Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What is normal?

We've all seen it. The fit. Nearly every child in the world has pitched at least one. My oldest child still has them from time to time. The last one was Monday during school. The teacher and other students were taken aback and I was both embarrassed and disappointed. No one wants to be the parent of the naughty kid. But what do you do when your child cannot remain in control?

This is an issue I've struggled with for the past five years. My child is amazingly smart. In kindergarten, she read on a fourth-grade level and could skip-count by 17s (something she came up with to entertain herself in the car). But emotionally, she is not as advanced. She may even be behind. She's also extremely sensitive. And the results are occasionally painful. For both of us.

I've learned to discuss this problem with her teachers, coaches and friends' parents immediately. I've started a list of coping mechanisms that work - at least some of the time. But these managing techniques don't allow me to help her overcome this shortcoming.

Life's already hard, but dealing with one's child - one's possibly not "normal" child - is so much more difficult. I hope you'll share your stories. This is something we can work on and through together, as a community. Because no one's "normal" all the time. Just ask a statistician.

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