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14 June 2009 @ 07:53 pm
 
Today after church, I noticed that the mom of one of my sunbeam kids has a lot of scars on her leg. I'm thinking maybe she is/was a cutter. I don't know her well enough to bring it up, but I'm kinda worried about her, especially since said kid has been acting up in church lately and I heard her and one of her other kids (who's a year older than the one in my class but very nearly catatonic) having words together in the hallway at church this afternoon. What, if anything, do primary teachers do when they notice that there's trouble at home?
 
 
 
_conundrum_: Ayane Fighter_conundrum_ on June 15th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
I would talk to the Primary Pres or the Bishop, but in a private setting. Things can get over heard at church. Good luck.
redhippydippymama on June 15th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
Honestly, I would say something to her before you go to the Primary Pres or the bishop. Be aware that she may have been cutting a while ago, but isn't anymore. I was when I was a teenager, and I just scar easily and brightly. People can easily scars from over five years ago.

I would be SO INCREDIBLY UNBELIEVABLY PISSED if someone I didn't even know went to my bishop and told him they were worried about trouble at home because I had scars and a kid who was acting up. Even if there is something going on, I guarantee you she is not going to take someone going behind her back and telling the bishop or anyone else unconfirmed theories about her mental health, and it's not going to lead to anything productive.

If the behavior of the children really is worrisome, and it becomes a pattern, I would address that with the mother. That's perfectly appropriate for you to ask her about- just say you've noticed her kid acting up a little more lately and ask if everything's going all right, if there's anything you can do. Just keep in mind sometimes kids get rambunctious in church and sometimes older kids need to have words with their parents.

Reall, my main question is- would you have thought anything was amiss if you HADN'T seen the scars?
meeblog on June 15th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
A while back, she was having a really hard time and she left her kids with her mom and disappeared from the church scene. I think she just needed some time to think cause with four kids under five, there's no time for that. Now she's back and the kids are living with her again, but it seems like it's just as hard on her as it was before and I don't want her to feel unsupported and alone in the church. I don't want it to get bad again where she feels she has to leave her kids just to stay sane. Especially when some free babysitting, etc. might help alleviate her troubles right now.

I know it's getting tough at home right now, something's a miss because the four year old has quit talking, at all, he'll barely even whisper to you if he needs to go to the bathroom. And she's been acting like a zombie too, she won't talk or show any emotions, even when her kids are pulling on her and talking to her, she doesn't even look down at them, just stares straight ahead as if she isn't even hearing him.

I am (was?) a cutter. I haven't cut now in four or five years, but I know what it's like and I worry about her. I just imagine being in her shoes and how she must feel right now. But I also imagine my kid's teacher trying to talk to me about it, and I think if I were her, I'd probably feel worse about myself if someone said to me that my personal problems were showing.

So, I donno. I know I'd like to help her, but I don't know if I'm the one to do it, or what I can do to help that won't make life worse for her.

redhippydippymama on June 15th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
I would just do what you can to help. Tell her that you know she must be having a hard time with so many kids, and give her your name, number, and address and tell her that you'll babysit for free if she needs to get away. It is totally your place as their primary teacher to offer her your support. Tell her that you'd like to bring supper by.

I would maybe share your concerns with the RS president, just that she seems really overwhelmed and like she could use some counsel and fellowship right now. The compassionate service leader should be able to help arrange something as well.

And sweet mother of mercy, if I had four kids under five, I'd lose my marbles too.
meeblog on June 15th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
That's what I'm thinking too. Even if I offer just one night a week of free babysitting, I think it would help her to have one night to her own thoughts.

Getting in touch with the compassionate service leader is a great idea. I'm hoping that we can get people to help babysit, clean, bring meals, etc.

Four of those kids under five aren't even potty trained yet! Two are in diapers and one's in pull-ups! I'm thinking no wonder she's a little frazzled.
meeblog on June 15th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
* sorry...typo, I meant three of the four kids under five *
(Deleted comment)
meeblog on June 16th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
I've noticed that too. I think there's a perfection complex in our church where mom's feel that if they need help it somehow that means they're not doing it right. But everyone needs help. That's why we're organized into wards and why we have callings like visiting teaching and compassionate service leader. You're right, it is very hard to get people to take you up on your offer to babysit.
~*~*~M~*~*~kosmickalyx on June 16th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
The proper action is to bring it to the Primary Presidents attention and let her decided from there. Many times the Bishop and other leaders already know what is happening within families and can and will do all that they can to the most compassionate thing possible to help that family.