Parent-Teacher Conferences: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?

Parent-teacher conference is this week. My children could not be more different and I’m learning to adapt and recognize the talents each child has.

At our last conference, I learned 6-year-old Hadley’s talent is not listening and 4-year-old Bode’s does not involve his fine motor skills.

I admittedly braced myself when I met with Haddie’s first-grade teacher. She excels in the arts and natural sciences but when it comes to reading, she has just finally caught up to her peers who were in full-day kindergarten. My husband Jamie isn’t exactly a stellar example. In his own words:

“I don’t have anything against books. I just don’t like reading them.”

But Haddie’s teacher wasn’t concerned about reading or the fact she is math-illiterate (she is allegedly on track with both). When it comes to multi-step instructions, my dear daughter gets a failing grade. In other words: listening.

Bode’s teachers love the little guy and who can blame them? He’s sweet, a great listener, well-behaved, is starting to read and beloved by his classmates. He is off-the-chart with math and while his peers are still learning to recognize single digits, he’s into double-digits and is constantly drilling me in my addition skills.

Confession: I count with my fingers behind my back.

I’m screwed when he graduates to multiplication tables.

The other night, their differences were on display as Haddie did her homework.

“I need to write the number 11. Hey, Bode. How do you write that number?”

“1 and 1,” he replied.

I looked over at her, dumbfounded. Had her preschooler brother really just helped her with her homework?

“Hey Mommy,” she continued. “I need to learn how to do things. You know, like a job to make money. All Bode and I know how to do is play.”

“I’m well aware of that, Hadley.”

“Yes, so we can learn how to do things like drive…and grow enormous pumpkins like Daddy.”

Something tells me I’ll never be an empty-nester.


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