Poignant conversation with son

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Poignant conversation with son
9
Mon, 08-29-2011 - 8:32pm

My son is starting high school next week, and had to go to a daylong retreat for freshmen today at his new school. (I posted on another board a while back about challenging him academically, or sending him to a school that he thought was a good fit. We went with fit.)

On the way to the retreat, he asked, "Mom, who should I be at this school? And don't just say, 'be yourself,' because I don't know who that is, and it won't be helpful."

I wasn't taken aback at all, because I remember feeling the same way at his age, and even years later, so I just listed the traits I saw in him that were attractive to others (quirky humor, empathy, compassion) and told him it would be wise to tone down the ones that could be offputting (know it all, tendency to be very literal, strong negative reaction to sarcasm).

He thanked me very solemnly and it was all I could do not to cry. I want so much for him to be confident and happy at this new school, but I know that there are no guarantees of anything.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 09-13-2011 - 12:04pm

That's a good sign, even after just 4 days!

DH & I agree that we will keep a close eye on 11yo DS, who started middle school this year.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sat, 09-10-2011 - 8:44pm

So far, so good. He's actually pretty chatty about his day when I pick him up, unlike last year, when he'd pull his hood over his head and say, "please don't talk to me." But he's only been there 4 days, so we will see!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 10:44am

That's actually a remarkably mature-sounding question.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-1998
Wed, 08-31-2011 - 2:18pm

ITA with the others - this is the time for him to figure out who he is and what he likes to do. He should go to different clubs and activities and see what he thinks of them. My sophomore dd was asking if she should join a National Arts Society club because her craft teacher is the sponsor. I said sure - at least go to a couple of meetings and see if you like it. You don't have to stay in it if you don't.

She joined at the end of last year a girl's social/service organization which is very good for her and it is nice to have another adult around whom she can confide in.

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Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Wed, 08-31-2011 - 12:11pm
He is showing how much he is maturing with conversations like these! I think you gave him great advice! Tell him to go for different clubs, sports, arts, whatever at school, it is the best way to find like minded individuals.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999
Tue, 08-30-2011 - 9:09pm

Good luck to your son, hope he finds

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 08-30-2011 - 12:11pm

Hugs to you. If only we could go back to the days where sleepless nights were caused by crying, hungry babies and not worry. I had a similar conversation with my DS who is heading off to middle school. Elementary was not great socially and so we all

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2007
Tue, 08-30-2011 - 10:37am
I hope your ds has a postive experience in hs.I also remember those feelings so well.Potty traning was a piece of cake compared to now.

 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 08-29-2011 - 8:35pm
What a nice conversation, and very mature of him even ask that sort of question. Its hard for kids that age to really identify on their own those personalities, and I hope you took your input for it's value. So many kids instead just see it as annoying "parent speak" and ignore it. Good luck to him this year, I hope the new school does indeed fit him and he is happy!
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