So a few weeks ago, I received this phone call from one of the children’s teachers, “Carin, this is Ms……..I’m calling because your son is having an allergic reaction and cannot breathe. I think you should come and pick him up. Can you do that?” I was in the middle of transporting another child to his school in the opposite direction. Having two other children with allergies that cause their respiratory system to shut down, I promptly turned the car around and we went to go and retrieve my little one.
When I arrived, he was waiting in the office. I could tell by his face and his countenance, that he was not having trouble breathing. He appeared fine. Still I did not feel like I should leave him at school. (This is always a judgement call. Some of the children need to be taught to handle difficult situations and not to ‘flee’ the scene by having their mother remove them. Others need to be removed for emotional and psychological ‘fluffing’. I always have to listen to my intuition in this situation.) He hemmed and hawed. He knew I could tell that breathing was not the issue. I tried to talk to him but wasn’t really getting anything out of him. I assured him that I would be taking him out of school. He relaxed.
We got into the car and continued the journey to drop his brother off. After he and I were alone in the car (except for the baby) I began my questions again. What happened? When did you have trouble breathing? Why does your teacher think that you couldn’t breath? What was going on in the classroom when she called me? What was happening before she called me? I couldn’t seem to assess what the trigger point was or how the issue came about. “Keep going….” was the thought I kept having. So I would ask questions a different way, get a little more information. Still no answers. “Keep going…..” More questions, a little more information, no answers. “Keep going….” This went on for 15 minutes. At which point, I decided to play the ‘ultimate’ card.
“Sweetheart, I am going to tell you something that I told your older brother (the one he happens to worship, by the way…). You have a mother who listens to the Holy Ghost [some of you call it your conscious, intuition, gut feelings]. The Spirit [another term we Latter-day Saints use] is telling me that there is something else you need to tell me about.”
Big sigh. ‘Maybe that is because our teacher yelled at the class today.’
“How did you feel about that?”
‘I didn’t like it and it scared me.’
“Oh. Why did she yell? Were the children just being too noisy? How did you respond to the teacher yelling at the class?”
‘Yes. They were being loud. She yelled and I started to cry.’
Knowing my little son…………..”Oh. So when she yelled at the class, you got scared and your eyes started to tear up and got kind of red. Your teacher noticed and asked you what was wrong……”
‘And I told her I was having an allergic reaction………’
“Oh I see. You can always tell me about things going on at school. You can always be honest about what is bothering you. You don’t have to remain there if you are scared or uncomfortable about certain things. We can talk about it.” And then I took him to get a little treat (this particular child feels loved when he gets to go and do something different than the norm. It is his LOVE language.)
The end of the story is that I also spoke to his teacher——not about yelling. I simply let her know what had really happened and how our little one had reacted so she can recognize how sensitive he is to behavior in the classroom. And should it happen again, she is more aware.