When Jenna was in preschool, the school district offered a course for parents to communicate with or discipline their children . . . I can't remember how it was worded. Jenna was going through a whining stage and Roland and I both wished to assist her in overcoming. Somewhere in my possession, I have the questionnaires as both Roland and I received our own packets of material. Of course, I can't find them now to pull up an example except for the incentive charts found here.
The questions were presented in a manner that may have led one to believe that the questions were about the children, but with each class and questionnaire, I felt like the class was really geared toward parenting and understanding ourselves. It was a fun class, I thought and I really enjoyed getting acquainted with the instructor and some of the other parents. There was a potluck dinner afterward and a nursery for the children. It was something I truly did look forward to once a week.
Jenna did eventually stop whining - but not until after the class had ended. We were invited back the following year but had stopped attending as the material was exactly the same and we weren't quite ready for a "refresher" but I would review the material on my own every once in a while. I had even scanned a lot of it, but haven't been able to find the connector to open the scans I had created.
At the beginning of this school year, Jenna brought home a letter requesting parent/child representatives for a survey that is being conducted by the University of Oregon and child and family services. Every three months they would send out two surveys - one for me and one for Jenna - to complete and send back. Her survey was 9 pages. Mine was always 17.
Each of us was supposed to fill out our own survey without discussing with the other. But after we mailed them in, we would talk about what we had filled out. For the most part, Jenna and I were right on track. But I wonder how much different it may have been if Roland had been involved. Questions included home life, peers, bullying, health, motivation, parenting and school involvement. Some of my answers make it sound like I keep Jenna a prisoner . . . but there are no comment sections to explain why my answers sound like I watch her like a hawk at all times. I don't - but because of the distance of where everything is, I generally have to either drive her or she will be picked up by another parental driver and so I generally do always know what Jenna is doing and with whom.
We don't have the best eating habits. We are all overweight. But generally, we are happy. Especially Jenna. I enjoy when she is singing because I know she is happy. I think often her singing grates on Roland's nerves. He doesn't care for my contemporary Christian music either. What's cool though is he will play Disney music. He will blare up the Beetles when neither Jenna nor I are in the car with him.
Jenna doesn't get bullied - or at least that she knows of. I may have already mentioned it before, but her personality will actually frustrate bullies as she compliments or thanks them for their snide remarks or will ask the "bully" if he/she needs a hug. Jenna doesn't believe that it is true, but there are several students who look up to and admire her. She is well liked without being popular.
We both wish she had that one true friend that she could hang out with. She's a very friendly girl, but she doesn't hang out much with friends the way I did or had the opportunity to. It helps that we have family home evening - a rarity compared to even her LDS peers here in Oregon. I know she has friends in Utah who still do it. It's a different world from when I grew up.