The Big White Envelope

The irrational and uncontrollable behaviour of my 2-year-old was a major challenge, but I came out pretty much unscathed (bar the odd dent to my pride). 

When the new-found cheekiness independence of my 5-year-old daughter surfaced (strangely coinciding with her first few months at ‘big school’) I was relatively unfazed – the books had warned me.  
But NOTHING, prepared me for the arrival of a stroppy wilful 11-year-old girl! 
The Tween turned 11 last November, just a few months after entering her final year of Primary School.  By now most of these girls are in the thick of puberty and somewhat over-confident in their role as the oldest pupils in the school.  All of this, coupled with a year which is fraught with the pressure of SAT tests, impending goodbyes and the promise of  many life-changes ahead, we’ve had a ‘tricky’ time at home.
You may remember that The Tween suffers from anxiety – not extreme but enough to have an affect on her day to day. She manages to hide it incredibly well when at school, but the hidden ‘worries’ tend to result in poor behaviour at home and difficulty sleeping.   I’m not going to lie, this year has been hard on all of us.
I know that she’s a good girl at school – her incredibly supportive and encouraging teacher has told me many times herself over this last year.  But no matter how many people tell you how wonderful your child is, when you’re having a tough ‘ride’ at home, you find it hard to believe, hard to see very much ‘good’ in them at all. 
So as a result of this ‘tricky’ year, my belief in myself as a parent has taken a lot of beating.  Then last week, the big white envelope returned home from school – the one with the school report inside and the SAT results we’ve been waiting for….
extremely polite and helpful” “mature” “conscientious and hardworking” “sensitive and supportive of those less able than her” “kind and caring with a friendly nature” “very aware of the feelings of others” “a sensitive and thoughtful nature which will be an asset to any class“.

As if my magic, I realised that my sometimes sorry attempts at parenting cannot have been all bad.  In fact some of them must have been incredibly worthwhile!  Yes she can be ‘difficult’ at home and I imagine we are just about to enter even deeper waters, but these words mean the world to me.  We’re creating an individual who we can be very proud of.

And somehow the SAT scores no longer seemed all that significant….
When was the last time your child did something worth remembering? Write it down. I think the record of these treasured moments, are going to help us through the difficult times.

Linking up with Jaime’s Magic Moments and The Monday Club over at Sarah Miles’ Hello Wall

31 Comments on The Big White Envelope

  1. claire - this little house
    July 15, 2013 at 6:42 am (4 years ago)

    this post made me smile, you must be so proud, well done to your daughter. so easy to forget how hard it can be at that age, and the impact it has on a family as a whole.
    this parenting malarky literally scares the life out me at times (my son is only 1 ha ha) he recently had his first proper tantrum which took us by surprise and quite frankly left us speechless. at the time i felt confused and sad he got himself so upset over nothing and i looked to us for the blame. i had to then have a word with myself, relax, i have a toddler and sometimes their behaviour is going to be like that, and that doesn’t make us awful parents. ah to think i’ll laugh at these moments as nothing when i have my own little 11 year old!

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 7:19 am (4 years ago)

      I think that anything ‘new’ they throw at us, really does make us panic and run for the parenting books (just me?!). I do remember the toddler days being tough too. Hang in there!

  2. Elaine Livingstone
    July 15, 2013 at 7:26 am (4 years ago)

    I think this is when you realise you are a really good parent, that your child shows all these qualities at school and is well brought up enough to know that “bad” behaviour is unacceptable outside of the house. But because your love as a parent is unconditional, then they can explore all their new feelings and emotions that hormones give them in a safe and loving environment.
    I told my oldest more than once when she screamed I hate you at me that right now I dont like your behaviour but I still love you and when you have calmed down come and we will have a hug. My daughter tells me to this day she still remembers this and it made a huge difference to her in the long run.
    Keep up the good work, next year when she starts big school she will become very tearful and stroppy as they go from oldest to youngest in an alien environment. Just remember time they reach 21 you have a loving well rounded mature confident young lady on your hands who you can be best friends with forever.

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 7:18 am (4 years ago)

      What a lovely comment Elaine, you nearly had me in tears! I will hang on to your words….seems a long way off yet!

  3. Tom @ Diary of the Dad
    July 15, 2013 at 7:30 am (4 years ago)

    Good on her and good on you! My two are three and one, so I’m a long way from this phase but I often question my parenting skills too and sometimes feel rather hopeless! I do believe that well-loved kids will always get through the tricky stages though, as will we. :-)

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 11:20 am (4 years ago)

      I think it’s just because we don’t know what we’re doing and in most other areas of life we have some control over it! Thanks for your encouragement :)

  4. Mama Macfennell
    July 15, 2013 at 7:52 am (4 years ago)

    We have a similar theme this week as I have written about my daughter who is 11 as well. Not for the first time I have been pleased that we live in Scotland where we don’t have SATs and there is an extra year in primary school.
    Your daughter sounds a delight (not surprising considering her mum’s hard work) and I love that you’ve shared how proud you are of her – quite right too! Helen

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 11:31 am (4 years ago)

      It is hard work, no doubt about that! I do think that by continuing to provide a loving home and being clear on guidelines, our children will turn into wonderful adults but sometimes it feels like a thankless task!

  5. Carie
    July 15, 2013 at 7:58 am (4 years ago)

    What a lovely school report, well done her and we’ll done you!

  6. Coombe Mill
    July 15, 2013 at 8:28 am (4 years ago)

    Sounds like you have a wonderful daughter there. A little character along side is a good thing too, even if it does challenge us as parents.

  7. Jaime Oliver
    July 15, 2013 at 9:20 am (4 years ago)

    awww Suzanne what a really lovely post and by the sounds of it a really beautiful daughter inside and out!

    Thank you for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  8. Kim Carberry
    July 15, 2013 at 10:29 am (4 years ago)

    Aww what a lovely school report!! Well done!!
    You must be so proud!!

  9. Louise Fairweather
    July 15, 2013 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

    Awww Lovely post. Best to be challenging at home and a little angel at school. You are a fab parent, don’t doubt yourself x

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 7:17 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Louise. I think that we all have a wobble every now and again. The funny thing is, I don’t remember doubting myself at all with younger kids, it’s fear of the unknown I think!

  10. Charly Dove
    July 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm (4 years ago)

    What a wonderful post Suzanne, got a lump in my throat! An amazing report, you’ve done great my lovely :)

  11. gina caro
    July 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm (4 years ago)

    Awww it makes it all worth it when you get something home like that. You’ve obviously done a good job, well done mummy and well done to your daughter x

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 11:39 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Gina, it does make it feel worthwhile…for a second anyway!

  12. Sonya Cisco
    July 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm (4 years ago)

    It is so lovely when you hear such nice things about your children, even if I rarely recognise the person school describes!! Well done to you and her! :)

  13. Lou's Lake Views
    July 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm (4 years ago)

    That is a great #MagicMoment. Such lovely comments on her report, well done both of you! See you are dong a great job 😀

  14. sarah
    July 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm (4 years ago)

    you are doing a great job lady! parenting is a tough gig :) xx

  15. 3yearsandhome
    July 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm (4 years ago)

    There’s always so much to be proud of but it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day difficulties. Sounds like you’re doing an amazing job. I’ll be thrilled to bits if my boys come home with such a lovely report.

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you Rachel. I don’t feel like it most days but this helps x

  16. Michelle Twin Mum
    July 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m going to look through their reports now and pull out all those words I want to remember, thanks you have inspired me.

    Mich x

  17. Tori Wel
    July 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Wonderful news :)) and what a beautiful photo of you both. Well done xx

  18. SarahMummy
    July 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm (4 years ago)

    Hooray! It’s nice to be reminded that they’re not so bad really. Given the choice, I think most of us would rather they behaved in public and at school rather than be good at home and a monster in public! This reminds me of when my son got the award on leaving primary school for being the most compassionate pupil. Hadn’t they seen they way he treats his sister?!

    • Suzanne Whitton
      July 16, 2013 at 7:12 am (4 years ago)

      I absolutely agree with you but I do wonder if they get tired of this split personality thing that’s going on!

  19. Tas D
    July 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm (4 years ago)

    Awwww well done to your girl, she actually sounds amazing and so helpful, especially the bit that says she’s very kind and helpful to those less able than her. She reminds me so much of me at that age. I could hide my anxiety very well at school and have a massive strip at home. It took me years to realise it was because I didn’t know how to channel my feelings or vent my anger.

  20. Aida L
    August 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm (4 years ago)

    what a lovely post. I’m scared of teenage years, mainly worried that I might not cope too well when I can no longer kiss and hug my lill guy anywhere and at anytime. I hope that split personality thing is a quick faze!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

CommentLuv badge