Yesterday, Elliott confided in Lizze about why he hasn’t been wanting to go to school. Turns out he’s extremely anxious about the school Christmas show that the students put on for all the parents.
I honestly don’t know why I forgot about this because it’s been a problem every year since he first started at Summit Academy.
Here’s the deal.
Elliott has generalized anxiety disorder and that’s one of his biggest challenges in life right now. His anxiety is literally paralyzing for him. For those of you that are long time readers of this blog, you are already aware of this.
He doesn’t want anything to do with the getting up in front of a huge room full of people and singing. Honestly, how many grownups would be comfortable doing that?
We have taken the approach that he needs to practice with his class but when it comes to the actual show, we won’t make him do that. He’s more than happy to practice with his class because he’s not in front of a large crowd.
The school has embraced this approach but this year Elliott was told by both of his teachers that he doesn’t have a choice. That has totally sent him over the edge.
Elliott’s not one to talk about his feelings so he never brought this up to us. Instead, he was acting out because he didn’t know what else to do.
After he broke down and told Lizze what was upsetting him, we told him not to worry about it because the school already knows that this is something he’s scared of. We encouraged him to let his teachers know how he feels and if there are any problems, we will step in.
Unfortunately, Elliott approached his teachers and according to him, they again said that he had no choice in the matter.
After hearing this, I informed Elliott that whether or not he has a choice in the matter is up to his Mommy and Daddy and no one else. With that in mind I went to the school early yesterday to pay a visit to my friends in the office. I explained what was going in and my friends there assured me that they will never make a child that is so terrified of getting in front of people and performing, get up and perform.
I figured this was a misunderstanding as Elliott has new teachers this year.
The truth is, I don’t want Elliott to let fear determine what he does and doesn’t do. Having said that, we made Elliott try the show, his first year there. It was a horrible experience for him and so we decided that going forward, he would practice with his class, we would encourage him to keep trying but we would not force him to take part in the Christmas program.
I think that he has the rest of his life to overcome obstacles. This is something that won’t even register as a blip on the radar of the big picture.
We’ll work on helping with through these types of situations as life goes on but for right now, this is what’s going to happen.
I have to say that it does feel good to be able to remove this burden of fear and anxiety from such a young soul. We’ll keep working with him on overcoming this fear but for right now, I know this is the best approach to ensure his emotional well being.
Elliott’s school is amazing but let it be said, I will always stand up for my boys, even if it means going toe to toe with the people I admire and respect. My kids will always come first.
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