As my kids are getting older, and aware that I actually work when I’m away from them, they are learning that being a teacher’s kid is not always easy. They are learning from their friends that THEIR mom asks too many specific questions about their day.
“Why can’t you just be normal?” my son bluntly asks a few times a week.
Here are some things they HATE about my knowledge as an educator:
1. Reading. They have to read to have screen time. For every minute they read, they get 30 seconds of screen time. In order to get the time, they have to tell me how many minutes they read, and then divide the answer in half, maxing out at 30 minutes a week day and 60 minutes on the weekend. Luckily, there are days when they still read for fun, but there are also days when they just put in time, which I hate.
Questions. I don’t just ask, “How was your day?” and accept the, “Fine.” Oh no, I ask, “What did you do in math today? What did you do in reading?…. What was the favorite thing you learned today? What made you struggle? What do you want to know more about?” DISCLAIMER I ask these questions throughout the night in hopes of getting more information about their day. I don’t fire the questions at them. In the four hours of the evening, I often feel like I get some of the many stories they lived while we were apart. However, I still get, “It was fine and that is all I have to say about my day.”
I like it when they struggle with a new concept. “I hate math! It’s hard!” my daughter exclaimed one night. “Oh, that hatred of math is good for you!” I exclaimed. Both of my kids just stared at me. “It means that you are learning something new. It being hard is the best news I’ve heard all day.” “Other parents want school to be easy for their kids,” my son said. “Yeah, I’m not like most parents. I’d rather you have Cs that you worked hard for than an A you got because it was easy for you.”
I don’t tell them which problems are wrong on their homework, but I do tell them how many are wrong. I had a very grumpy son this afternoon as he redid his math. “Why can’t you just tell me which ones to fix?” “It means so much more if you figure it out,” is my reply, which I’m sure is greeted with a hidden eye roll.
I encourage them to write, even when they’re not in school. (This one is from my son, since my daughter loves to write.)
While all of these things are true, most days, my kids have no feelings about what I do for a living. I know, they wish I was more normal, just like I wish they valued table manners and clean rooms. At the end of the day, I love the honest relationship that we are building, even if it means that sometimes they hate my job.