December 21, 2005

Balancing Act

Ug. The D-Man was sick over the weekend with a stomach-flu type bug and guess what? Yep, you betcha - I got it. Came down with it the night before last. I'll spare you the gory details, let's just say I still hurt all over and eating is still out of the question. Maybe tomorrow... But hey! Maybe I've lost a few pounds. We could call it the dissentary diet.

Anyway, in the last couple of days, I've had a lot of time (between fitful naps and trips to the restroom) to think. The other day, the D-man's teacher and I had a talk and it seems that he's been having a little trouble conforming (for lack of a better word) - you know, standing in line, participating in the group and such. He's a bit of a free spirit.

I actually like this fact about him, and I try to encourage his creativity and independence. However, he's going to have trouble in school and in society if we don't find the right balance.

As I was explaining to him that he has to learn to stand in line and do as he's told, something in the back of my mind was screaming to stop. It actually hurt. I want him to be a free spirit and be self-confident, but I also want him to succeed and fit in and know how to be a "team player" when the time is right. How the hell do you teach them the right balance between these things?

I suppose it will come with time, and he will learn to judge when it's best to conform and when he can kick up his heels. I'm just doing my best to guide him. I struggled with this as a kid somewhat, and I'm hoping I can help him avoid some of the struggles. Then again, the struggle builds character. Gah!

Being a parent is one of the most wonderful things in the world, and it is also one of the most challenging.

Oh, and happy Winter Solstice/Yule. There'll be no feasting for me. *pout*


  1. Ummm... he's how old? That's what school, wheter pre or otherwise, is for, and that's to learn, not be told once and BOOM, they have some kind of religious moment. You know, I'm right there with you!

  2. Nanner - he's five and in pre-school. Yeah, I know, this is just the beginning. These things are learned and take time. I know you are!

  3. You need to teach him that you can follow the rules and still be a non-conformist. There's ways to be a rebel without breaking the rules. A well chosen accessory, creative license with school projects, etc. I always had the rebel streak in me and did what I was "supposed" to do in school. My "free spirit" expressed itself in my music and choice of dress. At 5, he's a little young to understand it all, but I think he'll figure it out.

  4. Sorry to hear everyone's getting the winter crud...and what a crappy time for it to happen, too!

    I'll make sure to save you a plate or two of feasting stuff in the freezer and ship it to ya when you're feeling better. Our "Zinzinnati" family celebration will be on New Year's Eve, so I get to wait an entire week to enjoy more holiday goodies.

    I still think the "conformist" approach to education is a bit heavy-handed, but it's necessary in small doses. I prefer the Vulcan IDIC principal, meself...admire the unique in each of us and covet it rather than discourage it.

  5. As a retired politician I can honestly say that it is wise to learn when to conform and when not to conform...

  6. That's one way to lose weight over the holidays! Not exactly a fun way, but it works.

  7. Yay, the days start getting longer again.

    Is D-man really not conforming or is he just being 5 and the adults don't like it??

  8. Vince - That's what I'm hoping to do. I was always non-conformist in dress and such, but behaved enough to stay out of detention. lol

    Spc - At least it's not on Christmas that we got sick. We're over it now, thankfully. Aww, thanks! I'll look forward to that. :D I prefer that principal as well! In fact, I often joke that I'm part Vulcan. lol

    Denny - Oh yes, if you want to get anywhere.

    Pat - no doubt! I haven't checked, but I'm sure I dropped a few.

    Boo - I know! Can't wait to come home with daylight left. I think he's just being 5 pretty much. ...and I think I worry too much. lol