I’ve toyed with whether or not to write this post because all I’ve seen is gushing posts about how easy the transition has been or how wonderful people’s daughters/sons have been but…..our experience of transitioning to High School has definitely not been that way!
I should start by saying that Ella absolutely loves her new school , has made new friends, has put herself out there in applying for, and succeeding in being made a Year 7 ambassador for the school, has embraced extra-curricular activities and is settling in well, according to her tutorial teacher.
She was full of enthusiasm in her first few weeks, getting up early to be sure she was ready, enthusiastically telling us how her day went as we sat together to have dinner. These are some photos from day 1:
But that is where the fun stopped! On any given day I don’t know which Ella I’m going to face when I walk in from work but usually it’s not a warm interaction. I’m definitely public enemy #1, closely followed by everyone else in the house. It’s emotionally exhausting.
Sometimes the yelling is so extreme that our neighbour offers supportive words and checks in that everybody is ok. I find this very embarrassing but Ella doesn’t care. If I say “no” to anything at all, however trivial, that’s enough to set her off. It’s a fine line between setting boundaries and giving in for the sanity of everyone else in the house. Just last night I said yes to a sleepover at her friends place, although her behaviour absolutely didn’t warrant it, just so we could have a peaceful evening after a super busy weekend. Does that make me a pushover for giving in? Or am I simply picking my battles at this point? I really don’t know the answer….but the peace was fabulous.
I’m thinking I need to let her learn from her own mistakes. Should I care that she’s lost the second set of house keys in a matter of weeks? Should I let her deal with the school consequences when she forgets things she needs for class? At the moment it feels like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t because if I remind her then I’m being “controlling” but if I don’t remind her then it’s my fault when she forgets stuff.
If you haven’t seen any of the ABC show My Year 7 Life then it’s definitely worth a look, so many kids dealing with the transition in their own way.
I love Ella dearly, but so far this has not been an easy process. Anyone who tells me it’s all been plain sailing…..I’m not sure I believe you!