SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WEEK 12 – A STORY OF A DOCTORS VISIT
In June 2019 I started my MA with Falmouth university as part of an accredited education programme.
5th December 2019
SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WEEK 12 – A STORY OF A SOCIAL SERVICES REFERRAL – https://www.bambino-art.co.uk/sustainable-prospects-project-development-week-12-story-social-services-referral/
IN WEEK 7 I WROTE ABOUT A VISIT MY DAUGHTER AND I HAD TO THE CHILDREN’S HOPSITAL , I AM INCLUDING THIS IN THE ‘STORIES’ SECTION AS THIS IS SOMETHING WE COME ACROSS A LOT AS HOME EDUCATORS. SOMETHING THAT WORRIES SOME OF US GIVEN RECENT NEGATIVE MEDIA ATTENTION.
PROFESSIONALS THAT HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT THEY SHOULD BE TALKING TO YOU ABOUT, QUIZZING YOU ON HOME EDUCATION, RATHER THAN TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY SHOULD BE. SOMETIMES THESE ARE WELL MEANING , THEY ARE JUST GENUINELY INTERESTED, OTHER TIMES, SOCIAL SERVICES HAVE BEEN CALLED FOLLOWING CONVERSATIONS LIKE THE ONES WE HAD BELOW. IF MY DAUGHTER HAD BEEN HAVING A BAD DAY, HAD HAD AN ARGUMENT WITH ME OR HER SIBLINGS BEFORE SO WASN’T FEELING CHATTY, WHAT IF SHE’D JUST FALLEN OUT WITH HER BEST FRIEND? THESE REPLIES COULD OF BEEN VERY VERY DIFFERENT, AND THEN WHAT?
I WOULD OF SPENT THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS WORRYING I WAS GOING TO HAVE A KNOCK AT THE DOOR FROM SOCIAL SERVICES, AND AS YOU’LL SEE FROM THE NEXT STORY, NOT UNDULY, NOT BECAUSE I AM PARANOID, BUT BECAUSE THIS IS A VERY REAL PROBLEM WE FACE AS FAMILIES WHO CHOOSE ALTERNATIVE PATHS.
Today I took my daughter for a hospital appointment.
She was asked by the doctor , in an initially blasé way (tagged on to the conversation about something that was actually very important & serious that I will not discuss here) that then turned in to a full interrogation …
How do you learn?
What do you do?
Who teaches you?
Is your mum clever?
Do you have someone come in to help?
What about your social circle?
Do you have friends?
Do you still see friends from school?
Do you have many friends?
It went on, and on, and on.
A very lovely, smiley man. It was fine at the time, I was fine with the questions. I was caught in a moment off guard, so wasn’t bothered by the questions, because all is good.
I am intelligent.
My daughter does have friends.
She learns lots of things.
Whatever happened to are you happy? Do you have fun? How do you play ? What do you like to play? What are you favourite things? Whats your favourite band? Wheres your favourite place on earth to be ? Who are favourite people in the world to be with?
He spent very nearly as much time asking her about her education as he did discussing the medical issue we went there for.
When we left she said ” I HATE THAT.”
“What?” I asked ….
“What does that have to do with ********** ?” (medical reason we went) .
“Nothing at all I said.”
“You know, if you ever aren’t comfortable with a question like that, you can say ….. as long as you say it politely ….. I’m sorry , I really don’t understand what that has to do with my ********* ? ”
“You don’t ever have to answer something like that if you are not comfortable, or just don’t want too. It’s ok to say no. Or look to me, and I will say no for you . I am sorry. “
I failed my daughter. Not because I didn’t do key stage 3 maths with her today.
But because I sat in a room with her and let someone interrogate her.
I apologised to her, explained I hadn’t seen her hesitation, and said I would watch more closely next time, and then gave her tools for if we ever come across that again (we will !) , or if it happens and I am not there, she knows how to deal with the situation in a way that is healthier for her own mental health.