, so I help him with that.  He likes to come up with clever inventions, so we talk about them.  I hope that one day, when he’s older, he’ll discover the joy that can come from learning.  But he’ll have to come to that on his own.  And if he never does, then I guess that’s just how it will be.  It won’t be easy, and I won’t relate, but I’m his mom and I love him, so I’ll try.