Remember that school? The one that felt like a Disney movie set? The one that was “the one”? Well… it wasn’t.
Remember I said…
Take it slow and spend some time in the schools you are thinking of, ask for a “trial period” for your child to see if it’s a good fit.
Well, this is the story of that trial period.
We had been in Mexico for about 2 months and we were finally getting a little bit settled. A little. But it was enough for us to shift our focus from moving in to moving forward. And part of moving forward was to set up CJ’s trial period at his new school.
We set up for him to attend school for three days for his trail period. He was so excited because for the last two months he had been stuck inside the condo doing “home school” work and he absolutely hated it. He had grown up in public school, with friends, interactions, and activities with people his own age, but here, since we moved in the middle of the school year, we were just having him finish the school year online. BUT that meant he was stuck with our friends and adults only interactions and activities!
There are pros and cons to having a child grow up in an adult environment. CJ is very mature. He is polite, uses his manners, and he can hold his own in a “grown up” conversation. He is friendly and usually enjoys hanging around the big people. He is smart and he knows a lot about a lot of topics. If you didn’t know he was 12, you might think you are talking to someone much, much older. But since he is often in adult interactions, he has also developed opinions, knows what he believes to be right, and is assertive in his thoughts, speech, and actions. All of which are not necessarily bad things, actually I believe them to be very good traits, but they definitely aren’t typical 12 year old traits.
Why tell you all of that? Well, to tell you that I did find the con to having a child grow up in an adult environment. It is when you place that child back into a child environment and they act and behave as the adult instead of the child.
That is what happened during our three day trial period.
We thought everything was great during those three days. He was happy. We were happy. We thought we were moving forward. That is until the end of the third day.
When I went to pick him up, the principal had messaged me asking me to meet with him to speak about the trial period and acceptance into the school. Acceptance into the school? I had actually never thought about the fact that they had to accept us. I just thought it was about us choosing them. Immediately on guard, I set up a time to talk with him the next day. I was shocked to hear what he had to say.
Unfortunately, we can not accept CJ into our school at this time due to his behavior.
What? I was stunned. A dozen questions came raining down on him. What? Why? How? What do you mean?… Explain! Please!!
Basically, the deciding factor on this school not accepting CJ is that he was 1) too mature, 2) acts too independently, and 3) speaks and carries himself like an adult. I was told that those behaviors are not what they are looking for at their school. That at their school they need their students to keep status quo, and CJ questioned that and even thought for himself and did things differently.
Surprising that we thought we found a school that valued creativity, but instead found a school that really wanted uniformity.
Turns out it wasn’t the right school anyway. But to have to tell your child that the school they wanted to go to, doesn’t want them to go to it? Well, those are the days you wish you could hang your parent hat up, take a day off, and skip the tough conversations.
But I didn’t skip the tough conversation. We had it. He was crushed. Turns out no matter how mature they are or how well they fit into an adult environment, underneath they are still kids. CJ is still only 12, and 12 year olds shouldn’t have to have this type of rejection.
So what’s next? Forget the rejection. The first school wasn’t the right school anyway.
On to school number two, the real “the one” school.
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