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What I Feel Sorry About...
collected by Carolyn K. director, Hoagies' Gifted Education Page
It is a custom in Jewish families to talk about what mistakes you've made over the past year, and to apologize for those mistakes. We do this before the New Year (Rosh Hashanah, literally Head of the Year). We atone for those mistakes on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.
I started making a list of things as a parent I regretted doing this past year...
I'm sorry I let my child sit in a class with a bully all year and didn't speak directly to the bully's parents because the dad was so intimidating.
I'm sorry that I didn't insist on testing my son by a specialist sooner than I did.
I'm sorry that I didn't spend more time working on my OWN math skills (which are admittedly pathetic) because my 6 yr old is just about at the same level I am already!
I'm sorry that I didn't try to seek out friendships outside school with other GT kids for my son.
I'm sorry that it took so long to ask for subject acceleration.
I'm sorry that I let my kid be bored because I didn't want to appear 'pushy'.
I'm sorry that I put off researching ADHD.
I'm sorry that I lost my patience so many times with my 'organizationally challenged' kids.
I'm sorry that I didn't nip the "know-it-all" phase in the bud, before it flowered and made my kid so unlikable.
I'm sorry that I couldn't make kindergarten a happier learning experience for my child.
I'm not Jewish, but I'll add a couple here:
I'm sorry I let those "professionals" convince me that my son was "just going through a phase" for so long.
I'm sorry I didn't jump up and down in first grade, when he was bored and told me the teacher had nothing for him to do when he finished his work - so he fiddled with it until everybody else finished. I'm sorry I didn't know to ask "why is he last finished?" when I knew he knew the work - could've done it years before.
I'm sorry I didn't pull him out of school in third grade, when he had the teacher who kept saying, "Just tell me what you want me to do," and then, after I'd tell her, would reply, "No."
I'm sorry it took me so long to see my own childhood school experiences being repeated by my child.
On the other hand, I'm glad I've finally seen the light, I'm glad I'm put him in a situation that makes him happy and lets him learn, and I think that does atone for a lot.
-- CAO in Texas
I'm sorry I waited so long to find out what made my sons seem so different.
I'm sorry I waited so long before talking to my sons about what it means to be gifted and give them some skills to deal with the world they had to live in.
I'm sorry I was in denial and refused to admit that I was gifted and that some of my strongest reactions to school situations was a reaction to the pain I was still feeling from those experiences long ago.
I'm sorry I listed to the teachers and administrators when they told me my sons were "just immature" and didn't trust my own instincts.
I'm sorry I didn't fight a lot harder against teachers who emotionally abused my sons and other gifted children.
I'm sorry I didn't thank the good teachers enough and tell them in detail all the great things they were doing for my sons.