Mrs. Anderson, Please Like My Child

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This letter wasn’t written to a specific teacher, or about a particular child, but came from a hope that my sons would be liked by their new teachers. Since school is starting, I thought you might enjoy it – and might just want to pass it along.

Dear Mrs. Anderson,

My child Ben has been assigned to your class this year, and I’m glad. People have often told me what a wonderful teacher you are. You have had a lot of great things said about you.

adhd and homeschoolingYou’ve probably heard about my Ben, too, but I’m afraid the things said about him aren’t always good. The truth is, Ben can be difficult. He’s loud, he makes others uncomfortable, he’s different. But I’m his mother, and I love him.

Of course I’m supposed to love him because I am his mother. But I must tell you that underneath the ball of energy that brings havoc to a room, you’ll find a beautiful child that is worth getting to know. He’s loving, he’s tender, he notices beauty. He’s sensitive when others are hurting, he’s offended when he observes injustice. Believe me, I’ve seen Ben at his worst, but I’ve seen him at his best, too. And he is a wonderful little soul.

So that is why I’m asking you, from the bottom of my heart, please like my child. Because if you like him, you’ll recognize that his impulsiveness is raw eagerness. You’ll see his fidgeting as energy waiting to be channeled. You’ll find ways for him to use his daydreams creatively.

If you like my child, you’ll feel the sting when he is ridiculed by his peers. You’ll shield him from judgmental adults. You’ll make his wrong answers sound right to his classmates. His efforts will be evident to you, and his successes will feel like your own. And when he exasperates you beyond your very last nerve, he’ll feel your love underneath your irritation.

There is an old Arabic proverb that says, “A monkey is but a gazelle in the eyes of his mother.” I know that my son is not perfect, but I’d like for you to try to see past his problems to the gazelle of his soul.

And again, I ask you from my mother’s heart: Please, like my child. Because if you like him, others will. And if you like him, maybe he’ll never learn not to like himself.


Ben’s Mom

About Kayla

Kayla Fay is a freelance writer and the mother of four boys, three of whom have been formally diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. When she started “Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet?” in 2002, her sons were ages 8 through 14, when her life was a “progression of dirty laundry, lost homework, misunderstood Algebra, and a whole lot of love and fun”.

Connect with Kayla online Google+


  1. http://Shannon says

    this could be my son- that was my first thought. I remembered all the negative comments I have gotten from, mostly family, about my loving son, the one who wears his heart on his sleeve and I remembered how each and every one hurt. then I thought this IS SO MANY of our children we as a society look for the negative so often that we miss the good in people. and that is sad to me.
    thanks for posting..

    • I know you’re grateful for the love that your son has for others. It’s sad how so many times our family can hurt us the most! I’m sure your son is a good example to them.

  2. http://Cathy says

    This letter was so touching and close to home. When my son was in second grade, his teacher let the other students pick on him. She started toward the middle of the year to send home discipline forms in triplicate so they were “on file.” Then his teacher started having his gym and art teachers send home discipline forms in triplicate. We finally had to take it to the Principal of the school and show him everything she was writing him up for was listed in his IEP. The teacher had the other students picking on him so bad we had to change his class, his track (he attends a year round school) and his teacher. His new teacher turned him around by accepting him and understanding ADHD because she had two children herself that had ADHD and were of college age so she had been there. I will always be greatfull to that teacher or my son would have shut down completely.

  3. http://Kate says

    Thank you for posting this. I’m sitting here crying because this is my son. In second grade, he had one teacher tell him to come back from dream land and another tell him they would chop off his fingers if he kept counting on them. They were joking but didn’t realize what a sensitive soul my son is. Needless to say we switched schools but the damage had been done. 3 years later and he still has self esteem issues. I firmly believe that our children are harder work….but with a wonderful reward at the end. And I hope others see that too. Thank you again.

  4. http://Sharon%20DeSize says

    This is something that every teacher should read at the beginning of the year as a reminder that every child is someone’s child and needs to be nurtured. The little things can make such a big difference. I’m planning on sending this letter to our school principal right before school starts up next year.