Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Family Matters

Israel celebrates two separate days in school, a version of Mother's Day and a more general Family Day, two truly lovely ideas.  When I picked up Raphaela from Gan yesterday - early, because she was complaining of pain in the ear - I saw a notice that requested that parents bring personal photos to be displayed during this period that they were exploring the concepts of family.

This always worries, that niggling feeling at the back of my head that says that some day, some child will be needlessly cruel to Raphaela and taunt her, "You don't have a father, nah nah nah nah nah..."  Or that some well meaning teacher in her years of nursery and elementary school will present our unique situation in a confusing way, one that makes Raphaela doubt herself for no reason.

With that in mind, I approached her teachers immediately and told them that they should feel free to consult with me, to understand how I speak to Raphaela about the issue and how I present it to others. I made it clear that Raphaela is thank G-d a happy child who knows that right now there is no male figure who resides in the house, that she knows she is loved and that there are all sorts of families, all valid in their approach.

To my delight, her teachers agreed with me on all counts, that Raphaela has never expressed sadness or confusion, that they see her as a happy and well-adjusted child; furthermore, they added that they had already spoken to the manager of the Gan, who had instructed them to present all family options as normal and loving and real.

Impressive for a religious Gan, though I think it helps that the manager (a Chardal mother of nine) has a sister who has followed the JSMBC route, and is thus well acquainted with the process and the joy that comes from children, no matter where they come from.

1 comment:

Midlife Singlemum said...

In our gan there are a set of twins who are also children of a SMBC so DD has some support. Having said that, it's never been a problem in previous years. I think she may feel the loss more as she grows older but luckily she has older male cousins who fill a role very nicely.