Yesterday I started working with Austin to help prepare him for school in September. He will be entering Grade 1 and his academic skills are quite good; he can read, add and spell. The challenge is writing, or printing I should say. His capital letters are not too bad but the lower case letters, well, there is much work to be done. I want help him as much as possible so his frustration levels will not skyrocket, and therefore, he less likely to become upset.
I got a notebook and wrote out "A" "a" "B" "b" all on separate lines so he could practice his letters. Well, the "A" went well but when we got to the "a", he did struggle a bit so I helped him along. We got through the "A" and "a" and moved on to the "B" and "b". The "B" was not too challenging for him but the "b" gave a reaction I never expected. It took all my might not to breakdown in tears! This poor little boy, my heart just broke for him! "I CAN'T DO IT!!!" "I CAN'T DO IT!!!" Over and over, he yelled and cried as tears streamed down his face. I stopped and waited and started again, and again, and again. I held his hand and helped him form the little letter but he still continued to get upset. I could not get him to do one line on his own ... it seemed like it was mental torture for him; that is the only way I can explain it. I don't want him to give up but I don't want him frustrated or crying his eyes out either. My heart fell to my feet. I told him he needed to take a break and we would try again later. I gave him a little kiss on the cheek and my beautiful little boy grabbed a hold of me as he sobbed. Oh my goodness, I could barely hold back my tears as my eyes flooded. I held and cuddled him and told him it would all be okay. Mommie was here to help. He did go back later and finish with my help, without tears I am happy to report.
To me, this seemed like such a minor thing, learning to print. I did not think Austin would have reacted the way he did and it was heartbreaking to see. I felt so badly for him. I know it sounds silly but I wish I could go to school for him, so he wouldn't have to endure this pain. Of course I want him to succeed and be independent but sometimes reality hits me very hard and I wish I had the power to make it all better ...