Thursday, June 28, 2012
To Say Something or Not
What is the proper way to address the following situation in which I find myself?
Last October, a friend with a 3-year-old son took my (solicited) advice to visit the Montessori my children attend and sit in on a class (sans her son). I should mention that in general this friend likes to spend A LOT of time in her child's classrooms and to actively participate in any activity he is in, and she also was secretly hoping the Montessori would offer her a teaching position.
After her visit, she vented to me that she did not feel the Montessori teachers paid her enough personal attention while class was in session, but the lead teacher spent an hour with her afterwards, alone, talking and answering her many questions. She is very extroverted and really likes to be the center of attention. Friend also expressed to me that she was shocked that my 4-year-old son did not stop what he was doing and run over to give her a hug when she got to class. Nevermind that in the first place, it is not in his personality to do so. At. All. And he doesn't know her very well. I just thought to myself whatever, why this person ever thought a drop off Montessori where it's not about parental involvement would be a fit for HER personality is beyond me. A grown adult feels sad because someone else's 4-year-old child did not validate her needs? I thought it was all quite silly. Moving on....
To yesterday. There are summer classes at Montessori and she actually enrolled her child in one (which I couldn't believe given how much she disliked her visit). My kids are not in this particular class. On the second day of class (BTW she personally sat through all of it and not shockingly her 3-year-old was not super well behaved), she stayed after and communicated all of the above about her feelings last October to the lead teacher, and he was understandably... uh, surprised. And annoyed.
So at pick up from the later class yesterday, the teacher pulls me aside to process the stuff she has dropped on him. She does not understand the Montessori method but seems to think she does because she attended one as a child (and we all know the "Montessori" label does not always mean exactly what we think it means). I'm on his side, and we basically agreed that every parent has their own journey and that while this Montessori can't be all things to all people, those of us who leave our kids there are extremely happy with it. Someone who wants to be that close to their child at all times probably needs to explore another educational model. I mean, duh right.
I'm torn between saying something to this friend or just letting it go (again).
My main feeling is I don't want to have myself or my child involved in someone else's problem. Would a conversation alleviate my feeling or annoy me further? But OTOH, perhaps some boundary work is in order. "I like you, but don't bring me and mine into what are clearly your issues!" This friend and I have a decent enough relationship that I think I could say just about anything without consequence.
What would you do?