Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jason's Daughter

I've said time and time again that Caroline is her father's daughter.  It always strikes at times when I'm not expecting it.  Like her father, Caroline is intelligent, less of a talker, introspective, and often wants to be left alone. What someone might mistake for aloofness is really just both of them not seeing the point in wasting their time with something they don't think has any merit.  And while Caroline has the female flare for dramatics and silliness, she truly is more like Jason then she is like me.

Case and point, yesterday at recess.  I got an email from her teacher that Caroline wasn't very willing to participate in a group activity.  Ms. B emailed me because we've been in close contact in regards to Caroline's issues interacting with other kids and her anxiety about feeling like she doesn't fit in.  The email wasn't clear exactly what the activity was so when I found out from Caroline that it was an indoor recess game, I was kind of surprised.  Since it was so chilly yesterday and the playground was muddy, they stayed inside and Ms. B decided they would play Four Corners.  I guess they've played this before and most of the kids like it.  Yup, most kids.  Not Caroline.  I'm still not 100% sure but based on what she told me it sounds like she played half-heartedly trying to get "out" so she could just sit down.  I asked her why and she said, "Ugh, it's just a total waste of time.  Everyone gets all silly and crazy and runs around and I'd rather just sit at my desk and play with my animal erasers or draw.   Why do I have to play a game that gets everyone so crazy?  Recess shouldn't be required!"

And the Jason genes strike AGAIN.

Jason wasn't there at the moment because I can only imagine if he was he would have laughed.  This is sooooo Jason.  If he doesn't see the point in doing something because it seems like a waste of time, energy or just not worth it, he doesn't want to do it.  And if he gets dragged into it, he's grumpy and no fun.


I told Caroline that while it might seem pointless the fact that she's excluding herself from the game might seem a little odd to the other kids.  And since she is so concerned about fitting in and other kids liking her, by doing something like this someone might think she's "weird." (Her word, not mine.)  Unfortunately, I don't think she gets it.  Or she's not willing to compromise to fit in.

My friend who is a guidance counselor said that she has the most "friend" issues starting in the third grade and based on talking to Caroline's GC, it sounds like some of this is par for the course but I think a lot of it is also just the way Caroline is wired.  I think a lot of it is developmental as the kids hit the 9/10 age mark and they are no longer little kids who get along with everyone.  But, I also know that when Caroline is at home and with other kids/families she is entirely comfortable around, we see a different kid.  She is super energetic, silly, funny, and talkative.  She can be that way in school but I think sometimes she TRIES to be a little different and odd.  Who knows if this is something she is doing because she knows she won't be at this school for much longer because when you ask her how she feels about moving she says she'll be happy to leave her school behind.  But then on the other hand she'll say that she'll miss certain kids and hopes no one "cheers when she leaves."

I know these are just growing pains and I'm glad she's got a teacher who is paying attention to this kind of stuff.  I've already told Jason he needs to just talk to her tonight about it. In the past, they'll talk and he'll share how he feels about things and it's funny to hear what a connection they have.  She'll light up and say, "Yeah, that's how I feel too!" and clearly it makes her feel more "normal."   I know that is always helpful because no one wants to feel like a weirdo.

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