My daughter's teachers stood up to my helicopter parenting. I'm so glad they did.

Two years later, I was roiled with doubt at the enormity of what we'd done
August 07, 2017 | 11:40 am /
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I was nervous. My daughter's school principal, counselor, several of her teachers, and I had gathered around a long conference table.

I noticed that tissue boxes were scattered within reach, a reminder of parent/teacher meetings gone bad. I took a deep breath. I was about to make the case for why my daughter should repeat second grade. I had a bulletproof argument. I had rehearsed for hours.

My daughter was young, the youngest in her class. Many of her peers were nearly a full year older, but at the time she started kindergarten, we felt she was ready.

Two years later, I was roiled with doubt at the enormity of what we'd done. I wanted to undo it. I realized that although our daughter was performing fine academically, she wasn't emotionally on par with her classmates. In fact, I thought I saw small signs of anxiety in her. So I grew worried about my daughter. I wished for her emotional and social readiness to more closely match those of her peers. Succeeding at school meant learning to navigate friendships, present in front of peers, approach a teacher for help. I wasn't sure our daughter would ever be able to do these types of things as confidently as her classmates, some of whom were nearly a year older.

As I made my case, my voice was weirdly shaky and shrill. I felt the urge to release a sob trapped in my throat. I grabbed tissues. I dabbed around my eyes to mop up streaming mascara. Letting her progress would ultimately hinder her capacity to excel academically, I said, clearing my throat. I tried to pull myself together, but alas, my voice quivered like a child's. My argument was rational; I had given this thing, this painful thing called tough love, a lot of my time.

But it had also taken a lot of time and anguish to get to this decision. My husband thought the idea was extreme. I needed to hear what the professionals had to say. I wanted them to back me, console me, counsel me.

◼ Editorial /
Topics: childs, nervous

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