Beth Oliver Parenthood

Cocktail Chat 12.11.18

Grab yourself a cup of Christmas cheer…or at the very least a beer. I’m in a ranting mood today, so let’s toss back a few and air some grievances, even if Festivus isn’t for another week. I’m also going full on Mama Bear here, so watch out.

Ollie told me something that kind of didn’t sit well with me yesterday. He said his teacher told him he’s a daydreamer. Now, I am not saying she said it as a criticism, but based on some things she mentioned at our conferences earlier this year, it does make me wonder. She’s a new teacher this year so I’ve been trying to cut her some slack and take things with a grain of salt, but the longer she’s been there the less I kind of like her approach to things. Here’s the thing. Oliver is spirited. He’s energetic. He’s also rather intelligent. I’m not sitting here trying to boast, it’s just a fact ,anyone who meets him will tell you this. He may be needing to move along at a rate different from the other kids. The Montessori method and classroom are fantastic, but he is now one of the oldest in his class and sometimes simply gets bored. He is also five. Three, four and five year olds should not be expected to sit completely still all day long, in fact, they can’t. And as for him being a daydreamer? What is wrong with that? Some of the world’s greatest creators, inventors, artists, and scientists were all called daydreamers once upon a time too and now we have things like oh I don’t know iPhones, computers, life saving medicines and medical equipment, museums full of art, movies, music, I could go on and on.

My child is unique. I know this. He socializes differently than other kids his age because he is around mostly adults, it is part of the curse and blessing of being an only child. I know, I was one too. And I turned out just fine. He’s going to be just fine too.I love his uniqueness. At the age of five he has already figured out something that I’m only just learning in my late 30s and have talked about a lot lately – you don’t have to fit into a cookie cutter of what people expect you to be. It’s OK to just be yourself and to do so loud and proud. And if others don’t like it, then they aren’t the right people for you. I say it all the time, but this kid is teaching me just as much as I’m teaching him.

He has a half year left of Montessori and he’ll be fine there. But I think he’s ready for kindergarten next year. I think he’s going to thrive and I think once he’s not being “held back” so to speak he’s really going to fly. And I can’t wait to see it. Dreamers are doers. He’s going to do great things.

Dear Ollie – Never let ANYONE dull your shine. Love, Mom

7 thoughts on “Cocktail Chat 12.11.18

  1. You’re right — I do like this post.

    We need to embrace our individuality. Pressure to conform shaves the edges off of our personality and isn’t good. Giving up part of yourself to “fit in” is not good. The teacher is misperceiving your wonderful child who benefits from being himself. I’m glad you’re his mother. Best wishes!

  2. Well you probably know my stance on educators and their mouths sometimes so I’m going to leave it at that.
    As long as you both are telling Ollie at home that he is wonderful and shouldn’t be afraid to be who he is (and you’re doing that and HE already knows this) then this teacher will be nothing more than a tiny insignificant wrinkle of memory in his school career memory part of his brain. She won’t bring him down. No way.
    My son stood up in front of 40+ kids and told them all that he has OCD, tourette’s and anxiety. One kid said “I don’t know those letters but I have ADHD” and someone else said they had that too and….what I’m getting at is, this generation coming up, I have hope in them. That you don’t need to fit in that box. You can be outside of it and still shine, still be a friend, still thrive at school, still be a part of….
    That’s what good educators need to focus on. So he’s a dreamer – how can we promote that/incorporate that into his work so that he’s engaged.
    You’re doing good Mama. Never mind what they say. Ollie is going to be fantastic xoxoxo

  3. Whether she meant it as an insult or not, you’re right, there is NOTHING wrong with being a daydreamer and I think you and your husband are doing a fantastic job. Ollie knows he’s loved and that it’s okay to day dream and be different and unique. It’s what makes us who we are…and I’m sure he’ll go on to do amazing things!

    -Lauren

  4. Awww, you’re so right. this whole post reminds me of the best scene in Uncle Buck where he gives the principal s**t for calling his niece a dreamer. As you say, many scientists, inventors and famous artists are exactly that, dreamers.

  5. Kids who are “different”… in good and bad ways are always put on the spot. I agree with you that it’s not uncommon for kids to be daydreamers , especially if he’s bored in his class. Maybe she can encourage him with more challenging tasks?

  6. I think it’s so great that Ollie has a mama that recognizes how special he is and encourages him to keep dreaming! That means more than anything. As much as I’ve heard wonderful things about Montessori, I have had mom friends that also struggled a bit as their children were on the older end of the spectrum at Montessori schools. There’s still a ton for them to learn, but the oldest kids maybe aren’t challenged the same way they were when they were in the younger group. I think that can probably happen anywhere though, I’m sure that’s not just a Montessori thing.
    It’s interesting because with Jona we’re on the other end of it–I worried at first if he would be too young, since he’s one of the youngest in his kindergarten class. I worried about him keeping up. But he’s thriving in kindergarten, so I don’t know why I worried so much! I know Ollie will love it too, and I hope he keeps on dreaming. You should be proud, mama 🙂

    1. I’m just getting around to replying to comments now, but I so appreciate your thoughts on this post! I’m glad that you’ve heard similar things from other parents of Montessori kids, it definitely makes me think I’m not alone!

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