This is a rant-- Maybe it's because it's Friday. Maybe because with holidays, there have only been 8 days of school in the first 10 days school has been open. I don't know, but I need to add my name to the list of parents ready to jump. Or drink in excess! It began with the arrival of the class list at the beginning of August, right before we left for our vacation. He was placed in a class without most of his friends, though he does have 2 of his top choices.(he goes to a private progressive school that has been a life saver in many ways, however, by the time the kids are in 8th grade, they think their opinions count much more than they really do) Now, as the step-parent and someone who works in a school, I am well aware of the need to re-arrange friendship groups that are counter-productive to learning in a classroom setting. And I think we--difficult child's parents--got fair warning last year our difficult child was the instigator in too many classroom distractions, including being sent out of Spanish class on average, once a week, for the entire 7th grade year. His behavior can drift out of control fairly easily because he is a very bright kid, with a good memory and the ability to retain information he reads and hears. Consequently, he is often bored in class and has--you guessed it----impulse control issues!!! So he ranted for the rest of vacation about how his class was the worse class in the history of his life and that these were the worse teachers in the school. No, he's never been in 8th grade before, if you were wondering about his first hand knowledge... All this to say, our difficult child has been the highlight of way too many phone calls in the last 8 days. And at the heart of it is his anger and resentment. And he is stuck. He's mad, this is not fair, and we all--including his teachers-- will just have to deal with his rage since this is all of our faults. And secretly, husband--his mom--also thinks the class placement is punitive and feels like the school, knowing our difficult child as well as they do, should have seen his behavior problems coming by not placing him with a majority of his friends. The school administrators think our difficult child has enough skills to control his behavior and disappointment. I agree with the placement, so I just tread lightly. We are a united front in conveying to difficult child that one doesn't always get what one wants, despite all efforts. Since we are his parents, we put up with a fair amount of his discontent on a regular basis. What is troublesome, in addition to getting off on a bad note with new teachers, is that this is the season in our city of applying to high schools. We have fought the application fights, so now it's just the tutoring for the specialized test and the gallons of homework. But how will he get into high school with this kind of attitude? He's got to interview and tour schools and all anyone sees these days is this sullen angry kid. And he is shouting and complaining all the way--at home, at school, during the tutoring sessions. If we've heard it once, we've heard it 1,000 times--he's so bright! Hes just is not motivated. And we pay these people for these nuggets of wisdom!! In an effort not to be punitive, we have not taken his computer out of his room, but we take turns hanging out in his room with him while he does his homework. The distractions of IM and itunes and baseball updates and stats and games, is too tempting a distraction for him and yet he needs to do 3/4's of his homework on a computer. So guess just how much MORE love we are getting from difficult child. Part of why I read this forum so much is because it helps with ideas for coping. And laughing. And crying. But the frustration of living with a kid who to the world looks normal but is this whole other thing, means there are few who truly understand. And I know our problems are probably minor comparatively, I mean we have been able to negotiate the two years before 8th grade with him maintaining his 1x week therapy and little else. But this full fledge teen in our midst feels like new territory. Ok, I guess Ill hold off on that drink until...the afternoon!