Posted by: learningwoman | January 26, 2011

A letter to my 10 year old son

Dear S.

I know you think it was mean of me to keep you home from school today, a Wednesday, which you assure me is the best, most fun day of the week. The day when you get to do computer studies on a laptop. The day when you get  ‘golden time’ ie: an hour of free play in the classroom with your friends. The day when you do PE, the day when…anyway, there seem to be a lot of wonderful things to do on Wednesdays.

It hasn’t even been fun, has it? We spent the morning talking and decluttering. After lunch you had to write a couple of pages about why I’d kept you home and then spent 30 minutes reading your book. We played a game of chess and went for a short walk in the park with the dog. I know you wanted to bring your football but you had to leave it at home.

You were cross with me on the way home, when I said you’d have to stay in the car when we went to get Z. and now you’re sitting, feeling restless and angry that I haven’t let you turn on the TV, Wii, computer. I did say you could read, or do some more writing but you just looked at me and sat.

I haven’t shouted at you. I’m not angry with you. and this isn’t the way I thought I would be spending my day either.

So why am I doing it?

Because I love you. My shining, laughing, beautiful, enthusiastic boy.

Because somehow you’ve learned behaviours that aren’t okay, here or at school.

Because I don’t want to send you in, tired and full of attitude, for the teachers to deal with.

Because you’re ten, and teaching you this stuff now is so much easier than trying to do it when you’re a teenager.

and because I’ve done everything else I can think of.

So, instead of trying to talk with you about the impact our behaviours have on others, and ultimately on ourselves; instead of screaming uselessly when I feel pushed to the brink; instead of having to go to the school to discuss your attitude with your teacher and instead of threatening to take things away, or alternatively reward you; I’ve opted to keep you here for the day.

A day for reflection, of opportunity to talk if you want to, to have hugs, play quiet games, write, read, walk. Without distraction.

I love you, have always loved you, will always love you.

I might not be right about this, this staying at home for the day stuff,  but you can bet that I’m doing the very best I can think of at this moment.





  1. Such a sweet mum and touching letter. I wish I can have the paitence like this too.

  2. Thanks Ange…..I’m not always patient though. 🙂 I’ve been enjoying reading your blog by the way. Your boys are beautiful!

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