Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not helpful

I'm not quite sure what to do about this--maybe you can help me?

So MC's school has a guidance counselor.  I mentioned this to someone once and they kind of looked at me strangely.  "Why would an elementary school need a guidance counselor?" they asked me.  Hmmm.  I'm not really sure, especially since ours is really not all that helpful.  This year, she's teaching the kids "life skills," whatever that is.  Conflict resolution, anti-bullying, not sure what else?  And I have no clue what she does when she's not in the classroom.

Anyway, a few years ago, we had a situation.  And because of the situation, we had to have a meeting.  One of the people included in the meeting was the guidance counselor.  At one point, she turned to me and queried, "well, what do you think we should do?"

I thought, but didn't say, "well, lady, if I had any idea of what we should do, don't you think I would have already done it?  I'm at the end of my rope here--isn't that why you're here, to help us?"

Later on during the meeting, she said, "well, you're the expert on your child."  True enough, but have you ever noticed that kids behave differently when they're away from their parents?  Like, for instance, at school?  This time I thought, but did not say, "well, yes, I'm the expert on my kid, but you're the expert on kids, right?"  Right?

Am I wrong here?  I really thought that she was in on the meeting to help us with the situation.

So now we have another situation that I actually think might have been the cause of the first situation even though they seem to have nothing to do with each other.  It hasn't gotten to the meeting stage yet (thank God), but it has led to a couple of conversations, and a teacher told us that Ms. Counselor would help us.

I was skeptical.  I mean, she hasn't been helpful in the past.  But Hubby and I dutifully reported to the counselor's office to have a little chat.  And again she said, "well, what do you think we should do?"  And I thought, oh boy, here we go again. 

Ms. Counselor informed us that she didn't know anything about the option the teacher had given us, or about any other options, but that she would find out and call or email the information to us.  What a waste of time.  I left that night feeling frustrated and alone and convinced that when the counselor called or emailed, it would once again be not helpful.

{oh, and because of that conversation, and the situation, I suffered a migraine the next day.  Thanks so much for that}

I was so right!  A few days later I got an email from the counselor and it said, here's the phone number of the place we (didn't) talk about.  That's it!  Um, I could have looked that up myself, ma'am.  Not. Helpful.

So here's where I need some advice.  Should I tell Ms. Counselor that she's not helpful and that I would really just like for her to be helpful (I really think she thinks she is...helpful, that is)?  Should I just cut Ms. Counselor out and deal with the teacher (who is helpful, but is out of her area of expertise and seems determined to keep Ms. Counselor involved)?  Should I go to the principal or the school psychologist?  Or should I stay quiet and try to do this on my own?

I don't know what to do.  I don't think I have the words to make her understand what I need from her, and trying and failing would lead to even more frustration than I'm already feeling (it's an act of will to not grind my teeth), and that makes me feel like not even trying.

{oh, and I can't even think about it, much less talk about it, without crying--it's a little difficult to be articulate when you're crying}

Help, please.


  1. Sounds like you need a 3rd party involved. I would ask the principal about it. Write out your thoughts ahead of time so you can just read if the emotions take over. Sorry this is so difficult. Praying.

  2. Ms. Counselor doesn't sound like a good option. Go with your gut and deal directly with the teacher or other helpful entity. The "what do you think" tactic is not applicable in your situation. You probably have a clinical psychologist on your hands, not a person well versed in the workings of a young-uns mind.


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