Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why do kids have to inherit their parent's bad characteristics?

I am going to make a very personal revelation here, one that may surprise you, though not if you know me in real life. You will, however, most likely be extremely grateful to know it's not about a) my health/mood/depression issues or b) running. I saw you do a fist pump, by the way.

Anyway, back to me. I am socially inept. Always have been and dare think that I probably always will be. I am fine with people I know. People I don't know, I am terrible. I try really hard to avoid talking to them by avoiding all eye contact.

Yes, I am ridiculous. I am fully aware of it. Yet, somehow I keep right on doing it.

What I want to know is why do my kids have to not only inherit my bad characteristics but the nth degree?


This is my crazy Kamo, the one we call rubber boy. The one who is fearless and runs with his eyes closed, into a fence, of course.

Except that now he is no longer fearless. He now has so much fear that he can't talk at school. He tells me he tries but he just can't.

It breaks my heart and I so get it. I was there, though not to that extent. I would talk only when ABSOLUTELY necessary but I would speak.

So far after more than a dozen days at school, I could likely count on two hands the number of words he has spoken (quietly). These spoken only when asked direct questions by the teacher. He has yet to speak to another kid in his class.

My baby is going to have no friends not to mention having to repeat Kindergarten because the teacher will be unable to assess his progress.. H-ello anxiety attack, how nice to meet you.

And that's not where the social skills go awry. Oh no. We need more to ice this cake.

The event that adds the final finesse to my nomination application for Worst Mother of the Year (been working on this one for oh, about 8 years, thankyouverymuch, occurred the other night. I was planning on putting Kamden in Tae Kwon Do and his buddy was starting a class that night. I asked Kamden if he would like to go and check it out to see what it was like. Yes, he replied and then said to his buddy, "Then I can see you for even more time!"

So we drive two cars over there (I had to scoot off to my Pilates class after) and walk into the foyer beside the gym where the class has already begun. He freezes and won't even take his shoes off. I try to gently urge him in telling him I will come with him. He refuses to even let me take off his shoes, even when I assured him I would go in with him and stay until he was comfortable.

I lost it.

Fine, let's go home, I am not fighting with you to make you try something fun that I know you will love.

Home we go. He cries. I try to listen to the music. I am extremely mature and rational, did I mention that?

Eventually I calmed down and Jay pointed out what should have been ridiculously obvious to me. We did not prepare him at all for what the scene would be like when we arrived. The class was about 30 people all lined up in a gym doing the warm up moves TOGETHER. Kamden is five. He's little. There were many adults in the group as well as older kids.

Now that I think back on it, I would have been a bit frightened to go in too. Thankfully he saved me the trouble.

This parenting gig has a steep learning curve and I might need medication to survive the climb.



Anna-b-bonkers said...

Ohh, Kami!
I feel for you!!!
This is like what we went through with Kaitlyn last year and this year in the preschool orientation and visits. Mega zipped lips. I found that doing the homeschooling activities with her where I could sit in the back of the room or on the floor with her made all the difference.

I remember my little sister Em being like this too. She would hide under a chair and not talk to a soul! I thought it was weird until I started to learn about how different kids work. Some just really need their moms for a while longer.
Em ended up going from hiding and not saying a word and not participating in any sort of class to the opposite when she was 6.
She just wasn't ready until then.
They really are so little still and we push them to grow up so fast.
I wouldn't worry, you are an amazing mom, really! I have witnessed it, I could take a few lessons from you!
Jay nailed it I think, when he said that maybe he needed to be prepared for what to expect. Poor little guy, the world is probably so big to him right now. ;-)
Hang in there and I'll root for you to be mom of the year!

R Royal Family said...

A few things (in no particular order)

First of all GREAT pic of Kamden!

Second, you are not socially inept, we are our own worst critics, you are a great person who possesses many great qualities.

Third, I love that Kamden said to Logan, "then we can see eachother even more times" so cute

fourth, he will come into his own, just like parenting is a steep learning curve for us, growing is a steep learning curve for them. Kamden just happens to have a bit of a steeper one

fifth, sorry to dissapoint you but I have already won parent of the year this year and the year before and the year before that - you are an amazing mom but if you really want to be parent of the year you will have some tough competition ;-)

mamatucci said...

We all feel like we fail our kids,sometimes more than others. I am going through some things with Frankie right now,that I find myself thinking the where did I go wrong thoughts. And you know what she is a good kid and may have some of mine or Joes traits i wish she didnt but she will be ok. And Kamden will be ok too cause he knows he always has his mommy on his side no matter what.

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

First let me tell you that over my years of teaching kindergarten I've had plenty of kids who can't / won't speak for the first month even. I usually make it one of my goals to get them out of their shell. Have you had a meeting with his teacher? Have you found out if she is doing anything to help him acclimate to the school situation? If not, ask if there is a child who is calm/quiet yet sociable that she can pair him up with. Is there a way he could sit at a smallish table with less children so he is forced more to befriend them? Can she give him a job that helps him feel important and needed in the room? Has she sat down one-on-one with him and just joked around, played with him or him and one other child? Has she taken the time to get to know him aside from what he can accomplish academically?

Don't beat yourself up... your boys will find a way to find their niche

Kristin said...

Aww, your poor boy.

I do however love that picture of him, he looks like he might be up to something...

Kami said...

Oh, this breaks my heart. He's such a great kid. I was a shy kid, too, and am a shy adult. Like you, with people I know, I'm better. But if it's someone I haven't seen in a long time, I'm likely to try and hide if I see them in a store, or something, cause I have no idea what to say!
I think other posters have given some great advice, so I'll leave it at that. But, oh...give a him a huge hug and tell him what a terrific friend he is and how there is some little boy in his class who is feeling scared too and needs Kamden to be his friend. Or something.
And DO NOT beat yourself up about it. You are an amazing mom!!

Cheryl said...

Kami, first you are so funny and by no means can you even be nominated for worst mommy!!!
I was shy too. People asked my mom when I was 5 if I even knew how to speak....I was shy througout school, it takes time...he will make friends, they all do, and he has the best suppport possible at home.
Your 5 year old adores you and wants to be close to 10 years they will be running off to their friends homes ....
Hang in there !!

Stacie's Madness said...

oh boy...I hear ya I see my negative traits in my children as well, but just remember for every negative one, there a double the positives...just have to look a little bit more. :)

Angella said...

I can attest to the fact that you are NOT socially inept. A little shy, yes, but aren't we all?

I feel your pain on the school/social stuff. Somehow we all made it through school, and I'm sure Kamden will too. Hugs.

Debbie said...

Oh Kami, you are a great mom!

I am an introvert, AND I am shy (yes, they can be separate things). I was the kid who read a book while walking home from school. I grew up always thinking there was something wrong with me, and continued to feel that way until I started learning more about the whole introvert/extrovert question. Now I know it's simply the way I am.

That being said, I remember the pain of wanting to be included, but not knowing how to approach it. That came flooding back as I sat with my son outside a circle of kids, because he seemed to not want to join in. I say 'seem'. He probably did want to, but did not know how. I was almost in tears.

Kamden will do well. He will probably do best in situations where he knows exactly what to expect. But, he will learn that some of the best surprises come out of now knowing what to expect. He'll probably be one of those kids with a few, very close friends. He will most likely be very thoughtful and introspective.

3LittleMonkeys said...

I'm totally there with ya. My 3 1/2 year old inherited my shyness, however, he seems to have it more to the extreme. He still doesn't really like playschool. He would much rather play at home with me and his bro's. I'm already crying at night thinking that he's never going to make friends! He'll never be invited to any parties!

However, the best I can do is keep encouraging him and giving him that extra little nudge. As for the Karate, even I would be totally intimidated! Hang in there, you sound like a great mom!

Elaine A. said...

I can relate to the "just go in there already" feeling and yes, as adults it's hard for us to remember how we felt in situations like that when we were younger.

Don't beat yourself up too much, you just wanted him to try it because you really thought he'd like it. There's nothing wrong with that. Lesson learned, right? Hugs girl!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Hugs, sweetie. At least he has a mommy who understands him, right?

Ashley said...

Kami,I don't think that makes you a bad Mom and it certainly doesn't make you the Worst Mom of the Year. It makes you human. And sometime being only human as a Mom sucks. I can remember rehashing with my Mom (as an adult) some of the hurt she'd caused us kids while we were growing up. We were talking and she was taking the time to either explain herself (because lets face it at 13 I was not a rational person to explain something to) or apologize or both. She also let me in on a secret, she told me as parents (which I'd find out when I had my own brood)we do our best to love, teach and protect our kids. Daily we strive to make the best decisions for them and with them, to never hurt them and to avoid our parents mistakes at all costs. In doing that she said, you'll inadvertantly make your own mistakes. "The only perfect parent is God, Ashley." she said, "If we didn't mess up from time to time here on earth, what the heck would we need Him for?"
It's stuck with me a long time, especially in moments where I've been less than proud of myself for how I've handled Bethany in a fit of Tempertantrum nightmare. She wasn't saying we purposely hurt our kids but rather, that if we can accept and give ourselves room to make those mistakes it allows us to be humble enough to apologize to our kids.

I dunno if that sound lamo or not. But it helped me, and if it's worth anything, the rest of us think you're pretty great. (I'm sure Kamden does too!)

Ashley said...

Sorry, I always plan my comments to be short and well, they never are.

Mrs. Wilson said...

Dude. I can TOTALLY relate. I'm the same - I have to force myself to be social. This is why I like the internet so much, because I can hide behind my computer screen.

I would have lost it as well. Maybe we can share that "award".

ps. I think you're a great mom. I REALLY do. Your boys are lucky to have you :)

nicole said...

My daughter barely spoke the first several weeks in kindergarten. She just smiled and talked to the teacher only. But now she is a social butterfly. Kamden's teacher will recognize what he needs and work with him. In the meantime, don't beat yourself up.