Friday, August 22, 2014

The irony of increased independence

My food allergic daughter moved to middle school this year.  I met with the nurse and principal at the end of the school year last year, to review what to expect for all of us.  It's important to know what changes she needs to prepare for, and to let them know what types of safety needs she has.

The overwhelming message was: breathe mama.  Your little girl is growing up and you need to give her room to be more independent.  She can do this, and you need to back up enough to let her.

I'm working on that.  My little girl is getting much more outspoken.  She is blossoming in confidence.  She is learning how to advocate for herself with tact and assertiveness.  I know that most of the time she has a better handle on the allergy situation than any of the adults in the building.

But I also know that she is an adult in training, and still prone to judgement errors.  And I need to know the adults in the building have her back.  They need to understand the situation, and be prepared to step in and offer help with awkward situations, guidance with tricky decisions, and emergency help if there is a reaction.

This is the first full week of school.  So far, I have gotten three emails from different teachers with directions on how to check my student's planner for their homework assignment, what I should expect to be written, and what to do if the planner is blank.  Directions on how to log into the school site(s) to check on test scores, homework completion, behavior reports, and general class performance.  The general message being sent out is on how to micromanage my child's productivity, ability to complete work on time, and test taking preparedness.

So.  My take away: It's expected that you stay on top of your child's work habits.  Manage the snot of that.  But those pesky life and death dilemmas that come with food allergies?  Relax mama, step back.  Your kiddo can handle that.

Anyone else see the absurdity in this?  Or is my vision entirely too clouded by my allergy-colored glasses?

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