Here’s my son. He’s eleven years old, At the age of 9 he had a reading age of 15 but his teacher labelled him dyslexic. His handwriting was, and still is, many years below his actual age. His comprehension is many years above. In the world that I occupy, without benefactors or family money and connections, he is in a mainstream school, getting detentions for not handing in homework that is up to standard. I know people who have children who are incredibly similar in their educational needs to my son but who have access to money… their children are in private education, having been assessed as needing extra support… they then went on to pay up to and over £3000 per term to get their children that support.
What I want to know is why this level of help isn’t available to people without money whose children are arguably more intelligent yet lacking the physical support? In a fair world every child with an extra educational need would have their needs met. But we all know that we don’t live in fair world, don’t we?
I was a teen parent. At 16 I breastfed, co-slept, tried to follow the parenting ‘rules’ that I had been brought up with. I failed.
At 18, thanks to an abusive boyfriend, an overly suspicious doctor and a non existent support network I lost my daughter to social services and my parents.
At 19, post-suicidal and pregnant again (same abusive boyfriend), I thought I could do it right.
My (2nd) daughter is now 13, she’s a mini-me. She is as anti-authority as i was. Wants to warp the rules to suit her as much as i did. She recently shaved her head and wears a safety pin in her ear. She rocks the same grunge clothing that I did, listens to the same punk music that I did, fights her mother the same as I did.
I only hope she doesn’t follow the same path that I did.
I hope I have taught her the reality of teenage relationships, I hope she knows that sex does make babies, I want her to grow up out of her rebellion and into the amazing woman I know she has potential to be.
This parenting malarkey is pretty bloomin’ difficult!