Head Lady of The Class~
First, I need to apologize for having been so long in getting to you, as well as for not calling you last night when we opted to stay home. As you can imagine, there has been a lot going on with our little family in the last three weeks, and we had court on Wednesday, so the current situation has consumed the majority of our time and energy. Last night, feeling the way I felt, the last thing I needed to do was go to class and face more conflict, and that is what I felt would happen.
At this point, I highly doubt that we will be returning. As you and I discussed, there have been a lot of really great things about the class; we have learned a lot of useful things that we have begun to implement in our daily lives, and for that I am grateful and will continue to be so. However, the problems and concerns that I had which may seem minor to other people are now outweighing the good things.
I understand that each one of us, as participants in the class and as instructors, is coming from different places in our lives. However, I take offense to N.'s comments such as “The most important person in a child’s life is his father,” “Kids can’t succeed without a two parent home,” and other less obvious but no less offensive things. In some cases, that is true; I get that. However, to paint every one of us dreaded single parents with the same brush is both wrong and completely insensitive. I appreciate and respect all that Nancy has accomplished in her life, and know that she means well. However, it is extremely bothersome to me that she feels comfortable standing up in front of a room full of struggling parents to point out everything we are doing wrong, without at the same time offering practical suggestions other than to eat dinner with your kids and pray. I am sorry, but most of our problems go far deeper than that. I am also concerned with Nancy’s implication that God is the only answer and that if the kids don’t believe in him, they are doomed. While I have not heard this personally, Eli has expressed both anger and confusion with regards to her comments to that effect. While I personally DO believe that we need to rely on something greater than ourselves and am in complete agreement with Nancy in that regard, I do not like her to preach to my kids. This could be addressed simply by being rephrased: “In my life, I have found my faith to be my greatest strength, but that doesn't work for everyone,” rather than “You have to believe in….”
In addition, I am still unable to accept the excuse for JA’s behavior at the last class as being a personal issue that had nothing to do with me. I understand completely how when things happen it is hard to separate them from your job. However, in a setting like that, where she is portrayed as being a professional, her behavior was and is inexcusable. I know that if I got in the face and pointed my finger at one of my clients, I would be fired, with no questions asked. Furthermore, I did and will continue to stand up for both of my children and Ronda in that my daughter was simply asking the question that was on every teen’s mind: “What happens if we fail?” I encourage my children-all of them-to ask questions rather than wander aimlessly around and try to figure it out as they go along; for JA to have behaved the way she did simply gave all of the kids in the room the feeling that it isn’t, in fact, okay to ask questions. That is not the message I want my kids to learn.
The kids and I may choose to go to the last two classes, if for no other reason than to prove a point. However, if we decide not to, I will let you know beforehand.
I thank you very much for your support and desire to listen to my concerns. I respect what you are trying to do, and feel better now about using some of you as a resource should the need arise. I had high hopes for the class and feel sad that we didn’t get as much out of it as I had expected, but will not negate the fact that the things we DID learn have made a difference already.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, via email or otherwise. Thank you again for taking the time to listen and to help me process my thoughts.